State Assembly 2020
Working Together Towards a Brighter Future
A native son of Petaluma with family roots reaching back to the 1850s, my love for our extraordinary region runs deep. Politically, I've spent the last 12 years representing the public and providing oversight for state and local government. A Democrat, appointed by both Governor Brown and the Sonoma County Supervisors, my work has been focused on recreation, environmental compliance, planning and agency accountability.
Creating Solutions with Innovative Leadership
From our breathtaking coastline to the many welcoming communities dotting our landscape, we live in perhaps one of the finest regions in the world.
Unfortunately, we are starting to see the telltale signs of social and communal decline. Our society is forcing other humans to live without shelter. Healthcare costs are staggering to many in the middle class. Infrastructure is crumbling everywhere we turn and population growth with its huge environmental impact, is rarely being factored into our planning processes. These are just a few examples of the direction we are heading.
As a community we have elected people to leadership positions who have repeatedly failed us. Many campaign pledges are made then broken, all while they chase financial donations instead of providing leadership and sound governmental services.
Based on results, it’s time for a new direction.
I pledge to be fair. To respect the opinions of others that I may disagree with. I will utilize my leadership skill set to improve communication between the multiple layers of government. I also pledge to be frugal with your tax dollars. As an example, my campaign has used commonly available technology to reduce expenses and keep within an extremely low budget. No signs, printed mailers or other environmentally insensitive means to get my message out. I pledge to introduce bills it improve regional transportation and bicycle infrastructure. I will assemble a quality team of experts to find solutions for the homeless epidemic. I would also produce a plan to reduce healthcare costs to the middle class featuring tax credits and other innovative programs.
We can accomplish great things by moving away from the current bureaucratic culture and the politicians that have enabled it.
It’s time to reestablishing an inventive mindset in our government. To do this, I need your vote.
Climate Change Impacts
Climate Change is an extremely complex issue. Many politicians, government agencies and organizations are pushing sweeping agendas that sound good but offer little real change. One area that is often overlooked is the impacts of sea level rise to Marin and Sonoma counties. My expertise with flood control and watersheds projects will provide leadership and focus to this important issue. I believe we need to mitigate the impacts to our infrastructure while providing protection to our precious environment and natural resource. It will be of upmost importance to consider climate resiliency with all planning processes. Looking forward, concepts such as carbon capture, zero emission hydrogen power plants and sustainable communities should be evaluated. These and many more factors must be considered to have real protections from the effects of climate change for our future generations.
Our society is forcing some humans to live unfairly without shelter. Why? The cost of living is extremely high and citizens have record low savings. Some have mental health issues with minimal care, while others have major substance abuse problems. Governor Newsome recently declared the homeless epidemic an emergency but moving forward will require strong leadership. I pledge to assemble a quality team of statewide experts to find solutions. Ideas such as sanctioned camp areas with health and human services need to be explored. Drug counseling along with FDA approved medication-assisted treatment (MAT) medications should be part of the program. I also believe pharmaceutical companies that profited from distributing addictive pain medication need to bear some of the burden of this crisis. They knew their products were highly addictive and should be punished similar to the Volkswagen emissions scandal with heavy fines. The fund from these fines should be directed to homeless nonprofit organizations statewide. Our community can and will rise together to solve this growing problem.
Highway 37/Richmond Bridge
Tired of horrible traffic congestion and the associated environmental impacts? How about the prospect of a toll road and roundabout for Highway 37? It's time to apply innovative solutions to these infrastructures nightmares. I would propose to extend Interstate 580 from San Rafael through highway 37 and terminate in Vallejo at Interstate 80. The new Interstate 580 should be a six lane elevated causeway over the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge needs to be replaced with a new structure. The new bridge design should include rail to extend SMART to BART in Richmond and the rest of the Bay Area. Bicycle and eBike infrastructure would both be important component to reduce automobile usage on the new span. To achieve these goals, I would submit legislation requiring these infrastructure improvements to be completed by 2040.
Something often overlooked with proposed climate change solutions is the sustainability of our local communities. Here in Marin and Sonoma counties we want clean energy but import it from far away places. We transmit electricity over aging infrastructure and through some of the most fire prone landscapes in Northern California. Our water system was designed for a much smaller population and has minimal reserves, making our region susceptible to droughts. These are just a few important components why we need to look further into the future. We need to rethink the direction our community planners have us heading and re-position our communities to take advantage of technological developments. I would produce legislation to direct planning efforts towards a sustainable future. I would submit legislation that requires urban communities to be sustainable within 25 years. These sustainable communities would be more resilient and have much less of an impact on our planet's natural climate.
We all deserve health care and our state is slowly working towards that goal. The current system subsidizes low income people but unfortunately neglects the huge rise in the health care costs for middle class families. The restructuring of their medical insurance has added to their overall cost of living, making it even harder to succeed here in our region. This imbalance is causing many middle class families to consider relocating. A simple solution would allow tax payers that do not qualify for subsidizes, and meet maximum income limits, to deduct their medical insurance costs from their California income taxes. This solution would provide much needed financial relief to the often overlooked middle class.
Confused by Cannabis regulations? So am I. Why do we have to drive 30 miles to purchase legal products? Local leaders claim to be Climate Activist yet their decision to restrict sales of cannabis have a negative effect on our environment. Patients must travel long distances to acquire medicine, creating excessive traffic and emissions, all while restricting access for elderly citizens and medical patients. The current regulations, set by the state, have overly taxed honest legal businesses, while feeding a thriving black market. It's time to treat cannabis like the commodity it is with common sense regulations designed to protect our environment and eliminate the illegal black market. I pledge to collaborate with like minded colleagues to rectify this situation.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.”