A Vision of Progress
Justin Clark's Platform for a Better California
"I am committed to effective and long term solutions. We need people who will be making decisions based on common sense and reason. Our legislature has continually lied to the people of California. They support broken programs and unending regulation to the point where it is harming our business and economy. They must be held accountable for ignoring, and in some cases even creating, our states problems."
Table of Contents:
- Corruption and Ethics by Government Officials
- The Economy
- Government Transparency
- Family and Community
- Prop 13
I believe in a California that will lead this nation's states by example. A California where unity and true bipartisanship lay the foundation for a clear path forward. A path with a stable and growing economy, a government for the people, and an innovative education system that prepares young people to eventually take the helm. For too long the politicians in Sacramento have been pushing a fiscally reckless agenda, and not working for the people. They have thrived on the EXTREME lack of participation in government and low voter turnout. It is time to make Sacramento work for us again, and that is a goal I am committed wholeheartedly to; an objective that requires new and unique ideas with participation from everyone.
CORRUPTION AND ETHICS BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
Sacramento is plagued by corruption and those whose first duty is to special interest groups or their party. I will put the people of California and my constituents first, and work vigorously to do everything in my power to quell the corruption and work for the people. Our representatives must understand that they are public servants. Their duty is to better the state in a way that follows both our state's constitution and the will of their constituents.
We need representatives who follow the will of the people, but what we have right now is a legislature full of too many politicians who do the opposite. Matthew Dababneh was one of the very assemblymen who was bought by special interests. He has received thousands of dollars from financial institutions, oil and gas, the automotive industry, and more. The people of this district, and the people of California, deserve representatives who can’t be bought. We have a duty to stop the corruption, and I promise if I am elected I will do everything in my power to do just that.
To create a government that works, and that will last, it must be built by the legislature coming together to serve the people in whatever way works best. At the end of the day, we are all Californians. We must set aside petty partisan politics that is nothing but a detriment to our state.
If anything is going to get done there will have to be compromise. This is not about being Republican or Democrat, it is about being Californians, and Californians should all want to do what is best for their state. By working with one another, laws will be passed that will stand the test of time and will work for everyone. California is a melting pot of ideas, and the one-party legislature has hindered progress toward meaningful reform.
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
If we ever want to see California’s economy flourish, then we need to quell the over regulation (while also adding regulation to areas that need it), ensure competition in the market, and give people the tools to help themselves. The legislature must also act IMMEDIATELY on creating a responsible and sound budget that works for its citizens, not just an average budget that maintains the broken status quo.
- Economic Environment: California has suffered from a slow recovery in large part due to over regulation and its extreme cost of living. The state's “economic recovery” is also not being felt outside the major cities. We must remove the over regulation while also creating a business-friendly environment that shows in our tax code. This is not to say regulation is not needed. Currently there are some areas that require more regulation and others that require less.
- I agree with the California GOP on infrastructure: “For California's businesses to grow, thrive, and create wealth, a first-class physical infrastructure is necessary. We support investment in California’s transportation infrastructure through “pay as you go” financing that utilizes existing revenue sources for their intended purpose. We oppose bonded indebtedness or the use of other revenues to fund high-speed rail.”
- State Budget: California’s current budget may be balanced, however it is reckless and irresponsible. It ignores the volatility of income tax and leaves us unprepared for the next recession. We are at EXTREME risk of economic disaster during the next recession. The budget must be overhauled with bipartisan support so that we are prepared and responsible in regard to the future by relaying on stable sources of income for our state.
- I will NEVER waver on fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget.
- Welfare and the Safety Net: Government is doing a disservice when it is just giving handouts. I believe in overhauling our welfare system with innovative ideas. A safety net will still be there to catch those falling, but we should also focus on lifting those people back up (all programs should not cause any dependency). Give people the tools to help themselves. Just a few places to start:
Expand and reform job subsidies in a way that helps not only the employee but the business. This provides growth and more employment opportunities over the long term
Remove obstacles in impoverished areas. Create temporary tax free zones in the most impoverished parts of the state and inner cities.
Enlist the help of community and faith based institutions.
We have a duty to provide all our youth with the best and most robust K-12 education free of cost, and to ensure higher education institutions are AFFORDABLE to all.
As a state, we have the power and choice to set our own educational curriculum for K-12. Our students deserve the best and the federal government has no place telling us otherwise. I support a curriculum for our students that prepares them for life beyond school, and provides them a world-class education (the legislature must work with innovators, educators, and more to design this curriculum). No one knows better on how to execute this curriculum than the local school districts themselves. The state should set the standards, and the districts should have control on how those standards are met. Each area is different and diverse, and no one knows their students better than local districts.
Among those standards should be mandated maximum classroom sizes, more specialized electives, and assistance in the college application process (such as English teachers helping with admission essays).
For higher education, we must ensure it is affordable to all who wish to attend. Our current system leads to obscene amounts of student debt and is an unnecessary burden. That is not to say I believe college should be free. It should be accessible, affordable, and practical to attend.
There should also be alternate routes available for those who may not be right for college. Places such as trade schools are available as alternatives.
The government has done the impoverished a disservice by giving handouts over tools. The legislature should be doing everything in their power to remove the barriers faced by the lower class, and EMPOWERING them to help themselves.
