The Santa Monica Daily Press sent candidates for Supervisor, Congress and State Senate a list of four questions. Each candidate had up to 800 words to use as they saw fit answering some or all of the questions. We will print their responses, over the next few days. Answers from Supervisor candidates ran on May 28, answers from State Senate candidates ran on May 29. Below are the responses from candidates running for Congress who responded to our requests. Responses have been edited for spelling and punctuation. Video statements from the candidates are also available online at www.smdp.com.
Congressional candidates were asked:
1) Given the controversy over the Santa Monica Airport, where do you stand on the proposed closure of the facility and how will you advocate for that position once elected?
2) In what ways will you continue Waxman‚Äôs legacy and how will you differentiate yourself from his reputation?
3) Rising ocean levels due to global warming are projected to wreak havoc on seaside communities like Santa Monica. What specific proposals or actions do you support to combat climate change?
4) Who is best equipped to address the ongoing problem of homelessness in our communities? How can government agencies work together to find solutions and should there be more reliance on solutions from the private sector?
1) I understand why the airport is being closed. We need more open public space which can be utilized and benefit as many citizens as possible. But I also believe we need more affordable housing in Santa Monica. I am also hoping that whatever solution the city comes up with also alleviates traffic congestion in the area and lends to an overall transportation solution for the Westside. Ideally a creative solution would integrate and address the need for more public open space, affordable housing while also easing traffic congestion. I also know I need to learn more about the concerns and aspirations Santa Monica residents have for the airport space.
2) Henry Waxman considers himself a protector of the environment and I am running proudly as an environmental and health advocate. Few people know that Henry Waxman worked with the General Accounting Office to force the FCC to look at biological health effects associated with Radio Frequency Radiation used by wireless devices and infrastructure to communicate. The General Accounting Office pointed out that testing methods for cell phones were inappropriate because they tested cell phones held perpendicular to the head rather than against the head as they are normally used. The GAO also pointed out that the FCC guidelines regulating RF radiation exposure levels were outdated having been developed in the early 1990‚Äôs and needed to be reviewed given advances in the research especially with the World Health Organization classifying the microwaves used by wireless to transmit as a Class 2B Carcinogen after reviewing the research worldwide in 2011.
The problem has been that the FCC which regulates RF Radiation exposures levels is also mandated to promote and expand the technology and the FCC commission is composed of wireless industry executives. The new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is the former main lobbyist and CEO of the Wireless Trade Organization and the FCC has not been interested in looking at or discussing health effects. But people really are getting sick. NFL Quarterback Jim Kelly is currently dying from a tumor on his jaw. Lebron James had a large tumor taken out of his jaw in 2009. The fact that few people have heard about this speaks to the power and influence of the wireless industry to control and suppress information regarding health effects. People need to wake up to the threat of health effects due to wireless. The wireless industry needs to be held responsible for the cancer, cardiac problems, immune system disease and neurological problems called EHS or Electro Hyper Sensitivity they have already caused.
3) While global warming is a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed with 95% of our population being exposed intensely to Microwave Radio Frequency Radiation from wireless devices and infrastructure, we need to warn our citizens and take measures to protect them as recommended by the European Union by minimizing rather than maximizing their exposure as our government is spending billions of taxpayer dollars doing now. I will reintroduce House Bill 6358 the Cell Phone Right to Know Bill which warns citizens of health effects associated with wireless, funds independent research not funded by the wireless industry themselves, and demands that actual safety standards be established that take into account subthermal biological effects from RF Radiation exposure. Current FCC guidelines are not safety standards. They are set by the FCC which has no one qualified to set safety standards but this is exactly how they are being used. These guidelines only protect wireless users from acute burning. They were intended for short term 30 min use not the continuous exposure as from WiFi and cell towers. They do not cover children, pregnant women or the elderly. Thus, it is irresponsible for our government to spend billions of dollars transforming our schools into wireless classrooms; this represents the worst possible combination: high intensity, high density Microwave RF Radiation and small, vulnerable, highly absorbent children. The European Union has recommended a ban of all wireless from their classrooms due to health effects and we should do the same.
