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Top Issues Facing Californians

 

California can lead progressive values. As California continues to emerge from the recent economic recession, our budget draws constant attention. As the world's 6th largest economy California is strong. California’s recently released budget suggests that the state now has a modest operating surplus, and the state’s political leaders have already begun painting a rosy picture of California’s economic outlook.  In no particular order, here are Alan's views on high priority issues facing Californians:

  • Healthcare:  At my core, I believe that health care is a right not a privilege. I will fight special interests and assure the health and well-being of Californians cannot continue to be based on arbitrary private and public financial decisions and advocate for legislation to create and implement a publicly funded (single-payer), privately delivered, fiscally tractable, affordable, comprehensive, secure, high-quality, efficient, and sustainable health care for all Californians. 
  • Climate Change/Environment:  Our health and climate are inextricably linked. From polluted air quality to shrinking food and waters supplies, communities across California—and around the world—are already experiencing climate change's harmful health impacts. The looming effects upon California's communities, particularly those that are disproportionately vulnerable, are becoming increasingly urgent and severe.  I support the California Clean Energy Act of 2017 (SB-100) and the targets toward a zero-carbon energy supply by 2045.
  • Campaign Finance Reform:  Alan Geraci does not accept any dark money sources for donations and wants to shape national reform away from the era of Citizens United and back toward grass roots activism and fundraising.  Californians are less likely to engage with their state and local governments. They distrust their political leaders, vote much less than they once did, and simply do not have sufficient resources to become well-informed. As the state’s opaque system obscures actions by departments and public officials, it worsens its already poor record with public transparency and breeds an atmosphere that is susceptible to corruption.  Transparency and integrity are Alan's key points of focus. Ending the hidden track of money in political advertising is a good place to move forward.  Alan supports the requirements of AB 14.
  •  Education:  California’s children must have access to fully funded, individually appropriate, high-quality public education from preschool through college or vocational degree. Education must provide a well-rounded curriculum including the arts, music and physical education. Teachers as the stewards of our future, should be well paid and work in safe learning environments with up-to-date equipment and learning tools.  Additionally, schools are understaffed, especially considering the number of special needs students who are  being identified/ who are being mainstreamed/ who require personal aides/ who compose an ever increasing proportion of our public school demographic. The Local Control Funding Formula attempts to tackles these entrenched challenges, but strong leadership in Sacramento is required to make sure our kids and grandkids are receiving top notch education. 
  •  Taxes:  I support a California which is dedicated to a robust economy and business climate that creates jobs and economic opportunity for all and the tax base for the programs and policies we champion.  
  •  Criminal Justice and Prison Reform:  Realignment is a costly program that aims to lower state prison population, which could lower long-term costs. Should it fail, it would be seen as a poor policy decision that adversely affected the safety of tens of millions of people. Realignment's long-term impact on crime is unknown but there has been a documented rise in crime in the first year.  We must reform laws to reduce the injustices of our prison system while simultaneously making prisons comply with justice and rehabilitation goals. 
  •  Water Supply:  Although the Governor announced the "end" of the current drought climate, water is still the top issue for Californians.  California’s record-level drought has drawn attention to the state’s neglected water management challenge. However, the state’s obsolete, inefficient water infrastructure system threatens effective statewide water delivery even during non-drought conditions.  Alan is focused to help our region implement or adopt federal and state infrastructure improvements to meet these water management challenges. 
  •  Infrastructure:  Californians want a high speed rail option to connect NoCal to SoCal.  But the idea has gotten lost in the weeds of detail. For District 75, the project that is lost in the Caltrans priorities is the rail system from Temecula to Mission Valley.  I am ready to get that project out of storage and onto the timeline for delivery.  Such a project supports affordable housing legislation and will ease the burden on traffic and commuting for our region. 

 

Propositions 68, 70

Proposition  68: California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018--SUPPORT.  I support this measure.  It will provide a $4 billion bond to address water, climate protection, coastal and parks improvements. We supported the legislation that created this measure, and now we wholeheartedly support this measure. Yes on Proposition 68.

Proposition 70: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Reserve Fund--OPPOSE. I oppose  this proposition.  If this measure passes, it will give climate deniers in the legislature the opportunity in 2024 to decide where to direct funds that were created by climate change policies.  Vote this bad measure down. No on Proposition 70.


Ending Homelessness in California

I support San Diego's central intake center which is expected to open in 2019, including a hotline for available beds, adding a few hundred more temporary shelter beds, renovating a downtown facility where homeless people can shower, and expanding the Downtown Partnership’s family reunification program. As your state representaive, I will work to find common ground solutions with the cities I represent, the property owners in our region and the organizations who will continue to spearhead the efforts. In California, there is no reason for any human being to be homeless.


Election Integrity Reform

After every election, the local election official is charged with a duty to conduct a post-election audit to assure that the counting machines are working correctly and to ensure that no misfeasance or malfeasance has affected the election outcome.  The current process requires a one-percent manual tally of the ballots.  Unfortunately, election officials are leaving out large groups of ballots from the post-election audit, such as, all mailed ballots received after election night and all verified provisional ballots.  This taints the process and must be reformed.  With the implementation of a risk-limiting audit instead of the one-percent manual tally, our process can reliably ensure that the outcome is correct and they both can pick up various kinds of mistakes or errors in the process or
malfeasance in the process. The primary difference is
that the risk-limiting audit is really geared to ensuring that the outcome is correct, and so it puts more scrutiny on contests with narrow margins, because the smaller amount of error could cause the answer to be wrong and looks more strategically at the paper records in order to be more efficient.  I am ready to lead the charge for election integrity reform. 


