California remains number one in poverty and with increased regulations and taxes is making the State unaffordable under years of a Democrat-controlled state legislature.
Voting for Senator Kevin de Leon to replace U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein will continue his misrepresentation as a public servant of the people and make poverty much worse for ordinary working families, unless you’re rich.
And here’s why. An example of how Kevin de Leon misleads hard-working families; de Leon’s political ally is businessman and billionaire Tom Steyer. De Leon tried to pass Senate Bill 350 that would benefit billionaire Steyer and place a tax burden on residents. It was a bill with a misleading title that said it would clean our air and reduce pollution. It was even promoted by a local activist who now supports Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, at a Pacoima Neighborhood Council meeting. But, De Leon and the local activist did not reveal to voters that the bill included forcing drivers to reduce gasoline they purchased by 50% and that drivers would be penalized for purchasing more than their limit. Steyer says he’s an environmentalist but news articles report he was an investor for a 5,000-acre coal mine operating for 30 years. De Leon benefits himself and wealthy supporters while trying to convince voters he is looking out for their best interest.
It can be said that De Leon’s SB54 which prohibited local law enforcement from cooperating with Immigration Enforcement, placed a fear in families, because Immigration Officers were now forced to go into neighborhoods, companies and public buildings to apprehend people on their wanted list. When before, ICE routinely took custody of these people at the prisons and jails instead of going into neighborhoods, companies and public buildings and causing families to fear federal law enforcement.
Secretary of State, Alex Padilla is up for reelection. Padilla benefits from the Valley political faction that some community members call the political machine of the northeast San Fernando Valley. Padilla joined politics by being elected to Los Angeles City Council 20 years ago. Sacramento legislators and local elected officials apparently abused the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The CRA took increments of taxes from communities. It was designed to help improve communities. But, because of its abuse by politicians, it left parts of the valley, blighted and with the stigma of being referred to as underserved communities, for decades. Because of the abuse of CRA funds, the statewide program, was eventually abolished.
Congressman Tony Cardenas is up for reelection. He also is an ally of the so-called political machine group. Cardenas recently had a Los Angeles court hearing regarding the molestation of an underaged girl when he was a Los Angeles City Councilman. Cardenas’ opponent for the Congress seat is, Benny Bernal, a longtime Youth Mentor, Coach and community advocate for the people. Assembly member Luz Rivas is also up for reelection. She won the primary election last April to finish the remainder of the term of ousted Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who also, benefits from the so-called political machine. Bocanegra was forced to resign because of sexual harassment charges brought against him. Voting is serious business and voters should take note of the following: In the primary election last April, Ms Rivas also benefited by the support of the Valley political faction known as the political machine and council member’s: Herb Wesson, Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez, Monica Rodriguez, Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian and Mayor Garcetti. The High Speed Train Authority proposes to divide communities and demolish homes and businesses in the districts of both Councilwoman Rodriguez and Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. However, since Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Rodriguez were elected they have failed to attend community meetings to listen to the concerns of community members regarding the High Speed Train, despite countless emails and letters sent to Councilwoman Rodriguez. And, according to www.votesmart.org which provides voters with facts on elected officials, Luz Rivas has refused to provide her position on key issues after repeated request from Vote Smart. Ms Rivas’s opponent in the assembly race is former Sylmar Neighborhood Council Board member and longtime advocate for the community, Ricardo Benitez. Benitez, an equestrian, supports the wishes of the community and opposes the High Speed Train.
Senator Bob Hertzberg is up for reelection. His opponent is Rudy Melendez. Hertzberg is well-known in his district for his smiles and hugs. But, what voters don’t seem to realize, because voters reelect him, is behind those hugs, Hertzberg is like a slick salesman who withholds negative details about the product a salesman is trying to sell. Hertzberg authors bills with catchy, good-feel titles but they’re all about increasing taxes on residents. An example is his SB-8, Upward Mobility Act. It sounds nice. But he wants your money: $10 billion more per year. It places a burden on ordinary taxpayers, who would pay it on services like insurance, tax preparation, communications, car repairs, beauty salons, the list goes on and on.Another example of Hertzberg wanting more of your money is his SB 231, Improve Stormwater Capture bill. The problem is, that it’s raising taxes without a vote by the people. Hertzberg really doesn’t care to include voters on decisions to approve or disapprove increasing people’s taxes on stormwater. Since Hertzbergs’ SB 231 passed without our vote, it will most probably be mismanaged, placing another tax burden on residents. In 2014, voters already approved $7.5 billion for water supply infrastructure projects. What happen to this the money? Residents are still waiting for these projects? Last June, voters approved $4 billion for water projects. And, Proposition 3 on the November ballot, legislators are asking for another $8.877 billion for water projects.