4) It is too bad our homeless population does not have the lobbyists that our banking industry has. I believe we need mobile services that provide a multidisciplinary team to address the medical, psychological, and social problems our homeless population faces. We need mobile case managers actively working to find creative housing solutions. It is inexcusable that 30% of homeless population is mentally ill and that we allow many of these individuals to die on our streets. How can we call ourselves a civilized country and allow this to continue? Currently our mental health system is predicated on our seriously mentally ill seeking out services themselves but that simply is not happening. How can we expect this to happen when their mental capacity is what has been diminished by their disease?
Michael Ian Sachs
1) I would form a working group with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn., the City of Santa Monica, members of the community surrounding the Santa Monica Airport (SMO), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Instead of law suits and referendums, there should be a way forward that all parties can accept. The hurdles relating to the land being designated as an airport by federal law, safety concerns, environmental concerns, and future use must be resolved. I would also follow-up on Rep. Waxman‚Äôs Dec 2013 letter to the SCAQMD asking about pollution at the airport- What does the latest scientific research reveal about ultrafine particle pollution and the potential impacts of this pollution on human health? Is SCAQMD looking into these issues?
2) I would carry on the work Rep. Waxman has begun in the ‚ÄòThe Safe Climate Caucus‚Äô. I agree with Rep. Waxman that environmental protection is more than an environmental issue but also an economic issue, and a moral issue. I would also follow his lead as it relates to health care, women‚Äôs rights, and veterans. Like Rep. Waxman, I would generate legislation to support the West LA VA Master Plan of 2011. Being that I‚Äôm a third party candidate, I believe I would be able to work across the aisle to develop a left-right coalition that could accelerate the legislative process to help us find consensus on a host of issues.
3) Climate change is real. More oil and gas activity adds more CO2 to the atmosphere, causing our climate to get warmer. The scientific consensus on those questions is overwhelming.
We must minimize our use of oil as soon as possible and expand our use of clean, sustainable sources of energy immediately. I support increased funding for environmental, clean energy programs in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget. I support Rep. Van Hollen‚Äôs Green Bank Act of 2014. The Act would establish a federal Green Bank as an independent, self-sustaining, not-for-profit, wholly owned corporation of the United States to finance clean energy and energy efficiency projects across the county.
4) We must double our efforts to target our resources more effectively to help the homeless. Local governments should evaluate the potential to make low-quality housing more affordable and thereby, largely as a by-product, reduce homelessness. Federal and state governments should stand ready to assist localities that combine housing vouchers with credits to landlords which effectively deter removal of habitable units from the very low-end of the housing stock. I support Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Opening Doors‚Äô goals are to (1) Finish the job of ending chronic homelessness in five years; (2) Prevent and end homelessness among Veterans in five years; (3) Prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children in ten years; and (4) Set a path to ending all types of homelessness.
3) I believe we have a moral imperative to tackle climate change, and that we‚Äôre very far from serious action today. Today‚Äôs preferred cap and trade approach is well-intended but has proven to be inadequate. Europe introduced a cap and trade regime in 2003, and a decade later emissions haven‚Äôt gone down. California enacted a state-wide cap and trade regime in 2006, but it‚Äôs taken years to implement and there‚Äôs little reason to think our experience will prove more effective than Europe‚Äôs in terms of emissions reductions. Red tape-heavy cap and trade regimes can be gamed and lobbied by polluters, as well as by financial firms seeking to profit from trading carbon permits. It simply doesn‚Äôt work for what we need in the face of the growing and grave threats from climate change.
I propose a “carbon fee and dividend” plan to put a real price on carbon, protect middle and lower income families from any increase in gas and electric bills, and create market incentives that accelerate investment in renewable energy sources. Experts on both sides agree that the best way forward is to accurately price carbon so the cost of using fossil fuels reflect their true impact on society. We‚Äôd impose a new fee on all fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases when they first enter our economy (starting around $15 per ton on CO2 equivalent emissions, translating into roughly 15 cents more per gallon of gas). Each year the fee would rise by at least $10 per ton of CO2 equivalent until total emissions have been reduced to 10% of U.S. CO2-equivalent emissions in 1990 (the amount scientists say would stabilize global temperatures). This means a gallon of gas might cost $1 or so more a decade hence, and the average driver‚Äôs gas bill would rise about $100 a month if no offsetting action were taken.
That‚Äôs the “fee” part. Then comes the “dividend.” The government would send the proceeds of the fee right back to the American people via equal per-person monthly dividend checks. And there you have it: Higher prices would discourage the use of fossil fuels even as they incentivize huge new investments in clean alternative energy sources.
