I will be an advocate for affordable housing and smart growth. This is a critical issue touching each of us as everyone should have the opportunity to live in the community in which they work. This includes students, young families, teachers, nurses, firefighters, and business owners who contribute directly to the quality of life in this district. The reality for many is the median income in the county is not enough to afford a home and rents are increasingly unaffordable. The average sale price of a home in recent months is $426,000 and the average rent for apartments is $1,242 per month.
The incumbent voted against three key bills enacted this year, SB 2, 3 and 35. I do not believe a blanket "no" vote is constructive. These bills generate needed revenues and remove impediments to development, critical to tackling the housing crisis.
- SB 2 is expected to raise about $250 million a year to finance the construction of affordable housing.
- SB 3 places a bond measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot and requires $3 billion set aside to finance low-income development, and an additional $1 billion for veteran's home loans.
- SB 35 limits impediments on land already zoned for a developer's proposed housing.
As your representative, I will vote for sustainable, affordable housing.
PROTECTING HEALTH CARE
I am opposed to the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It threatens to financially cripple our state and bring harm to millions of people. Over 35,000 members of this district receive healthcare through the ACA, yet 20,000 remain uninsured. Healthcare coverage not only benefits people who live in the district but also the economy. The fact is that more than half (56%) of Californians surveyed are worried that they, or someone in their family, will lose coverage if the ACA is repealed and replaced.
The incumbent has publicly stated he is opposed to the state's Medicaid expansion saying it is too costly but provides no alternatives to the thousands of residents in this district who stand to lose their health care.
I will fight to protect and expand access to affordable health care.
One of the fastest-growing populations in Assembly District 6 is the senior citizen community – a surge of 10,000 in the past couple of years. Seniors are concerned about access to health care and supportive services and the cost of their prescription drugs. For many living on fixed incomes, the shifting price of prescription drugs can be a life or death issue.
Prescription drug cost transparency provides people more control over their health care decisions. California passed the most comprehensive law aimed at shining a light on prescription drug prices. The incumbent was one of nine Assembly members that voted against it. His vote is contrary to the concerns and financial interests of our seniors.
As your representative, I will fight for reasonable protections against uncontrolled health care costs.
I believe that every child in our district deserves a quality education, regardless of background, race, ethnicity, immigration status or zip code. Rapidly changing demographics, affordable housing, and increased attacks on California's public education have created a new set of challenges for communities in District 6 and I am determined to meet these challenges head-on. Several districts with similar demographics as our own have achieved tremendous success in their school districts by creating positive partnerships with their communities.
As your representative, I will work towards a more dynamic, kid-centered education system. It will require the broad support and involvement of everyone—students, families, schools, both public and charter- businesses and government, foundations, institutions of higher education, and others.
As a community organizer, I have the experience to bring diverse groups together and work to find common ground on issues.
Today, the fastest-growing occupations require education and training beyond a high school diploma. However, almost half the students who begin college don't finish within six years. Tuition continues to rise, putting college out of reach for the individuals and families that need it most to join the middle class.
I will vote for legislation that boosts college completion and ensures that every student has access to an affordable and high-quality post-secondary education.
OUR ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
As Californian's we know about the importance of protecting our water. Our district can ensure restorative efforts by voting in favor of scientifically based proposals on how to most effectively save and distribute this precious resource. That is why I am in favor of proposals that, first and foremost, promote the cultivation and expansion of natural meadows and opposed to costly/insufficient solutions such as dam building. Meadows make sense, dams don't.
We need to focus on drawing rainwater and snowmelt underground. Our water table has the capacity to store the equivalent of two lake Shastas if only we provide the right conditions. By protecting our California meadows rich with native grasses we can maximize water storage and prevent flooding.
My opponent voted against every bill protecting our beautiful state. Most recently he voted against SB5 protecting our water, rebuilding our parks and restoring our wildlife, the extension of cap-and-trade style markets to reduce gas emissions from methane, oil and natural gas emissions and AB617 establishing air quality regulations. This list goes on and on.
As your representative in the Legislature, I will vote to protect our air quality, our environment and most importantly our water.
"I will fight for policies that grow the economy and protect and improve the quality and financial life of all of our residents."
— Jackie Smith