For these reasons and more, I’ve made the decision to run for our State Assembly’s 35th District to move our region and our state toward shared community goals. The best means to combat shameful federal policies is to ensure a strong and independent state government.
SB 562, the Healthy California Act, will save lives. It will ensure that every person receives the health care they need when they need it. It will keep the cost of prescription drugs and medical procedures attainable. In the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, health care should be a right, not a privilege, no matter our income or medical history.
The Healthy California Act will guarantee that every resident of California will receive comprehensive healthcare services, much like “Medicare for All.” Everyone will have the free choice of licensed health professionals and services. Benefits will include services to keep people healthy, mentally and physically, as well as services that diagnose and treat diseases. In addition to emergency services, surgeries and hospital stays, services such as home health care, day care and hospice are covered. Vision and dental care are included too.
The Healthy California Act will provide a higher standard of safe, therapeutic care for every California resident at a reasonable cost. Most of the advances from the Affordable Care Act will be folded into the new system, lowering prescription drug costs. There will be cost-savings from reduced bureaucracy. The Healthy California Act will create a system that will serve all Californians equitably, efficiently, and affordably.
Studies show that the largest influence on our legislative outcomes is money. I have lobbied for campaign finance reform in Washington and Sacramento for years, and I found that, while most conservatives agree that money is corrupting our democratic process, the Republican party has no incentive to change what they see as a winning strategy, with money masquerading as free speech.
Our state has begun taking steps to combat the corruptive influence of private money in politics by passing The California Disclose Act in (20xx) with bipartisan support. This act requires political advertisements to list the top three donors of $50,000 or more. It also prevents dark money from being funneled into campaigns by requiring donors to be listed even if their money passes through obscure committees. Californians will finally be able to see where the hundreds of millions of dollars behind state propositions come from.
Other much-needed reforms include publicly funded elections, stronger IRS oversight of 501c3’s and 501c4’s, requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political contributions, and establishing legal precedence for rolling back Citizens United.
Want to see where the money in CA politics comes from? Check out http://powersearch.sos.ca.gov/advanced.php.
Although in years past, California promised its residents post-secondary education at extremely low cost, investment in education funding has not kept pace with this promise. We must fund more vocational programs in high schools and community colleges, increase online educational opportunities, increase funding for our state colleges and universities, incorporate robust education in our prisons, and start our students on a path of life-long learning through universal pre-school.
California’s cap-and-trade program, launched in 2013, is one of a suite of policies the state is using to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. It is a central component of the state’s broader strategy to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. However, even if we were able to stop all new carbon emissions, the amount of legacy carbon would still cause the planet to warm.
While our atmosphere and oceans have too much carbon and have no room to store more, our soils have become depleted of carbon. I have written about, advocated, and practiced “regenerative farming” which is an approach to food and farming systems that regenerates topsoil, increases biodiversity, and stores carbon. Regenerative farming actually pulls carbon from the atmosphere, thus reducing so-called “legacy” carbon, and it uses simple, economical, commonsense methods that are readily available today. California must reconsider our conventional methods of tilling, find more cooperation between our urban food waste and the creation of compost for agricultural use, and protect our grasslands to draw down dangerous levels of carbon.
Natural rotational grazing
Image by Bill Ostrander
Unsustainable agricultural practices that abet global warming
Image by Bill Ostrander
Both of these images were shot in Tanzania, just a few miles apart. The difference in the health of the terrain is entirely due to management.
This photo is of the Jeff Buckingham ranch off of Turri Rd. The vibrant green at the top of the hill plus the slight wash show the advantage of adding compost to our range lands.
Compost is a valuable commodity in the agricultural community. When applied to soil, it enhances water-holding capacity, provides stable, slow-release nutrients, enhances soil carbon sequestration and increases forage production without harming native plant communities. Within the carbon farming framework, compost application can be part of a smart, comprehensive plan to manage carbon at a whole farm level.
From a climate perspective, compost is a triple win. It increases sequestration (the drawdown of atmospheric carbon into the soil), mitigates emissions from other sources (landfilling, burning or allowing organic materials to rot in ponds or pits, which releases the powerful, short-lived greenhouse gases methane, nitrous oxide and black carbon) and enhances the land’s resilience to extreme weather (flooding and drought).
California can continue to lead in climate change mitigation efforts with smart, holistic, practices that enhance our food system while drawing down harmful legacy carbon from our atmosphere.
For more examples visit the Marin Carbon Project website: https://www.marincarbonproject.org/