This campaign is for anyone who believes that California and the country have been heading in the wrong direction. Californians have been presented with the same options, the same candidates, the same career politicians year after year. It’s time for a real change. No more partisan talking points – I am focused on real solutions for all Californians and Americans.
Economy and Inflation
64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck - rapidly rising inflation is only making it worse. At the same time, tone deaf politicians like Alex Padilla continue to support massive government spending packages that make our inflation issues even worse. We must take immediate action to relieve the burden on working class Americans instead of adding to it. As gas prices soar to nearly $7 per gallon in some places, we are inexplicably facing additional gas tax increases. On day one, I will fight to suspend the gas tax – locally and nationally – which would create immediate savings for California families. I will also oppose outrageous spending plans and pork-barrel politics, regardless of which party they come from.
Violent crime is skyrocketing in major cities across the US. Our communities feel less and less safe. Criminals thrive when the authorities we entrust with our safety fail us. Cities with so-called “progressive prosecutors” such as George Gascon and Chesa Boudin have seen massive spikes in crime because criminals are no longer prosecuted. It’s time for us to stand up and say, “enough is enough”. I proudly support the effort to recall George Gascon, Chesa Boudin and any other prosecutor who refuses to prosecute crime. I will help direct federal resources to help hire more police officers, provide them with the dignified compensation they so deserve, and bolster efforts to prosecute criminals - if state and county officials won’t do their job to protect the public, I will.
A resource-rich state like California consistently ranks at the bottom for K to 12 education. That is simply unacceptable. Funds must be used in a thoughtful way to ensure our children receive world-class education. Moreover, many politicians believe that parents should have no say in what their children are taught in school. As a parent, I disagree strongly with all my heart. The non-sense of excluding parents in education became even more apparent during COVID. Parents and teachers must work in collaboration on major curriculum decisions. For example, I believe that parents must have a say on whether Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the appropriate framework for their children's education, and I firmly believe that history should be taught in an objective manner, both the good and the bad. Unless we learn from the past (what worked and what didn't), we are doomed to repeat it in the future. I also believe that parents must have a say on what sexual content is shared with their children. At the end of the day, parents must have a seat at the table, and they must have the ability to choose the school they believe is the right one for their children. Unless there is competition between schools, quality education loses, and teachers’ unions win.
Homelessness is out of control in California and major cities across America. The cost on our quality of life is substantial, and the inhumane conditions for those living on the streets is unacceptable, especially considering the number of homeless veterans. It’s no wonder we have a crisis when it costs the government $800,000 to build a unit of affordable housing – that’s 3 to 4 times the cost of building a luxury condominium. The problem is being exacerbated by failed leadership and the unintended consequences of bad policy, such as red tape that impedes responsible development, a lack of enforcement and public safety, a lack of affordable housing, inadequate responses to mental health issues, a regulatory and tax regime that heavily burdens our economy, and many other misguided policies. This is a multi-faceted issue that will not be solved over night, but we must take aggressive action immediately. I will do everything possible to secure federal resources, ensure those resources are deployed effectively in partnership with the private sector, offer our veterans assistance, provide cutting edge mental health support, and create more sustainable options for affordable housing.
"We need to secure the border and fix the immigration system. It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s the economically smart thing to do. Let’s get it done once and for all.” Those aren’t my words, they are the words of President Joe Biden during the 2022 State of the Union address, and I could not agree more. America’s immigration system should be its strength, not a weakness. We should welcome individuals who want to pursue the American Dream and take in those who fleeing persecution, like my parents who were Iranian refugees. A broken immigration system and lack of secure borders hinders our ability to do so. It also promotes human and drug trafficking that is devastating our communities. This is an issue with obvious solutions that has unfortunately been overly complicated by partisan politics. We need secure borders. We need to reform our immigration system. We are fully capable of doing both at the same time.
The erosion of trust in our democracy is something that should concern elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Instead of taking action to ensure secure elections, so Americans have greater confidence in the outcomes, politicians like Alex Padilla have pushed for radical changes to our election system that inherently make it less secure. Voting by mail makes sense; mailing out millions of unsolicited ballots to outdated voter rolls does not. Local voting centers and ballot drop boxes provide a useful convenience; ballot harvesting destroys chain of custody and creates a significant opportunity for fraud. Voter ID – including for mail-in ballots – is absolutely essential. Considering the heightened concern around election interference by hostile foreign governments, you would think everyone would be on board for common sense measures to help ensure election integrity.
National Security & Energy Independence
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder of the threats we face abroad and from within. It has exposed how failed foreign and domestic policy can put the United States and the rest of the world at risk. By destroying our own energy independence, we severely handicapped one of our primary areas of leverage over Putin. I wholeheartedly agree with Oregon’s Democrat Senator Ron Wyden: “[There is an] urgent need to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and gas imports from countries ruled by tyrants like Vladimir Putin. It’s past time the United States became a competitive producer of critical minerals and weans itself off of both foreign oil and gas imports and the critical minerals that are essential to building the next generation of clean energy products like batteries.” We must act before our dependency leads to more problems or potential conflict, and we can do so in ways that are environmentally sustainable. For example, Taiwan manufactures over 90% of the world’s most advanced semiconductors. What happens if China – emboldened by Russia’s actions – decides to invade Taiwan?
Virtually everyone can agree that our healthcare system is broken. Rising premiums, massive deductibles, annoying co-pays, and coverage holes that make no sense even to the most seasoned healthcare experts – these are the features of our healthcare system. We should not live in a country where a family could go bankrupt for the audacity of bringing a baby to the world. I’d work tirelessly to reduce the cost of healthcare while maintaining high quality by promoting more competition within the healthcare industry, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, increasing medical billing transparency, and curbing out-of-control litigation that only benefits trial attorneys. I support major increases in Health Savings Accounts that support the direct patient-doctor relationship and get insurance companies out of the way. I would also support further investments in research and development to ensure that America maintains its edge in healthcare innovation.
Environmental protection should not be a partisan issue – all humans have a vested interest in the good stewardship of the planet. Many Americans may not realize that the Environmental Protection Agency was created under a Republican administration. I believe in promoting private sector-fueled investments in clean energy and enforcing common sense rules to protect our water, air, and habitats. Unfortunately, some radical people have abused these rules in order to stop any development whatsoever, regardless of how environmentally sensible they may be. The result has been less affordable housing, less energy infrastructure, and even less transportation infrastructure. We can and we must protect our environment while also allowing our society to flourish in sustainable ways.