Our public schools are very important and we need to continue to invest in them to attract good teachers, reduce class sizes, and stabilize education funding. We must fight to ensure that qualified California students are given a fair shot at applying for our colleges and universities – not find a lack of opportunity because out-of-state students who pay a higher tuition are given preference. I am proud that leading education groups representing classroom teachers and college faculty are supporting my campaign.
Developing a Skilled Labor Force
Not every high school student goes to a four-year college. Because of this, we need to do more to ensure a skilled work force to tackle the green jobs and new technologies of the future. Community colleges can provide a key role in job retraining. I have seen the good work of IBEW job-training centers right here in our community. Many of the workers that helped build the solar plants were trained at these facilities and have gone on to have successful careers in this field. As we move forward it will take the work of local employers, our education leaders and of course policy makers to continue investing in these programs. I look forward to using my experience to achieve this goal by standing together with educators and businesses.
Diablo Canyon & Renewable Energy
The news of the Diablo Canyon closure is hugely consequential for us – it will eliminate hundreds of jobs and decrease our county’s revenue. As part of the development, construction and operation teams at First Solar and NRG Energy, PG&E’s partners, I know how critical this energy generation plant has been to the economic vibrancy of our area.
My experience in the energy field and as the only candidate that has created jobs makes this race for Assembly even more important. This is about bringing people together to tackle the real issues and identify the opportunities for our region today and in the future. As we make the world-leading transition on how we produce and consume energy, I am the only candidate who is already prepared and qualified to create new jobs to replace those being lost with the Diablo closure and help chart a course that will show how resilient and innovative our local economy can be.
The Central Coast is home to a wide range of agricultural products and services. Agriculturists need an advocate who understands the need for flexible solutions to the challenges of climate change, labor and technology to this vital sector of our economy.
Common Sense Gun Laws & Public Safety
I grew up in a family that owned guns. My dad and brother went hunting when I was younger and it was part of my childhood. My husband also owns guns; however, when my husband served in Vietnam, he saw the destructive power of assault weapons. I believe in common sense gun laws that require background checks and keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, such as the mentally ill. California has the toughest guns laws in the nation. I’ll go to Sacramento to ensure they are supported, but not rolled back.
I understand that the recent realignment changes and the push to get low-level offenders out of prisons and into jail has had an impact on local communities. The unintended consequences are significant. I would like to ensure that our local police, sheriff and probation departments have the resources they need to do their job, I am also concerned about new proposals to change sentencing and allow unelected bureaucrats to let prisoners out of prison early.
Women’s Issues & Family Health
As a single mother, I raised my daughter and worked full time. Quality day care and after school programs were very important to her well-being and my ability to earn a living. That is why I will champion working families because I understand the challenges that so many families face trying to balance work and family life.
In the State Assembly, I will work for families and ensure that we all have access to high quality healthcare. I am pro-choice and proud to have received the support of Planned Parenthood.
Water & Infrastructure
It is time to reinvest in the Central Coast. We cannot wait for the state to build any new roads. Too often we see money invested into projects like high-speed rail or trains in the Bay Area instead of projects that would help our community. I will fight for more resources for our area, but I am also supporting the ability of local voters to vote for a temporary half-cent sales tax increase dedicated to improving transportation projects here in SLO County. The gridlock in Sacramento has stopped any discussion on improvements to our state’s transportation and it is time we got this community moving again.
We need investment in the water infrastructure grid—including conveyance and storage—to improve the state’s ability to adapt to future droughts and climate change. I know that we can be smarter about our water supply by incentivizing conservation and getting state funds to help fix our aging water system infrastructure. I know that our farms and ranchers are working on efficient water use, and I look forward to working them on solutions for their industry. I also think we should consider disincentivizing the water use on landscapes and instead improve water storage technology. We can reuse our greywater to irrigate plants and trees where feasible. Although some have pushed for desalination plants, from my experience the costs are very difficult for one community to absorb. Hopefully new technology will help drive these costs down.
Climate Change & Environment
For almost 10 years, my focus has been on what I can do to improve the environment through business solutions while addressing climate change. The energy sector was my choice, first by working in energy efficient lighting then moving to the utility scale solar industry. Preparing for the changes of climate change is next – that includes ensuring that businesses and agriculture all have the tools and regulatory support to address the changing climate on the Central Coast.
I always consider future generations in all my decisions. I often say, I’ve had a blessed life and my time on this planet is limited. My role as a legislator will be to always consider the children and their future when making decisions.