Mental Health / Homelessness
One of my top priorities is to bring more mental health and human services resources to help get mentally ill and homeless individuals the care they need to get off the streets. It is not fair to those who are suffering on the streets, law enforcement, or the communities where they reside, to continue to ignore the physically and mentally ill people who need shelter and treatment.
Everywhere I go, people speak to me of their grave concern for the health and safety of the homeless as well as their own personal safety and quality of life in the neighborhoods they have invested so much into.
I fought hard in the Legislature for pilot programs and funding for mental health, housing, and homelessness services programs. It’s disappointing that San Diego County has yet to take advantage of many of these new programs.
The same old approach will get us the same old results. It’s time for a more aggressive change in strategies that is compassionate without enabling unacceptable behavior on our public right of ways.
As a State Legislator, I was honored to receive the “Legislator of the Year” award from the California Small Business Association and “100%” ratings from the California Chamber of Commerce for my work to eliminate job-killing regulations on small businesses.
As your Supervisor, I will continue to support policies that promote local career opportunities and support local businesses. Young families shouldn't have to move away because we didn't support local career opportunities for them.
I'm so disappointed when I hear people say they can't find an attainable house because our starter homes are priced well over $450,000. 40% of the cost of a home is due to government regulation and our County needs to get serious about the costs we can control. Attainable housing that allows young families to live locally should be one of our primary goals.
How many times have we been taxed with promises of road repair and construction? Enough with the trolley. I'm willing to fight the downtown establishment for needed road repairs. I've lived in East County over thirty years and I know that we deserve better from our county government.
Public Safety is government’s first job. No other public services matter if we are not safe. Safe from crime and safe from fire.
A new approach to helping the homeless and the mentally ill deteriorating on our streets is critical to our public safety.
As a long-time resident of the backcountry, and having witnessed first-hand the devastation in my own community caused by the 2003 Cedar Fire, I am painfully aware of the need for major investments in fire prevention and suppression.
As your County Supervisor, I will continue to push for innovative ways to help homeowners manage defensible space and harden their homes, as well as ensuring our local fire agencies have the resources they need to effectively respond in emergencies.
My past actions on fire prevention and protection include:
Authoring SB 1169 – Funding for Fire Prevention in Areas Effected by Wildfire
Held under Submission by Senate Appropriations Committee 05/25/18
This bill would have helped local communities devastated by wildfires prepare for future fires by providing them with crucial wildfire protection and prevention funds. The bill sought to direct 10% of fines paid by utilities deemed responsible for the fire to protection and prevention efforts in the area where the fire occurred.
Utility companies have been fined or penalized through the California Public Utilities Commission for the role that their equipment and/or facilities played in starting some of the wildfires California has experienced. Under current law, those monies are deposited into the General Fund.
Rather than having those funds spent for other purposes, the fines and penalties that make their way to the General Fund are a natural source of funding for the crucial fire protection and fire prevention efforts that could protect communities from future fires and save lives. Further, it is only fair that a portion of those monies be spent on preparation for the next wildfire in the communities devastated by the current one. After all, those ratepayers will ultimately assume the cost of the fines and penalties levied on their utility.
SB 1169 would have sent precious funding to fire prevention programs, including necessary equipment for regional fire and first responder agencies, as well as community fire prevention projects for which organizations in the affected area could apply.
Authoring SB 1367 - Sales Tax Exemption for First Responder Vehicle Purchases
Defeated on a party-line vote in the Senate Governance & Finance committee 05/14/14
This bill sought to exempt government public safety first responders, such as local fire departments, from paying state and local sales tax on emergency vehicles and related emergency equipment.
Given the limited resources that first responders receive, tax dollars are needed to efficiently fund quality services to California communities instead of paying sales tax on equipment they are required to purchase and maintain. We should not be penalizing local government agencies with sales tax for purchasing equipment that is essential for ensuring public safety.
Taxpayers expect their tax dollars to be spent on things that specifically improve the quality of the services they receive and this bill will ensure that all taxpayer money is spent on providing public safety and not on taxes and fees redirected elsewhere.
Assembly Bill 157 – Replacing Fire Destroyed Properties
Signed by Governor Schwarzenegger 9/25/10
Assembly Bill 157 was a successful disaster relief bill that extended the timeframe for survivors of the devastating 2003 Cedar Fire to replace their fire-destroyed properties. Upon its passage, the transfer of property tax base year value was extended from five to seven years to acquire a replacement property for homes destroyed in the 2003 fires of San Diego.
Fighting the Illegal Fire Tax on Rural Communities Suspended effective July 1, 2017
I believe that the “fire prevention fee” was always an illegal tax that took away resources from hardworking families who want to protect their homes and property. I was relieved it was suspended and hopeful it will be actually be repealed in 2031 as we were promised. I voted against it and I took many steps to oppose it while it was in effect:
Co-authored multiple bills to repeal this tax
AB X1 45, 2011
AB 1506, 2012
AB 23, 2013
SB 17, 2013
Consistently insisted that the BOF provide transparency on how they’ve spent the fire tax.
Opposed the Governor’s appointees who support it.
Helped my constituents who received their fire tax bills to officially protest it.