We need to restore balance, accountability to Sacramento; I’m not a career politician

Liz Lawler, candidate for California Assembly District 28.
(Via Liz Lawler)

California’s State Assembly District 28 splits between Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties and includes most of the city of Santa Cruz. It’s a new district configuration, hammered out to take effect in 2022, and is 50% Democratic and 19% Republican. Lookout asked the candidates running in this race — Liz Lawler, a Republican from Monte Sereno, and Gail Pellerin, a Democrat from Santa Cruz — to submit answers to two questions. Liz Lawler’s answers are below.

Lookout: What sets you apart from your opponent?

I’m running for state Assembly to restore much needed balance, accountability and cooperation to Sacramento.

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Community Voices Election 2022

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Our schools, once the best, have plummeted to 44th in the nation.

We rank last in the nation in terms of business climate, and 47th in the nation for taxpayer return on investment.

Yet Sacramento continues business as usual, ramming through policies that do not benefit from robust debate, success measures or accountability for the situation we are facing now.

I have a proven track record as a member of the Monte Sereno City Council of working collaboratively to find commonsense solutions to the issues facing our city, including constituent responsiveness and budget transparency. I have addressed difficult land-use decisions amicably through engagement with all parties involved without losing the integrity of our community standards, and have developed and executed a successful road resurfacing plan. I will bring this same approach to tackle the challenges facing our state.

I am not a career politician. In fact, my public service began with potholes. I was not looking for recognition, but better roads for my neighbors and family. Our city streets were in disrepair, and after lobbying our city, I was appointed to the newly created Better Streets Commission. I later saw needs at the city level, so I ran and was elected to city council.

Liz Lawler cares about details and people and has the work ethic to make big change in Sacramento. That’s why she thinks...

Having served on our city council for four years and as vice mayor and mayor, it was clear to me that we needed commonsense legislators in Sacramento to effectively address the issues facing our state. I have served as an elected member of a legislative body, as a city councilmember and mayor, and have the governance and real-life experience needed to be an effective legislator in Sacramento.

Lookout: Please tell us the single most important issue to you right now and how, if elected, you will address it. Be as specific as space allows.

The single most important issue right now is that our government is failing to solve problems. This failure is a direct result of the lack of balanced debate in our legislature. We have a supermajority that has lost touch with everyday Californians who just want to feel safe in their communities, educate their children and afford their groceries.

We cannot continue business as usual in Sacramento, and that means we need common sense, pragmatic problem solvers like myself, who will bring a fresh approach and much-needed balance to our policymaking.

We have policies in recent years that have created more problems than solutions, leading to rising crime, and increased homelessness, and putting undue strain on our residents and our business community.

Democracy requires at least two parties to function. In California, we have one-party rule, and this is what it looks like: Our public schools, once the best in the nation, have plummeted to 44th, and we have the lowest literacy rate in the nation.

California is officially the worst state in which to own and run a business, with over 395,000 regulations, more than double the national average, and counting.

State Assembly District 28 candidate Liz Lawler during a candidate forum
State Assembly District 28 candidate Liz Lawler during a May candidate forum.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

We are 47th in the nation in terms of taxpayer return on investment. We have an unreliable power grid with constant threat of blackouts, and California’s population has doubled in the past 40 years, yet our water infrastructure has remained the same.

We cannot continue business as usual in Sacramento, and that means we need commonsense, pragmatic problem-solvers like myself, who will bring a fresh approach and much needed balance to our policymaking.

I am committed to bringing a fresh approach to address these problems with accountability measures to track our progress and — I hope — our success.

I have what I call my 5,10,15 rule: what will this policy look like in 5, 10,15 years? Will it continue to benefit Californians?

Any negative consequences must be addressed prior to implementation of any policy, something we are sorely lacking right now with policies that are short-sighted.

I believe that most of us reside somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum, whether just left or just right of center. And it is those of us in this middle who are being left out of the conversation. I am running to change that.

The choice in November is clear: Do you want more of the same or do you want a commonsense leader who will bring a fresh perspective and rational problem-solving? I believe I am the latter and hope you will give me your vote.

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