February 17, 2004 > An Interview with Henry Manayan, Democratic Candidate for District 20 State Assembly
An Interview with Henry Manayan, Democratic Candidate for District 20 State Assembly
TCV: Can you tell us about your qualifications for State Assembly? What is your background and why are you running for office?
HM: I was born in New York City - my father was an immigrant to this country who fought with the US armed forces in WWII. I traveled to the West Coast in 1979 to attend Santa Clara University School of Law and received my juris doctorate from that institution. After living in Hawaii, I returned to California and started to work in commercial real estate and development and then in investment banking for a while. I was also a community volunteer, serving on the Board of Directors for different non-profits and charities, city boards and commissions
I got my first taste of elected office in 1994 when I ran for city council, I won that race. Two years later, Pete McQue stepped down to run for County Supervisor and asked if I was interested in running for the Mayor's seat. I was elected for my first Mayoral term in 1996 and have been re-elected for total of three consecutive terms 1996, 1998 and 2000. I stepped down as Mayor in 2002 and am now running for the State Assembly.
I want to run because I realize what a difference one person can make in the life of a community. And I want to be able continue my passion for public service at the State level especially for our district.
TCV: How can you make a difference?
HM: First of all the state of the Economy is extremely poor, we need to re-invigorate the economic environment. As Mayor for the City of Milpitas, I have a very long track record of establishing jobs and spurring economic development. I want to do that at the district level and the state level. I want to make sure California is a friendly state for business that welcomes and nurtures companies that want to locate here, start here or want to remain here. That will be my top priority - economic development and jobs. I was very pleased to bring high technology companies to Milpitas, such as Cisco Systems, Sony Corporation from Japan and many others resulting in thousands and thousands of new jobs.
Another area where I can make a difference is in affordable housing. We are in a terrible housing crisis here in the Bay Area. If we sell our homes, we can't even afford to buy them back. This is costing this economy a lot of talented people like teachers, firefighters and even young engineers that can't afford to live here. They are moving out of state and out of this area in order to buy a home. And we have got to be able to change that to accommodate the work force that helps drive the economy here.
TCV: What are your views on the current propositions.
HM: Proposition 57 and 58 are in tandem - we really need to pass both of them. It is the most responsible thing every voter needs to do. This is not the end-all solution, it is an emergency stop-gap measure, but not to pass it would be fiscally irresponsible. Failure of the measures would result in such drastic across-the-board cuts as Californian has not seen since World War II. Everyone would be hurt by this. It is absolutely necessary to get us out of the mess we are in. Yes I support 57 and 58 I urge all voters to do likewise.
I also support Proposition 55. This is a "no-brainer." We have got to pass that for the benefit of our education and our schools
I am not supporting 56 as it allows legislators to unilaterally raise taxes without any negotiations. I am afraid that they will raise taxes not only on companies but also on working people. Working families are going to be the most hurt by this and I want to make sure that we keep our environment business friendly so that we can prosper and we continue to move forward.
If we continue to put a lot of business unfriendly bills in Sacramento we are going to drive a lot of our business away or force them to close up. So like I said, I am opposed to 56.
TCV: What about Workers Compensation? Many small businesses are having serious trouble due to these costs.
HM: Absolutely, it is the most ridiculous thing, California has the highest workers compensation rate in the nation, it is driving small and mid-size business out of business and we have just got to deal and rectify this. That is my number one target when I get to Sacramento. It is broken right now and needs to be fixed. We have to stop this system of fraud and provide alternatives.
TCV: How would you change it, what do you recommend?
HM: Well if you look at California Attorney General's website and you look at the chamber website, there many good ideas. For example, medical schedules do not even exist for treatment of the same problem. We need to establish uniform medical schedules that establish rates for treatments and drugs. Secondly, we have to deal with fraud; it is obvious that there is much fraud through the system. We have to establish harsh penalties for those who are abusing the system.
There are a lot of redundancies in the system, it is not very efficient it needs to be streamlined and it needs to work for businesses. That will by my top priority when I get to Sacramento.
TCV: There are a lot of great candidates running for this office, why should voters cast their vote for you?
HM: I have a track record in creating thousands and thousands of jobs. My opponents cannot claim that. I have shown a track record of creating thousands of housing units. My opponents can not claim that. I have a track record in education. I helped to pass a $60 million dollar school bond in the City of Milpitas for new teachers, new facilities and none of my opponents can claim that. Please look at my website www.manayanforassembly.com. Look at my qualifications, my track record, my stance on the issues. The voters will see that this is not new to me, I have significant experience in the private sector and the public sector the track record speaks for itself and the voters want someone that has experienced that has ability I hope they will find that looking at my track record and choose me.
If elected I will create an advisory boards from different communities focus groups, because I use these advisory Boards as sounding boards and brainstorming opportunities to get new ideas. I have done this successfully in Milpitas and I will do this successfully at the State level. There will be different types of advisory boards and focus groups on legislations that can affect them.