The Central Valley is highly regarded as the world’s most productive agricultural region because historically, we have been able to provide abundant, affordable water to irrigate millions of acres of farmland.
Unfortunately, misguided environmental laws have routinely chosen to value small fish over our communities, and Kern County has paid the price in lost jobs and a weakened economy as needed water is pushed to the ocean and current water supplies have become harder and more expensive to obtain. The drought has made a difficult situation much worse, and a recently passed regulations by the state to regulate groundwater will create even further challenges in the future.
Agriculture is the foundation of our Valley’s economy and I have been fighting for over a decade to rollback restrictions that threaten to dry up our farms and devastate our economy. As an Assemblyman, I will continue this work in Sacramento to restore common-sense priorities and get our community the water it needs.
Instead of wasting billions on a fundamentally flawed High Speed Rail project, we should instead allocate that money to build new state reservoirs—something we have not done since the 1970s—in order to store water in the good years and weather the next drought.
An important responsibility of government is to ensure safe communities by providing high quality public safety services. Yet, decisions in the State Capitol seem to prioritize protecting criminals over families — and Kern County is suffering as a result.
Proposition 47 significantly weakened penalties for a number of crimes. This, combined with prison realignment—which flooded local jails with inmates from state prisons resulting in thousands of early releases—have turned our communities into a revolving door for criminals because there are no longer significant consequences for their actions. This has placed a tremendous strain on the work of California law enforcement and is causing violent crime to increase at an alarming level even as the rest of the country has experienced declines.
Parents should not have to worry about their kids walking to school but if current trends continue, this will become a sad reality. We need leaders in Sacramento who are willing to put public safety first — something I will do from day one if elected to serve.
Kern County produces around 75% of California’s oil, employing thousands of local workers while simultaneously powering the state with affordable energy. Despite this, hostile regulators have subjected projects to endless red tape — stunting the growth of a promising local industry and the new jobs that come with it.
Unfortunately, most industries face significant challenges operating in California as the state has been repeatedly ranked as the worst business climate in the nation for well over a decade. State bureaucrats and opportunistic lawyers have created a nightmare of regulations that invite endless lawsuits, which are most harmful to small business owners who are barely scraping by and cannot afford to fight litigation in court.
The best way to fight poverty is by creating new jobs and economic opportunity — not chasing them away with high taxes and stifling regulations. Getting Sacramento to focus on common sense ways to grow the economy will be one of my top priorities as an Assemblyman.
Despite already being one of the highest taxed states in the country, many politicians in Sacramento are calling on middle class and working families to pay even more. I led the fight against a massive new gas tax that is going to cost families and those working to get by. Even as California’s record-high budget remains in a surplus, politicians insist on passing the largest gas tax increase in California history, considering a new tax on real estate transactions, and even an assault on Proposition 13.
Instead of asking you to pay more every year to the government, we need to first focus on funding core services like public safety, education and infrastructure. By setting priorities for the services most important to our community, we can fully fund the state government while saying NO to new taxes.
Kern County leads the way in energy production. With new technological advancements, our community fuels and powers California.
Our community leads California in oil and natural gas production as well as in renewable energy.
Energy production is a major driver of economic activity in Kern County creating new jobs and opportunity. However, onerous regulations and bureaucracy threaten our ability to power our state. In order for our state to thrive, we must have common sense solutions that allow us to meet our energy needs.
My father worked to put himself through college and later became a local pharmacist here in Bakersfield. From an early age, I was taught the value of education and I know firsthand that it can serve as a powerful path to a good quality of life.
Today, too many of our public schools are failing our students as laws are designed to benefit the whims of special interests over the best interest of our children. Parents agree that a high-quality teacher should teach in every classroom but Sacramento has chosen to ignore this request, impeding our efforts to make our state’s education system among the envy of the nation once again.
We need to give local schools and parents more autonomy so they can best meet the needs of their students. We should expand charter schools to provide more educational opportunities. Career technical education must be made available so students leave with skills they can immediately use in the workforce. Community colleges, CSUs and UCs need to remain affordable for working and middle class families, and must direct funds into the classroom instead of toward a bloated administration.
Until we succeed in reforming California’s education system, we are failing to meet the needs of the next generation and are not providing the educational opportunities that will allow our children to live out the American Dream.