Liz Lawler cares about details and people and has the work ethic to make big change in Sacramento. That’s why she thinks she is the best candidate to represent California State Assembly District 28. She has served on the Monte Sereno City Council and on the city’s Better Streets Commission. She can also talk for hours about potholes.
Potholes led me to public service.
It seems like such a little thing. I mean, potholes are a nuisance, but they’re not the end of the world. However, to quote Vincent Van Gogh, “Doing little things well is a step toward doing big things better.”
So when I moved to Monte Sereno with my family in 2013, and our pothole-riddled streets remained unfixed, I rallied my neighbors to join me in asking the city to act. Our persistence paid oﬀ. The result? The Better Streets Commission was created, to which I was appointed, and our potholes were repaired.
As a Better Streets commissioner, I worked to create our pavement management program to identify streets requiring major repair. We then earmarked funds for these projects each year — with the goal of ensuring all local streets were in excellent condition. We also targeted gutters for repair to prevent street flooding. This has resulted and will continue to result in continuous street maintenance and taxpayer savings.
It started with just wanting better, safer streets for our community. But what was ultimately accomplished was so much more — the satisfaction of identifying a problem and taking positive action to solve it.
This experience inspired me to run for Monte Sereno City Council, where I’ve served since 2018. As a city council member, I’ve worked to improve services for city residents, employ best practices throughout and provide greater transparency.
And during my term as mayor amid the pandemic, I worked with the city manager to bring the latest technology to city operations to ensure Monte Sereno continued to run smoothly with no interruption of services to residents.
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I believe that the little things matter. This philosophy has served me well personally, professionally and in public service.
Before moving to Northern California, I worked as an advertising coordinator in Los Angeles. This fast-paced job required me to manage the timelines, work product and personalities of a cadre of writers, designers and producers. Little things were everything. And without good relationships, nothing got done. It was the perfect training for public service.
Yet it seems that those in Sacramento have forgotten the little things and have no relationship with the people they serve. That’s why I’m running for State Assembly, to help change that.
I’ll work to bring common sense problem-solving, cooperation and accountability to Sacramento, as I did to my advertising job, and as I have to our local community. I enjoy it, and I’ve found I’m good at it.
Successful democracy requires civil debate and the willingness to listen respectfully to opposing views. Otherwise, it’s impossible to fix the serious problems we’re facing.
Sadly, that’s what we’re seeing in government now. A failure to fix problems.
For example, mental illness, substance abuse and drug addiction are the primary drivers of homelessness — so why don’t our policies reflect this? I will work to ensure they do.
As a mother, I also strongly believe that parents should have the freedom to choose the best schools for their children and know what their kids are being taught. Investing in our schools so all children, regardless of means, have access to a good education is vital.
And like much of California, Santa Cruz is experiencing crime at rates higher than the national average. This, in my view, is a result of misguided policies at the state level that are leaving violent people on the street and fostering “smash and grabs” carjackings and other serious crimes. To restore safety, we need to end “no bail” and hold violent oﬀenders accountable.
These are just a few of the policies that are a result of ignoring the “little things” — like personal safety and accountability — in favor of a quick solution.
Instead, we need to get the little things right first. Then we have a foundation on which to tackle the big things.
If elected to the State Assembly, I’ll bring practical, purpose-driven leadership designed to drive civil debate and common-sense solutions — not partisan bickering. That gets us nowhere. And we’ve already been there.
And I will listen to what you, the voters, have to say. Because what matters to you matters to me. This is a partnership. I’m here to serve.
Liz Lawler is a Monte Sereno city councilperson and an active community advocate. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, has been married 34 years and is the mother of three adult children and the grandmother of two. Find her campaign site here.