I‚Äôm passionate and optimistic about carbon fee and dividend for three reasons. First, it‚Äôs the only policy on offer that‚Äôs equal to the scale of the challenge. Second, in a properly framed debate, no one can object to charging a fee for dumping pollution into the commons. Third, as a former senior advisor in the Clinton White House budget office, I know that the retirement of 76 million baby boomers will shortly force us to reassess many aspects of federal finance. The current system is not designed to handle twice the number of seniors on Social Security and Medicare. When the approaching confluence of circumstances compels us to rethink our tax and spending arrangements generally, there will be a unique chance to move sound policies like carbon fee and dividend to the center of the debate – especially when it already commands consensus across left and right in the policy community. When environmental leaders like Bill McKibben and James Hansen on the left support this approach , as well as conservative economists like Gregory Mankiw (advisor to George W. Bush) and Arthur Laffer (advisor to Ronald Reagan), what are we waiting for? It‚Äôs time for America to lead on climate change and thus spur the world to get serious about tackling this threat in ways that honor our values.
My goal is to lead the fight to place this ambitious yet practical approach to climate change at the center of the national debate. My Clinton White House budget office and business experience gives me the credibility and skills to help the nation move forward on this existential challenge.
1) I believe that the City of Santa Monica should control its own destiny in regards to the airport. When I‚Äôm in Congress, I‚Äôll bring the FAA Administrator and other key stakeholders to the airport and surrounding community so they can meet with the folks impacted and see the issues at hand for themselves. I will fight alongside you to push the FAA into giving up the property so the community can turn it into a safe open-space for all.
2) Congressman Waxman has been an icon for forty years. He will forever be remembered as a giant in Congress, one of those remarkable few whose impact will be felt on some of the most significant legislation in modern history. From the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to the Ryan White CARE Act and universal healthcare, Congressman Waxman has been a fighter and a doer. I will continue to fight to protect our environment, provide quality health care, fully fund our public schools and deliver critical transportation dollars to this district. I am running to build on his incredible legacy because I am that fighter and doer. I am running because these issues keep me up at night and I am running because I believe it‚Äôs in Congress, where my voice can be loudest working on your behalf.
3) Any discussion of environmental policy must start by acknowledging that our climate is changing and human activity is the cause. The science is conclusive: climate change is the most serious threat to our communities and as Congressman Waxman has said, this is not just an economic issue but at its core, a moral issue by which our values are measured. In Congress, I will reintroduce the Waxman-Markey bill that should have passed and fight day in and day out for a national carbon reduction goal. I‚Äôll work towards tougher regulations for power plants and technologies that help control emissions, stronger federal fuel standards for vehicles nationally and additional transportation alternatives like public transportation and bike paths. We need to be investing in clean, renewable energy sources and ending tax breaks for oil companies and fossil fuels.
4) I am deeply passionate about housing and homelessness issues, though sadly, not enough people are talking about how to address these serious challenges. As a young aide to Mayor Tom Bradley, I walked the streets to meet homeless veterans and assist them in securing housing, including converting a vacant building at the West LA VA campus into housing units. Later in the Clinton administration, I served as the Deputy Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, where I delivered $75 million in grants to cities like Santa Monica to help people transition from the streets to support services.
I have coordinated homelessness policy at the local and national levels. I know what it takes to build more permanent supportive housing for the homeless, and create opportunities for economic opportunity. Homelessness is not contained within the borders of Skid Row; it touches many of the communities we live in from West LA to Santa Monica. We need a regional, comprehensive and coordinated approach and any solution must involve government, nonprofits and the private sector. In Congress, I will be a leader on these issues because I know we can do more.
4) Not everyone needs to be a social worker, or even have the heart of a social worker. They can simply “do the math” on social justice issues like housing or our drug policy to see that it is actually less expensive for tax payers to create a reasonable floor for human rights in the US. Is it a human right in the United States to eat? Have a roof over your head? Have access to preventative health care as well as emergency services (including mental health)? Colorado is showing us right now that there are viable alternatives to the way we have been treating our homeless population in the US. Taxpayers annually spend $43,240 on individuals who live on the street, but in Fort Lyon‚Äôs supportive housing program, the state will have to invest only $16,813 to provide an effective recovery program. Health services, substance abuse treatment, counseling and job training will be covered in this price tag.
