“Civic” spoke with San Francisco candidates running for the state Legislature before the primary election on March 3. Since then, a great deal has happened, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent recession and the massive wildfires that have at times turned our skies orange. We are offering those original interviews as part of our election coverage, but wanted to give the candidates a chance to address what has happened since the primary.
The candidates for State Assembly in District 19 are John P. McDonnell and Assemblyman Phil Ting.
Racial Justice: a Better WayJohn P. McDonnell
1. Support the Rule of Law
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a brutal thug cop has led to a huge amount of media-inflated hostility toward all police departments. But these attacks on the police lead to more crime, which disproportionately harms poor and minority communities. The Chronicle reports that in 2020, San Francisco has seen a 32% increase in shootings and a 30% increase in homicides. San Francisco now has the highest rate of property crimes in the country. Riots and mob violence do not create “social justice.” We need the police to get the bad guys off the street.
2. Stop Proposition 16 and Race Discrimination
Proposition 16 will reinstate “racial preferences” for “underperforming” groups. But everyone knows this is targeted at Asians, who (it’s claimed) have been “disproportionately” successful in school and the tech industry. So, highly qualified Asian students are to be punished in order to increase the number of black and Hispanic students. This is the height of racism; to insult blacks and Hispanics as incapable of keeping up with other groups. We must turn our backs on racism in all forms, and develop better plans to promote racial equality.
3. The Best Plan to Achieve Racial Justice
The Democratic Party, controlled by the teachers unions, has trapped poor and minority students in the worst public schools. These children do not develop learning skills, and so become “underperforming.” A huge number drop out. Families need the freedom to get out of these garbage schools and into charter schools or private schools that the families choose. The Democrats, particularly Phil Ting, are destroying charter schools. We must protect charter schools and provide vouchers to families so they can choose a school that will actually help their children.
Original “Civic” post: Republican Business Tax Attorney Seeks State Assembly Seat
Compared to just a few months ago, our world is completely different. Since our state’s stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have seen over eight million people apply for Unemployment Insurance. The recession we had been preparing for is here.
As Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I am proud to have worked over the last few years to solidify California’s financial foundation. We took the lessons of the last downturn to heart by steadily putting money away, culminating in a robust rainy day fund that helped us respond to the COVID-19 emergency in real time. We bought masks and other protective equipment, made sure students had access to food, and secured hotel rooms for the homeless without having to pull funds from existing programs.
I helped lead the state to close a $54 billion budget deficit while preserving K-12 education and health and human services that families rely on most during trying times. At the same time, we also made new investments, including:
• $500 million for increased Low Income Housing Tax Credits;
• $300 million for more Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention grants so local governments can provide shelter and services;
• Extending COVID-19 paid sick leave protections to all workers; and,
•Expanding CalEITC, an effective anti-poverty program that puts cash back into taxpayers’ pockets, to 200,000 more undocumented tax filers.
For years, I have also championed phasing-out new gas-powered cars to confront our climate crisis, and believe that these bills paved the way for a groundbreaking executive order that Governor Newsom issued last month: Beginning in 2035, every new passenger vehicle sold in California must be zero-emissions. If we want clean air, we need clean cars. I look forward to continue fighting for the health and safety of all Californians in the upcoming legislative session.Assemblyman Phil Ting