Housing in the Bay Area has become the single biggest input to the high cost of living in our district. At the root of the problem is a long term reluctance to increase housing density and multi-family housing heights. Population growth has outstripped housing supply. At the same time, half of new real estate sales come from overseas. In these cases, properties are used as second homes or investment vehicles.
Congress, through the Treasury Department, should increase AML oversight to all-cash real estate transactions. Local Bay Area governments, through their planning commissions, should streamline the approval process for building multi-family units.
The Second Amendment, along with the rest of the Constitution, should be treated as the sacred foundation it is for the freedom that defines this country. It should not be sacrificed out of convenience. Preserving the people’s right to bear arms has also proven helpful at times such as the November 2017 incident in Sutherland, Texas in which an unidentified gun owner returned fire on shooter Devin P. Kelley, ending the mass killings.
Since 2015, four mass shootings cost 100 lives could have been stopped if federal authorities had responded to tips. A gun violence restraining order (GVRO) would allow an spouse, parent, sibling or person close to an individual in question to petition a court to suspend an individual’s gun rights for a defined period of time. This would enable citizens to take action when authorities do not.
Assault weapons should be banned from the public.
K-12 Public Education
Education Week, in its Quality Counts 2017 issuance of State Report Cards, ranked California 41st out of 50 States. Most notably, California received a D+ grade in school finance.
One of the largest sources of funding for public education is property taxes. While the property owners of San Mateo County pay $2.4 billion in property taxes each year, certain jurisdictions in the area, such as Daly City and Redwood City, are still left with underfunded school programs. At the same time, the County of San Mateo, which receives 25% of property tax revenue is awash in funds, able to spend $20 million in a brand new animal shelter or fund new companies. The allocation of property tax revenue should be reapportioned, with the County government receiving 18% to 20% of total property tax revenue and the the remaining 5-7% going into an education slush fund for underfunded school districts.
In addition to these funding measures, Congress should shrink the size of the Department of Education by transferring the student loan and grant programs to the Treasury Department and job training programs to the Department of Labor.
At the state level, California should repeal its adoption of the Common Core standards.
We applaud the #MeToo movement and outpour of stories and public outcry over sexually predatory behavior. We question the $17 million slush fund paid out to victims of Congressmen and also question how any member of Congress over the last decade could not have known about this.
This movement needs to spread to sexual discrimination which is still at crisis levels in the cultures of high tech and the industries that support it.
I believe a woman has autonomy over her own body. I also support increased funding for adoptive services across the public and non-profit sectors to increase a woman’s portfolio of choices.
The fight for women’s rights is not over until pay is equal, women comprise 50% of all boards and C-level positions, and a woman is President of the United States.
Women in STEM
The Federal Government could do more to encourage the viability of careers for women in science and engineering. This includes federal incentives for hiring as well as including Women receiving a higher education in STEM fields as part of the Work Opportunity tax credit program.
The federal government has managed to overhaul the tax system but has not yet addressed the growing national debt which has doubled during the last administration after doubling in the administration prior to that. The debt continues to grow with each rushed budget compromise. It is time to reign in irresponsible spending by the federal government without sacrificing those in need of entitlements.
The tax reform bill will be a boon to new business formation and some existing businesses. We need to make the individual tax cuts permanent.
Respecting Our Veterans
As part of its constituent services, the Congresswoman’s office should be the first point of contact in the process of ensuring Veterans are connected with all the programs there to serve them.
Mental health services for veterans need to be boosted for those returning vets who are dealing with the emotional effects of war.
Preserving the environment for our quality of life and the legacy we leave behind should be an issue that should be prioritized across both aisles. Water quality and supply in California are paramount, particularly the need for increased water storage capacity.
Lingering on technologies that reached their prime a century ago is counterproductive to all industries but of heightened relevance to today’s energy fuel sources, both in the transportation sector and in power generation. Thermal coal is in a negative growth mode (coking coal is not). Fuels that must be extracted and transported are naturally less competitive to fuel sources that are infinite in supply and require little to no processing to be used.
While the tax credit incentives for wind and solar should be allowed to sunset, elimination of government incentives across all energy generation technologies is more fair. This should serve the double benefit of reducing the government budget while letting market forces choose the mix of winning energy sources.
Human Trafficking and Labor Violations
The fourteenth congressional district of California is one of the twenty most international districts in the United States. Criminal situations occur in this district which may not be as prevalent in the majority of districts throughout the country. It is the special responsibility of a representative from CD 14 to provide the constituent services necessary to combat labor and sex trafficking and other forms of modern slavery.
“Trafficking in Persons” as defined by the Department of State should be revised to include labor exploitation. Labor exploitation includes abuses in labor compensation, working conditions, terms, and dignity.
An estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants cannot all be painted with one brush. A portion of them, such as the Dreamers and economic immigrants, deserve a path to citizenship. A portion of them, with criminal records, should be deported and penalized, not protected by political correctness. Finally, some of them are not here of their own free will but have been victimized by others. These immigrants, victims of labor and sex trafficking need our help.
In Support of a Compromise
Law abiding Dreamers should be provided a path to legal residency. At the same time, increased border security should be funded. A compromise act accommodating both of these immigration needs is reasonable.
Deportation Biased Policy For Undocumented Immigrants with Criminal Records
Our criminal system is overloaded in its current state. Undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records should be blacklisted from future eligibility at legal status. When found guilty of a serious crime, they should be deported immediately.
Advanced Vetting of Visa Applicants
The technology is available today to more accurately track and predict visa violations. Visa officers should have machine-assisted intelligence developed to better evaluate candidates for visas to the United States.
State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program
Sanctuary states and cities, while well-intentioned, are not a lasting solution for a country that depends on the rule of law. In order to accommodate the variability in immigration needs by region, Senator Ron Johnson has introduced “The State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017” that would allow states to sponsor visas for economic migrants and take responsibility for the workers they sponsor. This is a laudable step towards a solution that would allow states to take responsibility in a comprehensive immigration solution.
A sovereign nation has a right to protect its own borders and the rights of the people within them.