Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you running?

Because Sacramento isn’t working for regular people and it’s time to shake things up. It works for the big donors, special interests and career politicians – but it doesn’t work for the average Californian. As a mayor of a local city, I see this first hand – we get slogans from politicians, we get press releases from Sacramento, we even get blamed for problems they started – but we don’t get results. 

Here’s just one example – California has the highest percentage of unsheltered homeless in America – and we need to tackle this problem statewide. The Sacramento politicians keep blaming the local cities for the problem – but the cities didn’t close the mental hospitals, the cities didn’t take away the funds we once had to build affordable housing, the cities didn’t decide to take away funds for roads and transit we need to support new housing, the cities didn’t starve the money we need for job training, drug treatment and other services. The state did that. And if we want to solve the problem – the state needs to do that.

I can’t think of a bigger wake up call to Sacramento than to see one of their own defeated by a people-powered campaign. It will really, and truly shake things up when they see that they can’t get away with business as usual anymore – when they see that the people are demanding more than promises – we are demanding solutions.

What will be your top 3 priorities if you are elected?

Reducing homelessness, making our state safer from crime and addressing traffic gridlock, which contributes so much to environmental damage.

Housing and Homelessness

What is your plan for homelessness?

Invest in mental health, drug treatment, supportive housing and affordable housing – and then require that people use that housing once it is available. We know the answers – we are just not delivering.

We need both long-term and short-term solutions to truly address this issue. Short-term we need to look at navigation centers, mental health treatment programs like the MAT program in Rhode Island. There they have a comprehensive program that includes full drug treatment and more than 90% of program participants are staying clean and staying off the streets. I’d like to see California pursue a similar model. 

Long-term we need to focus on building housing people can afford where it makes sense. We’ll continue to see people back on the streets without supportive services for those who experience chronic homelessness. By helping our neighbors into shelter and providing them with job training and placement, mental health support, and other services, we can help them take their lives back. We have been focusing almost exclusively on building permanent homes for the homeless that are very, very expensive. We also need to build more safe and decent shelter options. Of course we need to build more affordable housing of all types. It’s that simple. In the State Assembly I’ll work with local communities to build more, and more affordable housing. And I’ll make sure it’s next to existing transit so we don’t increase traffic.

Do you support rent control?

I support protecting tenants in the most effective way possible – and that is not state-mandated rent control.

I am running for office in large part to help address our serious housing crisis. And we need real solutions – starting with millions more homes and the basic infrastructure like better transit to support those homes. The solution to a scarcity of homes is more homes. 

Unwise rent control is basically a form of rationing – and study after study says it backfires in numerous ways. First, it takes units off the market. It means fewer new units are built. And it locks people into homes – so you have cases where high-wage doctors, lawyers and computer programmers are in rent-controlled units and teachers, nurses, and janitors can’t find any place to live.

If it worked – I could see supporting it. But it just doesn’t work.

Do you support SB9, SB10, or SB423?

The recent housing laws passed down from Sacramento essentially allow for-profit developers to build whatever they want, wherever they want – even potentially in our once-protected coastal zones if SB 423 becomes law. I believe that citizens have a right to speak out about what gets built in their neighborhoods, or even right next door to them. 

I certainly agree that we need more affordable housing all over California – but developers and Sacramento politicians should work with local communities to build housing where it makes sense.

Would you support eliminating single-family zoning in California?

First of all – we don’t really have single family zoning anymore in California. Almost everywhere homeowners can add secondary units by right.

What I don’t support is bulldozing neighborhoods all over California so developers can build whatever they want. The developers gave politicians millions of dollars – and what they got back was a blank check to essentially destroy our neighborhoods for their profit. That needs to end. 

Do you support Proposition 13

I absolutely do because this is a law that has allowed seniors and middle-class families that ability to stay in their own homes and communities. I will protect it against all attacks – and work to roll-back that ways the Sacramento politicians have already been undermining these protections – such as the “Trojan Horse” provisions of Proposition 19 that should be repealed.

Do you support any changes to CEQA?

CEQA helps protect our communities from environmental harm and gives residents and decision-makers information they need to make educated decisions about the potential environmental impacts of development projects. However, in some cases, it has been used to slow or even stop critical projects. To the extent it has slowed affordable housing construction, for example, it has contributed to rising housing costs. I support CEQA but would look to responsible reforms to make sure we are protecting both our environment and working families, such as the economically vital projects status the governor created. The governor successfully won some key reforms to move vital projects forward. We should look at this model as a way to preserve and strengthen CEQA so it is used to protect our environment, but not misused.

Health Care

Do you support a single-payer/Medicare health care system in California?

I support a public option that would allow any Californian who wants the ability to buy into our state’s Medicare system to do so. If single payer works – it will work in the marketplace and it will grow, become more efficient and be chosen by families and companies as the healthcare system of choice. I support the option and choice – not a mandate from Sacramento. Additionally, there’s no funding mechanism outside of new taxes I can’t support. 

Transportation and Infrastructure

Do you support Governor Newsom’s new plan for high-speed rail?

We need to link the Central Valley to Silicon Valley – and that should be the start of high-speed rail, not Bakersfield to Merced. The plan is unworkable and I don’t support it. The Governor has said he is working on that key leg – the leg to Diridon Station in San Jose. And I await that plan before I would give my support. Fact: The transportation sector is California’s largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 41% of emissions in 2016. We need to find a way to move people throughout the state in a more sustainable way.


What is your position on charter schools?

I support high-quality traditional public charters, which have an important role to play as places where we can innovate in education. Particularly in very low-income communities, charters are sometimes the only alternative parents have for their kids. I do not support for-profit charter schools. Additionally, we need to hold charter schools to the highest standards and not be afraid to revoke charters if those schools are failing. Our goal is to lift up every kid and every school – whether a traditional public school or a public charter. And we need to do a better job of getting those two parts of our public education system to learn from each other. Charters are not the only answer, but they are one part of the answer when it comes to improving our schools.

Do you support expanding early childhood education?

Yes. We all know the benefits of early education. Studies have shown that pre-K education leads to higher test scores and a reduced chance of being held back a grade. Further, it can lead to fewer children with special education placements, which means investment in early education can reduce the cost later down the line. There are a number of policies to provide quality early education to California kids. We need to look at ways to encourage coordination between pre-K and K-12 to improve transitions for children. We also need to ensure there are established comprehensive early learning standards and that pre-K teachers receive the training, support and compensation that’s comparable to K-12 teachers.

Public Health and Safety

Do you support holding people who are diagnosed with mental illness against their will?

Under a court order and with adequate protections and review – yes, I do. I think we should be able to mandate treatment for 90 days in many instances. That is much, much more humane than releasing deeply sick people to live, and frequently die, on or streets.

Do you support the implementation of supervised injection sites?

No. I support needle exchange as important to a comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS. But I think we need to work to help people end their addictions – and not continue them.

Do you support a woman’s right to choose?

Absolutely – every woman should make this decision herself with the support of her family and doctor and the politicians should stay out of our personal lives.

Do you support gun control?

Yes, I do support reasonable gun control but I think we need to approach the area of gun violence, and all violence, from all directions as well.

Do you support and will you protect union members’ right to strike?

Yes. Unions are a path to strong middle-class jobs – and I support the ability of unions to protect their members.

Do you support collective bargaining for workers?


Changing the status quo that isn’t delivering for our communities starts with changing the culture of sending the same people to Sacramento again and again. If you agree, join our campaign for change today