Social Workers go to the root of the issues that aim to elevate the totality of the community ‚Ä¶ and issues like gun violence do not discriminate, regardless of zip code. We often look to those in poverty, or in what we tend to accept as run of the mill violence (gang neighborhoods are unsafe, and there is gun violence there). However, what is missed is that during a tragedy of the magnitude of what happened in Santa Barbara yesterday, where there were multiple fatalities inflicted upon humans in both grotesque and planned ways- it was perpetrated by a young male with means, who had “legal” guns and shot them from his moving BMW targeting females, after stabbing his three roommates to death.
Teachers are often our first line of defense and need to be given the tools to help students succeed regardless of their economic status. This includes adequate training and support- both in and out of the classroom in identifying development and mental health issues. There must also be adequate and timely referrals available once issues have been identified and some way to protect teachers who are trying to protect other students- as well as themselves in reporting, and not have to face threatening behavior due to shame or anger in the family (or by the administration that doesn‚Äôt want to have a “press nightmare”).
We have cultural issues that underlie many of our attitudes towards mental health and standard levels of violence in our society- what we get upset about- and the daily news items that get filed away as “run of the mill” violence. Universities have been under fire this past year due to their failure to meet the Federal Clery Act in reporting sexual violence on campus. A fine of $35K did not turn out to be enough of a deterrent to avoid failure in reporting. What happened in Santa Barbara is a magnification of the attitudes seen in our “standard” campus rape cases. We are failing as a country to address the violence that crosses all socioeconomic boundaries.
_We send our soldiers to war, then we are unable to take adequate care of their physical or mental health when they return (I probably don‚Äôt need to go on about the VA scandal), and 22 of them are taking their own lives every day. Many end up as one of the homeless. We pat ourselves on the back when we get a single mother to take a minimum wage job, despite the fact that adequate care for her children and transportation costs are more than what she makes, even full time and is unable to participate in her children‚Äôs education. These issues have a long- term societal impact that is costly.
Kristie Holmes is best suited to work on issues related to the 58,000 homeless in Los Angeles as well as the embedded social issues district 33 faces on a local, state and federal level- all of which have an economic impact. The Congressional Social Work Caucus is focused on issues related to communities, mental health, human rights and the social work reinvestment initiative, so as a freshman in congress, I would have an established group to join that has already made these issues a priority and which Henry Waxman, at one point, chaired.
2) Henry Waxman was passionate and persistent. He had vision. He used those traits to get things done in a body that in so many ways is designed to make legislating difficult. Often Waxman is referred to as a “fighter.” I think that label diminishes his legacy. Congress is full of fighters right now and they do not get anything accomplished. What we need is leadership. Vision, passion, and persistence.
As an entrepreneur, in the courtroom, as a public defender, and as an activist in the community, I have always found that the key to progress is persuasion. In each arena, there is never a time for walking in the room and telling people how it is going to be. On the contrary, success requires thoughtful hard work to find solutions that are acceptable to both sides. Over time, given the right leadership, even the most stubborn of negotiating partners yield to common sense (especially when a solution is shown to be in their own best interest).
As we look at great legislators in our country‚Äôs history, the common characteristic is an ability to find a way to make the opposition stay at the table. Fighting, no matter how well intentioned, is insufficient to change the Congress that exists today. I will build on Henry Waxman‚Äôs legacy of demonstrating that leadership, while bringing a new perspective looking forward next 40 years.
3) Climate change is not a distant threat. We are feeling its effects locally, nationally, and globally. This is a defining moral and economic issue that needs to be dealt with now. The best solutions ensure that the costs that using carbon impose on our planet are borne in the present. I‚Äôll make sure that there is a price on carbon, building on the success we‚Äôve seen at the state level here in California in limiting carbon emissions and the efforts that have worked nationally to curb other emissions like sulfur dioxide. In creating costs for carbon emissions, we can correct a market failure, take advantage of market efficiencies, and generate meaningful revenue to fund rebates for all U.S. residents.
I live, work, and relax in the 33rd district, and everyday I‚Äôm confronted by the unparalleled beauty of our unique geography. In addition to the national, and ultimately global efforts we have to make, it‚Äôs critical to engage on a local level. Small changes can have a large aggregate effect, especially when executed by the trendsetters and leaders in the 33rd district, which is at the forefront of the environmental movement-it is home to the tech corridor and of a number of conservation initiatives. I want to take this approach to Washington and let our district lead by example.