Reform of laws affecting injury victims

Compensatory damages are moneys paid to compensate a person who suffers detriment from the unlawful act or omission of another.  The damages recoverable in tort is the amount which will compensate for all the detriment legally caused by the tort. The insurance companies have been able to create legislative and judicial limitations to injury victims receiving full compensation.  One is the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) and the other is the Collateral Source Rule.  MICRA limits medical malpractice victims to a maximum recovery of $250,000 for pain and suffering loss regardless of the amount of pain and suffering caused by the negligent party.  This limitation must be eliminated or dramatically increased to cover actual losses.  The Collateral Source Rule is a judicial limitation of the amount of medical expenses a victim can recover.  Limiting the recovery of medical damages to no more than what the medical providers accepted in full payment for their services punishes the victim of injury.  Victims should be permitted to recover the reasonable value or market value of such services as proven at trial.  I will support reform of these two key areas of injury victim rights. 


Immigration

As the most diverse state in the nation, California’s vibrant diversity reflects the foundation of America’s strength. It emphasizes the fundamental principles of inclusion and national unity that respect the rules of law and human dignity.  I firmly believe that the American immigration system should be inclusive, fair, and just. Immigration must be consistent with American values of freedom, opportunity, compassion, and respect for human rights. 


Cannabis

The legalization of cannabis by states across the nation, including California, has led to a significant growth in the production and distribution of legal marijuana and an explosion of related service providers, including marketers, sellers of paraphernalia and bankers.  The laws vary greatly from state to state and the sale of cannabis is still illegal under federal law. We need comprehensive policy on cannabis law including the most relevant issues and practical solutions, including transactional, taxation, investment issues, litigation, criminal, banking, money laundering, commercial, and ethical considerations.  I’m ready to tackle this policy.  


Public Safety and Firearms

Protecting our children is our moral responsibility.  Gun ownership carries legal responsibility. We can do both.  These responsibilities are not binary.  Being responsible is the same as being reasonable.  I was honored when Moms Demand Action honored our campaign with the Gun Sense Candidate distinction.

In California, we respect gun ownership and gun owners accept the great responsibility of gun ownership.   This is what is required under the Second Amendment.  

Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880 now requires registration of assault weapons as defined in Penal Code section 30515.  I would add the requirement of 8 hours of gun biannual safety training and proof of liability insurance to the California Bureau of Firearms.  We require registration, insurance and trained/licensed citizens who own and drive motor vehicles in California.  Firearms need to be treated with the same rigor and responsibility. 


Smart Growth Plan

Too many see housing as out of reach.  Creating jobs without providing access to affordable housing drives up income inequality and drives down consumer spending which, in turn, slows the economy.  It is a current economic fact that housing costs continue to rise while wages and income for working families is stagnant. 

Housing is a fundamental need.  No Californian should have to choose between paying for housing or buying groceries.  On the campaign trail, I have heard testimonials like from Teresa, a single Mom working two jobs living in Temecula who struggles every day with the choice of putting food on the table for her kids and saving enough for her monthly rent. 

California is leading the national recovery and has the 5th largest economy in the world, but it is producing far more jobs than homes.  The current housing shortage costs our economy $140 billion per year in lost economic opportunity.  Equally concerning, business employers know that the high cost of housing impedes the ability to attract and retain the best workers. 
Since 2005, California has only produced 308 new housing units for every 1000 new residents.  California is projected to grow to 50 million residents by the year 2050.  These statistics are untenable and have brought us to a housing crisis.

We can manage a Smart Growth plan.  Cities are unmotivated to create housing in California because the property taxes do not fuel their budgets.  Building retail creates sales tax revenue that does fuel their budgets.  We must reverse these motivational barriers to building affordable housing.

If elected to the State Assembly, I will work with the next Governor toward a Smart Growth plan.  First, this November, we must pass the $4 billion statewide bond measure for affordable housing.  Next, let’s double the $85 million in tax credits to encourage investment in affordable housing.  Let’s build a strong middle housing supply and support working families by streamlining regulations to make it easier for builders to produce housing.  Further, lets provide access to tax increment financing, a tool successfully used by prior redevelopment agencies.  Let’s create a public state bank that invests in infrastructure and housing. 

A Smart Growth plan will require the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) to be done annually or biannually.  Let’s link transportation funding to housing goals and move light rail projects forward like the Temecula – San Diego Sprinter project. 

Finally, let’s be smart about the realities surrounding homelessness and promote an interagency council on community solutions.  Let’s fund in-reach programs in our state prisons to prevent inmates from being released into homelessness.  Lastly, lets enhance programs like the Housing Disability Assistance Program which provides SSI advocacy services to chronically homeless adults.  By expanding social services, including mental health in our healthcare, bridge housing and permanent supportive housing, we can win and change the trajectory of homelessness. 

There are many components of this Smart Growth plan, but with the political will to get the job done, we can stop the patchwork development that passes without infrastructure, schools or traffic mitigation plans. 



Paid for By Alan Geraci for State Assembly 2018 FPPPC #1397082

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