For anything to be done that truly helps the lower class, both Republicans and Democrats are going to have to realize we are Californians and Americans first. This is not a partisan issue. If something works we should adopt it. The legislature must work to identify and remove barriers in the impoverished areas. We need innovation and groundbreaking ideas. We must also not just focus on the individual, but rather build up entire communities. We must work with the local leaders, charities, and anyone who is willing and able to help. We are stronger together. We are also going to need to confront some tough questions, such as some involving race. We need to be able to have an open dialogue not hindered by political correctness, but rather empowered by facts.
California and the United States as a whole is a democracy. For our great democracy to work, citizens must have access to all knowledge about the workings of the government. Citizens can not vote if they are kept in the dark or can’t understand the legal wording about our legislative process. For these reasons, I will not waver from the official Republican platform which states:
“We support an open and transparent government that is accessible to all people that it represents. Federal, state and local government bodies should make available all legislative, budget & spending documents in an easily searchable online database. We believe that all government bodies should publicly broadcast their meetings by means of television or internet streaming and provide ample time for public input in their decision making process. We support a transparent legislative process that would require legislation to be in print and available for public review at least 72 hours prior to any action being taken on the item.”
I would also go one step further. All documents and bills posted online should have annotated versions that explain complicated and legal language to the average citizen. For too long, the politicians in Sacramento have thrived by keeping the public in the dark.
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
The family is the first institution that our young people are exposed to. It is natural and vital for human development. Fostering positive families and communities will only better our society.
Family. It is the foundation of every human being; and it something unique and so very personal to everyone. Families should be supported regardless of whether they are single parent families, homosexual families, or traditional families. We must support our families regardless of parents' sexual orientation, while also acknowledging the dedication and love provided by single parents. Building up our families and our local communities is only paving the way for great things by providing our citizens and youth with SUPPORT and LOVE.
California's aging and outdated infrastructure is crumbling, all while the state's population is growing. The legislature has a responsibility to update our state's infrastructure, especially our water storage systems.
Our infrastructure is crumbling, and the brunt of the cost is being felt on a local level with little state support. Our water systems and storage are also reckless, as they do not prepare for the long term. The legislature has a duty to reform and expand our outdated water infrastructure, while actively working with local municipalities to repair and update our infrastructure in other areas. Updating our infrastructure is not just raw cost, it is an investment into the future. It is an investment that provides jobs and stimulus to our economy as well. The cost of waiting is far more than the cost of updating. However, the repairs must be done in a fiscally sound way, not with reckless overbearing tax burdens.
Public transit is vital for many who rely on it to support themselves. It also helps local economies flourish. The public transportation needs major updates, should be running more efficiently, and be SAFE for all riders. I support the following:
- Electrification of the Orange Line
- Regulating outsources busing companies to put in measures that encourage ridership and hold them accountable
- Electrified transit built through the Sepulveda Pass
- Ensuring low income housing that is built to address our housing crisis is built along public transit routes so those that need public transportation have access to it.
- I work with the sheriffs office to ensure transit routes are safe, and that riders are respecting law enforcement officers.
- Fight for the Valleys share of transportation funding from local bonds. We have been ignored for to long.
The legislature has a duty to not punish its own citizens for governments spending problems. Prop 13 has been vital to protecting homeowners from a reckless legislature and deserves to be protected.
I pledge to protect prop 13 and property rights from the abuses of government. I am also dedicated to supporting all checks on government that improve accountability and local control.
While other states have seen a decline in their homeless population since 2008 California has seen the exact opposite. In Los Angeles and our valley that population has exploded. We need to do more then just offer services that many homeless do not use, we need to address this problem at its roots.
- Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Abuse: The services we provide to those affected by either mental health or substance abuse should be aimed at reintegrating people into the work place so they can support themselves.
- Housing: While we need to help development of housing on ALL levels, there are certain steps we can take when it comes to low income housing to help the homeless. I support low cost projects with quick results such as motel conversion. I also support the need to reform outdated zoning laws and remove hostile environmental zoning laws that do nothing but increase the time it takes projects to get approved.
- Protecting Our Communities: The failure of government to act on this issue SHOULD NOT come at the burden of our communities. We have an obligation to keep our neighborhoods clean and clear of homeless encampments that are not only a health hazard, but dangerous for our children. Being homeless does not hold you above the law. The state (and local municipalities) should make it clear that frivolous lawsuits brought forward by groups such as the ACLU will not met with harsh resistance.
- Financial Responsibility: Any programs and projects aimed at addressing this problem should be both efficient and cost effective. We have an obligation maximize every penny spent.
We live in a sad day and age where border security has become a taboo subject. Every developed nation on earth has secure borders with a legal immigration system. We need education reform to fix our legal immigration system while also securing our borders stop illegal immigration.
We need action on immigration. California is nothing short of a prime example on what NOT to do. We have lawmakers who have shown no care for the rule of law. They spew hollow rhetoric while ignoring that illegal immigration is just that, illegal. We must make it a priority to comply with federal law by ending sanctuary status for cities and our state. Our legislature can then be part of a discussion on immigration reform that secures our borders and addresses the flaws in our legal immigration system.