I support the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014. The bill provides California and other Western states with $300 million in emergency funds for drought-relief projects and economic assistance, and would order federal agencies to take additional steps to maximize water supplies. And whether it is cleaning up the beach with the Surfrider Foundation, supporting local efforts like plastic bag bans (embraced by 103 cities and counties in California), requiring commercial recycling for businesses and multi-tenant dwellings (State Assembly Bill 341), or ensuring that states and localities can organize to ban potentially dangerous activities like fracking, I believe that what we do in California can light the way for the rest of the nation.
4) I have lived in the 33rd District since 1999, and in Venice since 2006. In all of this district, but specifically our beach communities, the homeless population is a part of everyday life. It should not be.
The problem of homelessness is a moral and economic one, and the government – on the federal, state and local levels – needs to be part of the solution. As a public defender, I saw all too often the effects of criminalizing homelessness. Incarcerating citizens for sleeping on the street, or digging through trash cans for food or cans, is not only abhorrent ‚Ä¶ it is remarkably inefficient. The long-term solution to this problem requires education, true rehabilitation, and mental health treatment. All of those priorities will ultimately save our community money-and also allow us to live up to our American ideals.
For our homeless veterans, the most pressing issue is to ensure that they receive the benefits they were promised and that we make it procedurally simple for them to do so. It is unacceptable when any veteran sleeps on the street at night and Congress considering cutting veterans‚Äô benefits is shameful. We must ensure that those that served this country are given the proper support to find a home upon their return.
1) Santa Monica Airport is the closest airport in the nation to residential homes. The airport has a significant and profoundly negative impact on its immediate neighbors and the local community. I oppose allowing the airport to continue operating in its current form. That is why, for the past decade, I have consistently led efforts to address the critical environmental and safety concerns of the thousands of people whose health and safety are at risk by SMO operations.
From multiple hearings that I convened and chaired, to bills I authored, we highlighted the air and noise pollution effects of the airport and provided that evidence to the Santa Monica City Council. Working with community groups and Santa Monica and Los Angeles residents, we have made great strides. Recently, the City Council unanimously decided to not renew the lease with the FAA for part of the runway. As your Member of Congress, I will fight to make sure the FAA respects the decision of the City of Santa Monica.
I also support the City Council‚Äôs effort to examine other uses for the land, including SMO‚Äôs conversion to open space and a local park. Because of my work on airport issues, and my opposition to over-development, I am honored to be endorsed by Santa Monica City Councilmembers Kevin McKeown, Tony Vazquez, and Ted Winterer.
2) Henry Waxman is a living legend. He has championed some of the greatest causes of our time, including climate change and affordable healthcare. As your Member of Congress, I will work every day to champion issues important to both Santa Monica and America. I believe climate change is an existential issue for humanity. That‚Äôs why I passed a law last year to provide millions of dollars in funding for local coastal communities to address climate change.
I also believe health care is a right, not a privilege. Too often profits prevail over patients. When insurance companies were giving bonuses to employees for dropping people‚Äôs insurance after they got sick, I passed a law to stop this immoral practice.
As the son of immigrants, this country and state have allowed my family to achieve the American dream One of the reasons I entered public service is to ensure that the opportunities that my family was able to take advantage of will be afforded to future generations. I joined the United States Air Force on active duty because I believe I can never give back to America what this great country has given me. I continue to serve today in the Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Because I have lived in the district for nearly 20 years, and my children go to public school in the district, I have had the opportunity to learn about the concerns of many of my constituents over many years. As your Member of Congress, I will fight for many of the same issues I have fought for and delivered on behalf of Santa Monica and this district, including job creation, more education funding, cleaner air and ocean quality, and a better quality of life for residents.
3) Climate change is the most pressing issue facing humanity. That‚Äôs why I was a coauthor of the law to reduce California greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. However, combating climate change is a national and global challenge.
In Congress, I will fight to enact a national greenhouse gas limit. We also need to enact a national mandatory level of renewable energy for utilities of at least 33% to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. I will also fight for a stronger fuel standard for vehicles and increased investment in alternative transportation options, including light rail, bus, bike and pedestrian. I was proud to have helped craft Measure R in the legislature and to have fought for increased funding for light rail, including having light rail go into and out of LAX.
