Q&As with state assembly seat candidates

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Devin Cook

In this spotlight you will find an opinion article about the importance of participation in municipal elections, a chart explaining the goals and background of each of the candidates running for judge seats, a poll info graphic illuminating students’ opinions on the election, question and answers with your state assembly District 50 candidates, and a collection of different social media that the candidates and their fans have participated in. To view the other components of the spotlight, click the links at the end of the post to navigate your way throughout the interweb!

Veronica Pahomova co-editor-in-chief

Eleanor Bogart-Stuart culture editor

Sophia Goldberg business manager

Storify: Get to know Matthew Craffey & Richard Bloom via social media

In Los Angeles alone, there will be dozens of seats up for grabs, including four seats on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. All together, eight candidates are running to becoming judges for seats 11, 158, 42 and 84.

Millions of voters in California will go to the polls on Nov. 8 to take part in the democratic election process. While the main spotlight will be on the presidential candidates, local elections are taking place across the state.

[View the story “Get to know your California State Assembly District 50 candidates” on Storify]

Matthew Craffey Question and Answer

1. Could you please describe your background in politics/government? What title would you prefer to be quoted with?

I have been involved in politics at the grassroots level for many years. I write political opinion editorials that have been published in The Advocate, The Ventura County Star, and other publications. I’ve served on the board of the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance in the early 2000’s fighting for LGBT equality within the community, and in the local political system. Currently, I’m privileged to serve as the President of Log Cabin Republicans of Los Angeles County, a group which advocates on behalf of LGBT Republicans. As President, I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous local, state, and national politicians as well as fight for greater acceptance and equality of LGBT individuals within the community and in the Republican Party. I also work as Director of Prospect Management for UCLA, making sure that the University has the resources to grow academically, while also keeping tuition costs affordable.

2. What are some of your main stances, opinions and goals for your possible election?

Education Reform-We can achieve this through increased accountability and transparency in our public schools so that we can remove the truly bad teachers, and pay the good teachers more money; an expedited review process for creating more charter schools; tuition assistance for low income and middle class families; and new low-cost vocational education and degree options for adults and working families.

Create More Jobs-The corporate tax rate should be cut to 5%, and businesses should be given incentives to expand their operations within the State, and new businesses should be given additional assistance in the first 5 years of operation to help transition to profitability.

Helping the Middle-Class-If elected, I would work to lower state income taxes on middle-class taxpayers from 9.3% to 5%, increase the rate on those earning $1 million plus from 13.30% to 15% to cover the loss in revenue, support the preservation of Prop 13, streamline the process and fees to start and maintain a small business, reduce DMV and other state fees, and expand financial assistance to low and middle class individuals for vocational training and higher-education.

3. What do you feel makes you qualified and right for this position?

I’ve decided to run for State Assembly because I know what our state was once, and what it is capable of being now, and believe that the current leadership has become an obstacle to that potential. Partly due to one party control in Sacramento, assembly members have become too focused on their pet projects, ideological legislation, and on increasing regulations that only end up adding more burden on the low-income and middle-class, not the rich. I want to help make our state stronger, our policies smarter, and our middle class more prosperous than it’s ever been. I believe I have the right temperament, and problem-solving skills for this job. I’m confident I will earn the respect of state leaders of both parties who will work with me on my proposals.

4. Do you feel like it is important for high school students to be informed and participate in state/municipal government elections? Why/why not?

That is a great question, and the answer is emphatically yes! The only way we can make our community and our country better for everyone is to get involved, educate yourself on the issues and vote. I have many friends who may differ from me politically but we respect each other, and there is more that unites us than divides us. I truly believe, as long as you have educated yourself on the issues, we should each respect the perspective and political choices we make. And if we don’t get involved and don’t do what we can to make things better within our sphere of influence, then we can’t really complain when it isn’t the way we want it, can we?

5. Is there anything else you would like to say to the Beverly Hills High School study body?

I would hope the answers I’ve shared with you today get you thinking about civic engagement and getting more involved in politics. I would also hope that on some level I’ve earned your respect and support. I love the community we live in and the biggest reason I am devoting my time and energy to running for State Assembly is to protect our way of life and hopefully improve the opportunities for those struggling make ends meet. I hope I am the person elected this November to proudly serve you in Sacramento.

Richard Bloom Question and Answer

1. Could you please describe your background in politics/government? What title would you prefer to be quoted with?  

[My title is] Assembly member Richard Bloom. [My background in politics has been] nearly 14 years as Santa Monica Mayor and Council member, four years as assembly member for the 50th Assembly, which includes Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Malibu, Agoura Hills and West Los Angeles.

2. What are some of your main stances, opinions and goals for your possible election?

I served as a local and now State elected for nearly 18 years. I’ve long been a leader on the issue of climate change and think it is one of the most important and challenging issues of our time. Improving our environment, reducing waste and protecting wildlife are also critical issues. Addressing the housing affordability crisis in California is one of my top priorities. The Governor recently signed two of my bills on this topic and I will introduce more in the next session of the legislature, if I am reelected. Our roads and transit  infrastructure is inadequately funded, and we must come up with a funding plan to address both. I’ve been engaged and will continue to be engaged in finding the solution to this complex problem.

3. What do you feel makes you qualified and right for this position?

I’m running for re-election to continue working on the important issues that face California and the local communities I represent. I am an experienced elected leader and I’ve had great success in the four years I have been a Beverly Hills’ Assembly member and before that as Mayor and Council member in Santa Monica. My experience as an attorney, parent and over 50 years living in our Assembly District all help to qualify me for reelection.

4. Do you feel like it is important for high school students to be informed and participate in state/municipal government elections? Why/why not?

It isn’t just important, it’s essential for high school students to participate in elections. The stakes have never been higher and the leaders we choose today will affect your lives – for better or for worse – tomorrow. I encourage all Beverly Hills residents to vote on November 8th.

5. Is there anything else you would like to say to the Beverly Hills High School study body?

My office is currently accepting applications for internships. If you would like to apply please contact my office 310-450-0041.  Go Normans!

Check out students’ opinions on the elections and find out why it’s important to go out and vote here!

 

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