Evictions, lack of job opportunities, the housing shortage, and decreased mental health services are creating a homelessness crisis in our communities. It will only keep getting worse if we do not act with a sense of urgency. We must work across all agencies – city, county, and state – to tackle the issues that are causing homelessness.
We can’t allow veterans, mothers and children to be forced into sleeping in their cars and on sidewalks because the rent is too high. I’ll work with our neighborhoods to build more affordable rental units and homes while creating the good-paying jobs we need to help workers and families in the San Fernando Valley who are struggling to get ahead.
As a labor coalition leader for Measure H and HHH, I worked to allocate $1.2 billion for transitional and permanent housing and support services for our homeless residents. As our next Assemblymember, I’ll help cut the bureaucracy so we can get people into beds and homes more quickly.
The simple fact is we need more housing. As a workforce development director for IBEW Local 11, I worked to pass Measure JJJ, which is already helping to ensure new housing development around our transit and business hubs is truly affordable without displacing existing residents and small businesses. As our next Assemblymember, I’ll help people in the San Fernando Valley protect the character of our neighborhoods, increase affordable housing construction, and strengthen laws that keep residents in their homes.
Our society falls apart if our communities are not safe. I’ve worked with our local peace officers and helped strengthen the relationship between them and our community leaders. I am a firm believer in our neighborhood watch groups and Community Police Advisory Boards and will continue to support them.
I’m honored to have the support of our Los Angeles County Firefighters and Paramedics and Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA). As our Assemblymember, I’ll fight for more funding for public safety officers at our schools and more neighborhood patrols. I’ll also work with our communities and our public safety officers to build more trust and cooperation.
Politicians in Washington continually fail to act in the aftermath of the mass shootings that are killing innocent men, women, and kids. California needs to lead. We have to enact common sense gun safety laws to prevent people who shouldn’t have guns from putting more lives at risk. Enforcement of stricter background checks and banning rapid-fire mechanisms that allow legal guns to be turned into military style weapons are first steps we should take right now to keep Californians safer.
As our next Assemblymember, I will work to invest more funding for universal preschool, dual immersion language programs, and the support services that lead to higher student success rates, such as health care and mental health services, tutoring, and mentoring—at every school.
I’ll work on driving down the costs of earning a college degree, such as protecting funding for the state’s Middle Class Scholarship program, pushing for legislation that allows students to refinance their college loans, expanding access to free community college, making it easier to transfer credits, and providing book grants to low income students.
I graduated from Cal State Northridge and earned my masters degree from UCLA in urban planning, but college shouldn’t be the only ticket to the middle class. I’ll coordinate with our high schools and local employers to provide more trade, technical, and career training so that every graduate has higher levels of job ready skills.
Roads and Traffic
The legislature recently passed fee increases at the gas pump to fund transportation improvements. I’ll hold the state accountable to make sure the San Fernando Valley is getting our fair share of road repairs and upgrades, as well as new public transit projects to reduce traffic congestion and clean our air.
My wife, daughter, and I are avid cyclists. We have great weather in the San Fernando Valley to make bicycle commuting more viable. With smarter planning going forward we can make our neighborhoods more walkable and bikeable to also reduce car trips.
As the workforce development director for a local union—IBEW Local 11, I work everyday to help grow our middle class by getting women and men in our communities into the training programs they need for highly skilled jobs. I help place them into new careers and projects that improve our infrastructure, upgrade our schools, and build affordable housing. It’s also a special honor to be a part of helping local veterans fast track into apprenticeship programs and qualify for good-paying jobs.
As an Assemblymember, I’ll continue to find ways to get people the skills they need to carve a path to the middle class. I’ll push to fund training programs that retrain workers who are displaced by automation and I’ll fight to protect workers from wage theft and unfair scheduling.
Quality Health Care
California now has the lowest number of uninsured because of the success of Covered California and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I’ll use every tool possible in the legislature to prevent the Trump Administration from weakening the ACA or stripping away access to care.
I’m proud to have the support of the Southern California’s Registered Nurses Union—SEIU 121RN and the United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC). I’ll work with our local nurses and other health care professionals to move us closer toward a universal care model that truly puts quality patient care above profits.
Fighting Climate Change
Fueled by the drought, dry vegetation, and hotter days, natural disasters, such as fires and mudslides, are increasing with frequency and intensity. I’ve earned the endorsement of our first responders—the LA County Firefighters and Paramedics and I will continue to stand with them in working to reverse climate change and ensuring they have the resources they need to keep us safe.
To reduce harmful emissions from the freeways intersecting our communities, I’ll use my training as an urban planner to make our public transportation system more reliable and accessible. I’ll also use my experience in creating clean energy jobs to make renewable energy such as solar panel roofs and electric vehicles more practical and affordable in every neighborhood.
I grew up in an immigrant family in Pacoima. I entered elementary school speaking only Spanish and started working when I was 15 years old to help pay the family bills. My dad drove a city bus and my mother started her own business cutting hair. They came here and worked hard to provide a better life for our family. I look at them as the original “Dreamers.” I was fortunate enough to have been born here, but I went to school with plenty of kids who were not. I will continue to push California forward as a leader in defending DACA residents against the Trump Administration and supporting sanctuary protections for immigrants.