Word count 551
When you add up California’s $5 per gallon gas, deadly forest fires, unaffordable housing, open air drug markets, brazen crime, exploding homelessness, highest state-income tax, non-drivable roads, Sanctuary Cities, and outlandish electricity rates, it’s easy to understand why the people chose to initiate a recall of Governor Newsom.
Recalls are born of anger and frustration and I share the resentment that’s fueled this political uprising, but I’m running for governor for an entirely different reason: Hope.
My family has been in California since the Gold Rush. My business is here, my children and grandchildren live here, and I want them to experience the confident, beautiful, and welcoming California I once knew.
Necessary changes must be dramatic, big enough to meet the challenges driving the Recall.
That means undoing policies that have made California astronomically expensive. Adjusted for our cost of living, California has the highest poverty level in the nation.
As Governor, I’ll push affordability. California has managed to turn staple goods into luxury goods and it’s chasing families out of our state.
California's gasoline prices are twice as high as other states because we tax it to death and pile on other fees and requirements that jack up the price. We need to slash the gas tax immediately.
Our electricity rates are 50-percent higher than the national average. While that might not affect wealthy elites in temperate Marin County, it’s a killer for young families and low-income workers in the blazing Inland Empire and Central Valley. We should make electricity and all other necessities as inexpensive as possible.
That goes double for housing. With a median housing price above $800,000, families are getting priced out of the California Dream. We need to reform laws, fees, and permit costs that make building too difficult and contribute to stratospheric housing costs.
The shocking crime videos circulating on the internet, showing fearless criminals victimizing innocent Californians and robbing stores in broad daylight, make it clear that we need to start punishing criminals again. I’ll continue to support law enforcement and make sure they have the tools, training and personnel needed to keep the public safe.
The size and resilience of our homeless encampments is a policy failure that is inhumane. Despite the rhetoric about most people being one paycheck away from homelessness, it’s clear to everyone who will admit it that most homeless are suffering from tragic addictions or serious mental health problems. Those most in need of our help are least likely to seek it out themselves or stick with it when offered. Some of the most beautiful urban spaces in our state have been turned into tent camps, their rightful use abandoned, and stolen from the public. We must mandate help for our homeless and reclaim our public spaces.
Those problems are serious, but they are all opportunities. We can turn the state around. California is every bit as gorgeous, and the weather is every bit as temperate, as it has ever been. But without vision, the people perish.
Senator Ted Gaines (Ret.) was elected to represent the Board of Equalization’s First District. He is a leading taxpayer advocate, defender of Prop. 13, and is committed to providing trustworthy and transparent representation for nearly ten million constituents in 30 counties of northern, eastern, and southern California. For more information, visit http://tedgaines.com