Five excellent candidates are running to replace Senator Jerry Hill (who cannot run again) as the California State Senator for our area. The Coastside Democratic Club asked them all to answer this question:
Based on your understanding of the Coastside, what issues important to our area do you think you could impact as our State Senator?
Their answers are below in the order received – with the first one on top. At the end of each statement is a link to the candidate’s website. We hope this will be helpful for local voters. Ballots start arriving mailboxes next week!
Statement from Shelly Masur
The Coastside is a special place offering access to beaches, open space, recreation and is home to a diverse community. Along with the coastal beauty and uniqueness, can come challenges from living close to urban areas without the attendant benefits. Traffic, lack of public transportation, low-funded schools, limited diverse housing stock, and limited access to healthcare are all challenges.
With an influx of visitors on weekends and the need to commute over the hill, traffic is a significant issue. While there are some bus routes serving coastal areas, the infrequent service and travel time, make them an inconvenient option. Working with residents, the County and SamTrans, we can develop a transit plan to help increase service using smaller electric buses. This investment would also help the State meet climate goals.
Cabrillo Unified is state-funded and as State Senator I will advocate for more funding in the state budget. Overall, we must raise the level of funding for all our schools through a variety of approaches to increase our tax base. In addition, I have proposed a cost-of-living adjustment on base funding for high cost areas, like San Mateo County, and will work to make that a reality.
Constrained land makes building new housing difficult and many who work in low-wage jobs are forced to commute long distances. State investments in affordable housing can make a difference and I am committed to increasing dollars allocated for housing.
We must also address healthcare access by protecting and expanding existing clinics through working with the County and expanding health coverage.
Statement from Michael Brownrigg
Understanding our different communities is why I have held over 90 house parties across the District, including in Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, La Honda and El Granada. I know the way we address transit on the bayside will not be how we fix transit on the coastside – and both are vital. Being a good listener, a lifelong Peninsula resident, and a demonstrably effective public servant is what will make me an effective advocate in Sacramento for ALL our interests.
Here are some issues I know are important to the coast, on which I will go right to work:
- Fixing PG&E to put ratepayer interests first, building microgrids, ending blackouts
- Better funding for Cabrillo school district
- Working with cities to balance affordable housing – which we need to retain teachers and other crucial coastside service providers — while protecting our coastal character
- Improved access to health care, through mobile health alternatives and keeping clinics open
- Ensure we remain welcoming and supportive of immigrants
- Drive plastic and organic waste to ZERO (I am a County leader on waste reduction)
- Maintain access to beaches
- And of course, the biggest challenges, combatting climate change and defending against sea-level rise.
My life has been about service, impact and family. When you decide who to support, ask who has a track record of getting hard things done on the toughest issues? Who has stood up to special interests for the good of our citizens? I have.
I get it, and with your help, I will get it done in Sacramento.
Statement from Josh Becker
The coastal area in Senate District 13 has unique and critical challenges that need to be addressed by the next State Senator. We must protect our beautiful coast and marine sanctuaries.
- Sea Level rise: Many homes and businesses along the coast face impending impacts from sea level rise and coastal erosion. I’ll be a champion for climate change legislation in Sacramento, while collaborating with cities, communities and individuals who will be impacted. I plan to have quarterly meetings on the coastside to foster dialogue, plan strategies and direct strategic funding to address these challenges together.
- Coastal housing development: While I believe we need much more housing, particularly affordable housing within downtowns and transit corridors, I want to be sure that local communities – including the coast – are not forced to accept inappropriate or poorly located development. We must ensure developments are subject to California Coastal Act policies, which discourage sprawl and protect sensitive habitats and coastal resources.
- Drilling: I’ll fight any attempts by the Trump administration to expand offshore oil drilling.
- Traffic: Voters have been generous in creating local funding for traffic improvements. The coast side deserves its fair share of those funds. I will be very active in ensuring funds are spent on the coast, particularly for alternatives to individual cars like SamTrans bus service, the Coastal Trail, and the Parallel Trail along Highway One.
- Martins Beach: I will continue the commendable efforts by Senator Jerry Hill to ensure public access to Martins Beach.
Statement from Annie Oliva
It’s time to break through the partisan gridlock and bring common sense to Sacramento.
I will stand up to the special interests who control our state government so we can make real progress on homelessness, traffic gridlock and affordable housing.
As your independent voice, I will:
Declare a state of emergency on homelessness so we can coordinate action, address untreated mental health conditions, create safe shelters and require those shelters be used;
Demand accountability in government, starting with comprehensive and regular audits of all major programs;
Create housing near existing transit, so we can make the Peninsula more affordable without making traffic worse;
Require absolute transparency in government so average citizens can start to break the power of the special interests;
Make raising taxes the last resort, not the first answer. California should collect unpaid taxes, close tax loopholes and grow our economy before asking residents to pay more in taxes.
I am a housing advocate who has fought to keep seniors and veterans in their homes. I am a local city council member who worked successfully to put housing near transit.
And I am the mother of a son who slipped into addiction and was temporarily homeless before our family could intervene – so I will approach the homeless crisis from a point of compassion, determination and the “tough love” that requires those most in need to seek treatment.
Statement from Sally Lieber
Environment: Climate change dictates that we move to renewably generated power—and sea level rise dictates that we resist coastal development. We must also ban single-use plastics, and ensure that no beach is closed due to contamination, lack of maintenance, or for private use.
Education: We must increase funding and protect it from takeaways. I’ll introduce legislation to move California from the bottom ten in funding to the top five. Families coastside need access to pre-K education, subsidized childcare, special education diagnostics and higher education.
Healthcare: I will work to protect services at Seton Coastside and ensure that comprehensive services, including women’s and mental health services, are accessible. I support Medicare for All and will always protect Obamacare rights.
Utilities: It is essential that we hold PG&E accountable and not give in to ten years of shut-offs. We must require that PG&E invests in line insulation and implements preventive technologies. Power must be locally and renewably generated, locally stored and publicly owned.
Transportation: Transportation needs coastside are different than elsewhere. We must ensure seniors’, students’ and workers’ transportation, and increase frequency so transit does not take up to 6x the amount of time of driving a car. I will work to make transit fare-free so that congestion is reduced.
Housing: Senior, family and workforce affordable housing are critically needed. Coastsiders who need medically appropriate housing should be able to find it coastside. We can make housing available without jeopardizing environmental protection or building in future inundation zones.