The issues below reflect the concerns that are at the forefront for the vast majority of us. As your Member of Congress in the 20th District, it will be my job to champion and help implement bold and effective solutions that put this country back on track and deliver real hope and opportunity to every one of you.
Local & Global Solutions for Our Climate Crisis
Climate change and global warming threaten to end life as we know it. The short-term local consequences are real and frightening: water shortages, fires, crop failure, and warm ocean temperatures that could drastically impact marine life in beautiful Monterey Bay.
In 2018 my aunt and uncle lost their home and two cats in the Camp fire that ravaged Northern California. A deadly fire is a very real and major threat in our district as we saw in Big Sur over the last decade.
Real Affordable Housing
Crowding into homes and apartments is becoming common for families and young folks throughout our district who are struggling to pay the rent each month. Thousands of hard-working residents are barely able to keep a roof over their heads, people are moving farther away from their work, and many may be forced to leave.
Buying a house is now out of reach for most people in our region. The median home price in Salinas is approaching $500,000. In Watsonville it is $650,000 and in Santa Cruz it’s now over $900,000. These high prices are making it difficult to hire and retain teachers and other critical people in our region.
Clean and Affordable Water for All
Water is our most essential public resource and must be publicly protected and managed for all of our needs and for future generations. Every human should have clean water in California and our nation. Because many do not, I worked to help pass a law that makes it the goal of the State to achieve this objective. Yet hundreds if not thousands of families in our district still lack clean drinking water. It is time our government makes a commitment to provide clean water for all of our people.
Medicare for All
We must enact Medicare for All to give us the comprehensive health care coverage we need. Medicare for All will let you choose your doctor and specialist and cut out the wasteful private insurance industry that profits from denying our claims. It’s time to stop bankrupting families with medical bills! Medicare is one of our federal government’s most popular programs because it works and gives our seniors the care they need. It is time we strengthen it, improve it, and offer it to people of all ages.
Had my grandfather not come to the Salinas Valley in the 1940s to work in the fields, I would not be here today. My appreciation for the essential role of agriculture has made me both pro-farmer and pro-farmworker. We must continue to improve the way we produce food in a manner that respects the land, groundwater, and ensures that farmers and farmworkers are paid fairly.
Justice for Farmworkers and Immigrants
It is a moral disgrace and outrage that our fellow human beings are living in fear in the shadows. Many of our undocumented residents risk their lives to work in our fields, cook in our restaurants, and clean our homes and offices. These jobs are extremely difficult and essential to making our economy work.
It is shocking that in California in 2019, many farmworkers who pick our food cannot afford to buy food, largely because they can just barely scrape up rent.
Education and Tuition-Free College
We must invest in education so that all people have an opportunity to realize their potential and contribute to our society.
I strongly support tuition-free public college, which allowed my grandfather to rise from poverty to attend UC Berkeley and become a scientist and my mother to become a bilingual school teacher. Too many of us today are still paying off loans that compromise our ability to pursue the career we love.