Blue rectangle

ISSUES

It's time to address California's racial, environmental, and social mandate.

Education

California remains the 41st in the nation for per-pupil spending. This is a wholly unacceptable fact. We must work to revitalize public education.

Environment

The Climate Crisis remains one of the most important issues the world has faced. We need leadership to enact bold policy and invest in the future.

Transportation

Transportation is an issue of our time, intersecting with housing and much more. We have to invest in infrastructure and affordability.

EXPLORE ISSUES

 

ISSUES MENU

PreK-12 Education

California is the fifth (5th) largest economy in the world. Yet we remain 41st in the US for per-pupil funding--where we spend more per-prisoner than our students.​ ​A school board member, James understands that in any circumstance, we should not be at the bottom; we should be leading the way for education at all levels, and ensure that our system serves all instead of some. It's time for serious and bold overhauls. 

James believes that California needs:

  • Full and fair funding of all California PreK-12 public school districts.

  • To dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

  • To expand restorative justice practices in all schools.

  • A statewide form of teacher compensation in opposition to inequitable merit-based pay. Concurrently, we should fund incentives based on Title I/Low-Performance status, and improve overall teaching & learning conditions via funding for facilities and basic needs.

  • Reform of taxes beyond Prop 13; we must take the chance we have to lift property taxes and ensure corporations pay taxes on income, properties, and transactions - permanently.

  • Implementation of curriculum in all K-12 schools addressing the Climate Crisis.

  • Heightened charter and cyber school transparency.

  • Incentives for educators to become advocates by boosting union policies, ensuring action can not be taken against any teacher for activism, union participation and activities.

 

Higher Education

California has some of the best colleges and universities in the world. But, we still remain as one of the most inequitable when it comes to tuition to cost of living. It's our obligation and responsibility for our future to remove the many barriers in higher education.

James believes that California needs:

  • To establish a path to tuition-free four-year universities (the CSU, and UC system).

  • An amendment of the state constitution allowing students, faculty, and other stakeholders a vote for UC Regents and CSU Trustees rather than the Governor themself.

  • Full funding of basic needs programs at all 23 CSUs, and all CA Community Colleges.

 

The Climate Crisis

The threat of the climate crisis is real, and it is getting worse. This is what we know: Global temperatures have risen by nearly two degrees since the 19th century, mostly since 1984; our oceans are warming, with a rise of 0.4 degrees since 1969. This will ultimately lead to the extinction of many species in our waters, and the destruction of underwater habitats; sea levels are rising - this will contribute to damaging infrastructure and could displace many people; the concentration of CO2 is at its highest in 3m. years because of industrialization and non-efficient transportation.

 

James believes that California needs:

  • A state declaration of climate rights naming the protection of our future as a human right.

  • Increased support for small agriculture.

  • Implementation of a sweeping reform to California clean infrastructure.

  • Passage of the California Green New Deal.

  • Improvement and expansion of BART/AC Transit to develop clean transit solutions.

  • To ban new and phase out old fossil fuel productions to pave the way for clean energy.

  • Require new and future construction to incorporate green options, and provide funds for workforce development to ensure these options are widely established.

 

Public Transportation 

Really, the access to free or affordable transportation is a cornerstone of our constantly moving society. The lack of funding for transportation affordability and transit infrastructure is a testament to the challenge we face. California needs to work toward convenient and highly reliable public transportation to get anywhere and everywhere.

James believes that California needs:

  • Affordable electric/alternative modes of transportation, alongside affordable EV charging.

  • A Bay Area transit agency merger.

  • Expansion of bus and rail coverage.

  • Incentives for BART and other agencies in the state to transition to more affordable fares (if not, completely free ridership).

  • Improvement of transit infrastructure in order to increase frequency and reliability

 

Healthcare in California

It is a true testament that as the wealthiest nation and California as the fifth largest economy in the world, our healthcare system is ineffective and inequitable. It is time to discuss bold change and strong movement on the front of providing healthcare to all Californians not only free of cost but of the highest caliber.

James believes that California needs:

  • To reintroduce AB 1400, a statewide single-payer healthcare system.

  • To significantly increase mental health services across the board.

  • Lower the price of essential pharmaceuticals.

  • Improvement of working conditions of the California healthcare industry.

  • To fund the increase of access to healthy food options in Pre-K-12 education.

 

Standing up for the Working Class

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on those workplaces and sectors where poor pay and conditions had become almost normalized, where the gap between rich and poor has grown exponentially and where wealth is rewarded while poverty is punished. In essence, our workers and our unions are just one of those cornerstones of California's culture (moreso now than ever), a group of people dedicated to setting up our future.

James believes that California needs:

  • A $22/hr. minimum wage by 2030.

  • Increased number of paid sick days in a year.

  • Expansion of paid family leave in California.

  • Increased penalties for violation of the California Labor Code.

  • Expansion of existing workplace protections.

  • To affirm and protect the right to organize, and empower our union brothers and sisters to mobilize across the state.

 

Housing is a Human Right

As we have seen, and as I can pull from personal experience, housing is becoming less attainable to those who live in the Bay Area. Just ask our students. The cost of living is driving people out of our state and tearing away a basic human right.

James believes that California needs:

  • Supports for tenants seeking to purchase homes.

  • Stronger protections for tenants in general, protection from corporate landlords. 

  • Expansion and implementation of protections for working renters and homeowners.

  • Implementation of comprehensive statewide universal rent control.

  • Significantly raise taxes on corporate housing speculation, vacant investment housing, and the sale of luxury homes.

  • Repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

  • Repeal of the Ellis Act of 1985.

 

Cleaning our Political System

Imagine this: a California where politicians at every level are not at the behest of special interests through dark money. We can get there. First comes empowering Californians to take a stand, advocating for transparency and clear policy. Second comes expanding the right to vote other than that of every eighteen year old - felons, the incarcerated, minors. When more of us are out there voting and advocating, the more we win.

James believes that California needs:

  • To support AB 20 (Lee) to take businesses and corporations out of the equation.

  • Implementation of public election financing law at the state and local (e.g., county, city councils, school boards) levels.

  • Expansion of the right to vote to felons and the incarcerated.

  • Expansion of the right to vote to all Californians with a state-issued ID.

  • Lowering of the voting age from 18 to 16. 

 

Corporate Accountability

James believes that California needs:

  • To oppose and fight back against major corporate bailouts (i.e. PG&E).

  • Dissolution of PG&E and other private utilities into publicly-owned utility services.

  • To reform Prop. 13 via legislative action to close corporate tax loopholes.

  • To increase support for public banks, worker-owned businesses, and business development.

  • To affirm and protect the right to organize, and empower our union brothers and sisters to mobilize across the state.