I believe diplomacy and trade can also be powerful tools to combat climate change. Trade and diplomatic agreements must acknowledge our climate challenges and Congress must use its oversight capability to ensure this remains a priority for the executive branch.
4) Local governments, in coordination with non-governmental entities, are the best equipped to address the ongoing problem of homelessness. However, the state and federal government must be in a position to provide funding for affordable housing, mental healthcare, job training and social and education opportunities.
As your state legislator, I worked with the Senate leadership and fought to increase funding for mental health in last year‚Äôs state budget. As your Member of Congress, I will continue to fight for more mental healthcare funding, as well as forcing the Veterans Administration, especially in West Los Angeles, to increase housing and services for homeless veterans.
4) As published in USA Today, “there are 31 areas of duplicative spending . . . in a report by the Government Accountability Office.” There are numerous governmental programs that are inefficient, redundant and wasteful. Many of theses programs have little or no oversight by Congress. Many of these agencies are mired in huge bureaucracies. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) many of these agencies do not provide accurate figures for their total spending.
If elected as your US representative, I will fight for greater transparency and the elimination of redundant and wasteful programs. Government programs should have a result oriented matrix and if they are not meeting basic standards they ought to be revised or eliminated. This will result in billions of dollars worth of savings to the taxpayers. If a private business is able to provide a service at a lower cost and with greater transparency, than members of Congress have a fiduciary duty to taxpayers to ensure that‚Äôs done.
As it pertains to the ongoing problem of homelessness in our communities, we must also concern ourselves with addressing the root causes rather than just the symptoms which, are largely attributable to the downward trend in our economy, to psychological disorders and/or addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
As a member of congress, I would support any solution whether it is revising /eliminating redundant governmental programs or having the private sector provide certain services, as long as it would reduce cost, increase competitiveness, decrease bureaucratic hurdles, employ the latest technology, reduce paperwork, provide greater transparency, assure accountability, produce optimization of resources, mitigate unintended consequences and is well defined and limited in its scope.
1) As a resident, I would like to see the Santa Monica Airport closed for safety and health reasons. As your representative, I would ensure successful navigation through the appropriate federal agencies to allow this to happen. The 227 acres of land currently occupied by the Santa Monica airport is a valuable community asset and this space should be used to promote sustainable energy. By closing the air space, we can open jobs by creating a renewable energy hub for generations to come.
2) Henry Waxman was a voice for this district on the environment, healthcare and human rights for 40 years. As a human rights attorney and diplomat, I too have built a lifelong career in public service by driving consensus to achieve reform. As a prosecutor, I have enforced rules and regulations against individuals, governments and corporations and successfully obtained convictions ranging from bank fraud to genocide. On many issues that we face today, I can directly cite to a case I prosecuted or policies I helped to develop, in much the same way that Henry Waxman can point to legislation and bills that he championed.
3) Climate change is the most important issue facing Americans. The key to curbing climate change is human control. We cannot address rising ocean levels without talking about other effects of climate change. Therefore, the solution to climate change must be a holistic approach. We as humans must stop using the atmosphere and oceans as sewer systems. The U.S. is one of the top contributors of carbon into the atmosphere, and we need to lead the way toward stabilizing climate change and the overall world environment.
I believe that continued scientific research and better government oversight are the best tools that we can use to combat climate change. Science has proven that the earth is warming due to humans burning of fossil fuels. Through research, we can monitor the ever-changing environment and set the environmental standards for our government agencies to follow. With the world & U.S. populations continuing to grow, we need to keep pursing alternative energy sources, like wind and solar energy, and make them more affordable.
The mechanisms for regulation are already in place through various government agencies, including the EPA. In Congress, we must do a better job on the oversight of these particular agencies. We need to hold these agencies to task, giving them performance audits and ensuring that they are upholding environmental regulations.
As citizens we have a responsibility to be aware of and monitor our consumption of fossil fuels. There are many was to reduce consumption, from using public transportation to walking and biking more. Locally, the promotion of public transportation will curb the use of fossil fuels and make our society more efficient.
4) Addressing the problem of homelessness in our communities starts locally. The city of Santa Monica is proof that a successful plan can be implemented locally and work with federal agencies to succeed. The homeless rate in Santa Monica has continued to drop due to the Action Plan, first introduced in 2008. The Santa Monica Action Plan calls for coordinated efforts by non-profit agencies and other city agencies.