To improve availability of water, legislators should simply change the regulations that has cut water supply off, instead of constantly taxing residents.
Voting is serious business; When Alex Padilla was a Senator and Raul Bocanegra was an assemblyman, they tried what Hertzberg does, to eliminate voters from making decisions that affect private property rights and increased taxes. At the time, Padilla and Bocanegra both signed and voted for then, Senator Steinberg’s SB-1, Sustainable Communities Investment Authority bill. This bill included allowing state legislators to issue bonds, which raise people’s taxes, without a vote from the people. As Democrats who say they work on behalf of the working people and the poor, Padilla and Bocanegra quietly voted for the bill that would have taken decisions away from voters.
Voting is serious business because under these administrations from our State Legislators, Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Garcetti, together, with their politically connected wealthy developers and wealthy supporters, they have developed so much power and control over residents and small businesses, it often leaves students, residents, small businesses, out of the decision-making process regarding; public safety, transportation, education, housing, private property rights, land use and increasing regulations and taxes.
Some residents of the northeast valley may wonder; if local resident Alex Padilla, a bright man, was elected 20 years ago to the Los Angeles City Council and to the other northeast valley local residents who followed in the same circles supporting each other and they ran for city, state and congress public offices and were elected, then why, after all these years and countless government programs and increased taxes, why are parts of the northeast valley, still referred to as underprivilege and underserved communities?
PROP 6 was submitted by state legislators to Governor Brown without the vote from the people. Brown signed the bill even though Brown campaigned on the promise that there would be no new taxes without a vote of the people. Voting YES on Prop 6 repeals the unnecessary massive increase in gas, diesel and car taxes and, in the future, will require a vote from the voters if legislators want to increase these taxes.
A NO Vote will KEEP the massive gas and car tax increases (which was supported by former assemblyman Raul Bocanegra and senator’s Kevin de Leon and Bob Hertzberg) and will allow State Legislators to increase these taxes WITHOUT voter approval in the future. Democrats who control the state legislature are imposing a greater burden on low income families. Legislators continue to mislead voters. California has a $16 billion budget surplus, but Legislators have a habit of diverting billions on their pet projects which helps to keep them in power. That’s why roads, bridges and highways are not being repaired on a routine basis with the taxes we’ve already been paying.
Candidate for Controller Konstantinos Roditis pledges to defund the High Speed Rail on day one, because the HSR Authority has violated what voters approved with Prop 1A.
Betty Yee is a candidate for reelection as Controller. Ms. Yee, as a watchdog of Californians tax revenue, did not take advantage of her authority to defund the High Speed Rail, despite the HSR Authority, that has violated what the voters approved with Prop 1A.
California governor candidate Gavin Newsom supports the High Speed Train and supports the progressively increasing gas and car tax without a vote from the voters. Newsom avoids TV debates with opponent John Cox. Newsom, former Mayor of San Francisco, has remained silent on open-air drug use with drug addict needles and human waste on public sidewalks and streets. Newsom list no accomplishments and entered a blank statement in the candidate statement in the Official Voter Information Guide.
California governor candidate John Cox, in a New York Times article, has pledged to abandon the High Speed Train. As a builder, Mr Cox says he builds apartment units for $80,000 versus government building them at $450,000 per unit. Cox proposes to quadruple the renters’ tax credit. Newsom has remained silent on this proposal for 8 years that would have help renters.
No matter who wins, the state legislature will still be controlled by Democrats.
Locally, mayoral appointees on the LA City Planning Commission are quietly working on ideas to reduce or eliminate setbacks, open space, historic zones, demolish older affordable buildings and single-family homes throughout certain areas in the City.
Voting is serious business. Perhaps, new leadership is the answer to reversing California as the number one state in poverty, high taxes, and homelessness?
Editor’s Note: David Barron is a community activist, severed on Board the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, serves on the Land Use Committee and is a Commentator for the NVR.