Homelessness is a condition. To figure out the solution we need to start by determining the various causes. Because there is no singular cause, the key is including diverse public agencies that handle a range of issues such as health, justice, jobs, veterans, education and the economy. Oversight committees should conduct regular audits to determine the success of any plan moving forward. Using data to steer coordinated efforts is important. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past, therefore in assisting homeless men it might be best to focus energy and funding on links to homelessness and healthcare.
The ultimate goals of ending homelessness are twofold. First we need to find permanent solutions and not temporary fixes. This means not simply putting a roof over someone‚Äôs head. It includes making sure that they have the education, skills and support to make their new living condition sustainable. Second, we need to prevent new incidents of homelessness. Prevention requires recognizing the patterns leading to homelessness and making sure to have more than one point at which to intervene for those individuals and families at a high risk of becoming homeless.
All of these issues depend on holding the government responsible through federal agencies already in place. Though this starts with us here in Santa Monica and the other cities of the 33rd Congressional District, it requires aggressive representation in Washington to coordinate the efforts between the local, state and federal governments.
Mark Matthew Herd
1) I am against closing the airport. It is a big part of Santa Monica history and I will vote accordingly.
2) I believe Waxman failed us on GMO Labeling, NSA Domestic spying and military spending. I will continue his environmental policies but change needs to come to his foreign policy. This country is bankrupt and we can‚Äôt afford to nation build abroad while our education system suffers here at home. How can we send 85.5 BILLION to Afghanistan next year and not spend most of that money on infrastructure, education and healthcare here at home. Waxman and the democrats are as guilty as the republicans, both approved a budget that includes 40% allocated to military spending and foreign aid. Libertarians believe in a non interventionist foreign policy, not foreign aggression at every turn. We need to cut military spending by 15%, reduce taxes here at home, and improve our infrastructure, healthcare and education system.
3) We need to take immediate action on global warning. We need a NEW GREEN DEAL for America with tax incentives and tax breaks for all Americans who are reducing their global carbon footprint We are in crisis mode. The President needs to step up to this challenge fast. Policies need to change. Obama‚Äôs team is urging European nations to lower their emission standards so more profits can be made when the Keystone pipeline comes online. Republicans are even worse policy makers on environmental protection issues than Democrats. I have several NEW GREEN DEAL objectives and will lobby hard for congressional support for a New Green Deal for America. Goal 1. Make our entire electrical grid green, 100 percent, renewable energy from coast to coast. This is already happening in LA but can be accelerated with federal support.
Goal 2. Give people more green transportation options. Inner city bus and rail infrastructure funding needs to be expanded, not cut. Inner city Rail projects need to be accelerated not slowed.
Goal 3. Cleaner, greener cars. With tax incentives for car manufacturers and car buyers we can put cleaner cars on the road and pay to get clunkers off the road. The cash for clunkers program needs to return ASAP.
Goal 4. Switch to cleaner forms of energy. Fossil fuels, fracking, and offshore drilling don‚Äôt help the environment, they damage it. We need new energy policies that help curb big polluters with cap and dividends to control total pollution output. Energy policies and tax incentives need to be put in place to accomplish renewable energy conversion goals and I will spare no expense when it comes to lobbying for these positions in Washington. New and BIG tax incentives can be used to promote businesses to convert to renewables. Every business should not only want to switch to renewable energies like solar, but they should be incentivised through tax breaks to make the switch. Our planet is in the ER Room and saving it should be our No. 1 Priority.
As a Councilman in Westwood I passed a no fracking motion which Ted Lieu and Wendy Greuel did not on their respective council and assembly. Ted passed a fracking bill that allows virtually unlimited fracking in CA. Matt Miller has no elected experience responding to constituent needs and has done nothing but talk, talk, talk on the radio. I don‚Äôt think he has a clue how to represent.
4) SB1818 needs to be rewritten. It is flawed and its not helping the affordable housing challenge. We need more housing but we can‚Äôt tear down and kick folks onto the streets. The state can pass better land use laws to promote more affordable units being built per project while the cities, private sectors and non profs can focus more on local services for the unhoused. We need shelters to stay open year round and we need more vouchers to help those in need of immediate and transitional shelter. Federal funding wouldn‚Äôt hurt but the Dems and Reps in Washington have better places to send your tax dollars ie. Afghanistan $85.5 billion in 2015, The fed also needs to quit printing money because that drives housing prices up and currency values down. Ending wars will help promote trade among nations, boost economic activity and eventually promote job creation which is the ultimate solution.
1) I believe we should shut down the Santa Monica Airport. Activities associated with the airport damage the well being of the community with noise, pollution and congestion, and threaten the health and safety of nearby residents. As a Congresswoman, I would work towards the closure of the airport. I would push the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board to scale back operations immediately. Together with community leaders, I would work with local and state officials to close the airport. I would advocate for converting that space into an incubator for green business as part of my plan for a Green New Deal.
2) I will seek to continue Congressman Waxman‚Äôs legacy of holding aggressive, high profile oversight hearings challenging corporations such as the duplicitous tobacco executives and reckless Wall Street titans. In addition I will focus on challenging corporate tax havens, subsidies to big business, accountability for lies that lead to war, and violations of civil liberties as in NSA spying and unregulated usage of drones.
Moreover, I honor Congressman Waxman for his work on the Clean Air Act, preservation of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Climate Caucus and more, and would work actively to build on his legacy for the environment as well as environmental health and safety. We must address global climate change with vigor and resources.
I will differentiate myself from Congressman Waxman by voting consistently against the National Defense Authorization Act which includes the indefinite detention of Americans, co-sponsoring the bill for a Department of Peacebuilding, and opposing nuclear power.
3) As a congresswoman, I will advocate for my plan for a Green New Deal to lay the groundwork for a Green American Century. We can confront the climate crises with urgent action while creating a robust economy. My plan involves strategic and pragmatic action toward renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transportation, improvements to broadband infrastructure, an advanced carbon-neutral power grid, and other strategies for modern job creation and Green Tech education programs.
The creation of millions of green jobs to create the low-carbon infrastructure and reconstruction.
Government-led investment in redesigning our energy sources, including micro and distributed energy generation, which could make every building a potential power station; every building, rooftop, and highway could be covered in solar energy panels.
Developing financial incentives and regulations for green investment and reduced energy usage.
Removing the billions in subsidies and adding a revenue tax on the profits of oil and gas companies – so as to provide a revenue source for government investment our Green New Deal.
Federal subsidies for massive high efficiency bullet train and hyperloop projects, solar powered eclectic car charging stations, incentives for production and ownership of green vehicles.
Government investment and incentives for creating a workforce well educated in green energy technology with Green STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) programs.
4) Every person deserves to have a place to live. It makes me sad to walk on the Santa Monica beach in the morning and see all the folks without homes. Having homeless people diminishes all of us. We can and must do better.
To truly solve the problem of homelessness, we must address the deeper causes. Many of our homeless are Veterans, while others suffer from mental illness and the disease of addiction to drugs and alcohol. The failure of the West LA Veterans Administration to live up to its obligation to be a housing facility for disabled soldiers is disgraceful. Soldiers who fight for our freedom deserve greater respect and support. How is it that we always can find all of the money we need to wage war but not have enough money to properly care for our Vets?
It is time for the West LA V.A. to be used as it was originally intended, and not through any for-profit schemes as has been proposed. As we modernize our military and cut outdated Cold War era programs, some of the money saved must be used for high quality care and housing facilities at the West LA VA, as was properly done for decades.
Our current approach for dealing with the mentally ill is also shameful. At present they are either left to fend for themselves in the streets, or locked behind bars. We have an abundance of underemployed mental healthcare professionals in America and we must shift some of the enormous money currently used for the massive prison system into compassionate, high quality care for our mentally ill and drug addicted people.
We can address these issues through the government with existing resources, as long as those resources are redirected in a pragmatic and human way. By reducing spending on the military and on prisons, we will free up billions of dollars to for drug treatment and rehabilitation programs, veterans services, and affordable housing.
Longer term, I propose a Green New Deal to stimulate the economy and create jobs. That means major investment in rebuilding America using renewable resources and cutting edge green technology, to fix our roads and bridges, improve our water pipe lines and build new public transit systems to carry goods and people, helping to alleviate our local traffic congestion. It means investing in new industries like renewable energy and mobile infrastructure for our information economy. This investment will bring a massive infusion of contract opportunities for small business owners and create millions of jobs to uplift our local and national economy.
I look forward to serving the people of Santa Monica, and the 33rd district.