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October 9, 2012 > CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 15

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 15

(Vote for 1)
Candidates:
Fortney "Pete" Stark (D)
Eric Swalwell (D)

TCV: What is your position on education?

Stark: From childcare for our youngest children to our public schools, after school programs through college, I have a track record of accomplishment on education. I fought for passage of a bill to retain 160,000 teachers facing lay-offs due to local budget cuts. I worked to reform or terminate No Child Left Behind because our schools haven't received the funding to implement it. A strong advocate for affordable higher education, I worked to pass legislation to eliminate government subsidies to private student-lenders and use the savings to expand Federal Pell Grants, and lower interest rates on student loans.

Swalwell: I believe we must think globally but allow decisions to be made locally. I believe we must repeal No Child Left Behind and reject nationalized standards. We must empower teachers so they are no longer teaching to a test, but rather, teaching with student learning styles and needs in mind. We must give more power to local school districts - the parents, the teachers, and the principal - to tailor learning to that school's particular circumstance and still demand high student achievement and accountability. Finally, higher education or post-secondary training must be affordable and accessible.

TCV: What is your position on healthcare?

Stark: President Obama's health reform law is the most important bill enacted since Medicare and Medicaid were created. I am proud to have earned President Obama's personal endorsement based on my leadership on my help crafting the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are intent on undermining the health reform law's implementation and I will use my leverage and experience to keep health care reform moving forward to increase accessibility and quality of care. I've also fought waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system, so that money goes where it is needed most. My reforms ended up being nicknamed the "Stark Laws."

Swalwell: I support the Affordable Care Act and the benefits that many are already receiving, including health insurance coverage for children up to age 26 under a parent's health insurance. I also believe we need to do more to control the costs of providing health care. For instance, as a member of the Alameda County Fire Commission, we are preparing to launch a pilot project that provides low-cost preventative health care at our fire stations. We need to do more to provide preventative health care that is accessible and affordable to avoid higher costs for health care later.

TCV: How important is economic development and what have you done, or propose doing, for the fiscal well-being of the communities in the District?

Stark: I've worked across the district to create quality jobs, whether it's bringing BART to Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont, or millions of dollars in federal re-training assistance to support autoworkers. To pull our economy out of the recession, I backed the 2009 stimulus bill which pumped over $2.7 billion in federal investments into Alameda County. I authored the original COBRA language and the temporary funding that made it more affordable for workers to get health care between jobs. I'm also working to secure funding for science and technology research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to create jobs and strengthen our region's economy.

Swalwell: Economic development is my top priority. I will work to create new jobs, opportunity and prosperity for this area. In Dublin, I initiated a program to match local entrepreneurs with empty storefronts to revitalize Dublin's main streets and lend a hand to the success of local small businesses. In Congress, I will be accessible to the communities in the District and responsive to their needs, including fighting for funding and projects that are helpful to the area's economic recovery and the prosperity of our families.

TCV: What other issues do the constituents consider priorities and how will you deliver them?

Stark: I am a staunch defender of Social Security and Medicare, fighting on the frontlines to stop the Romney-Ryan plans to gut benefits people have paid for. I am a committed environmentalist who will continue to protect the San Francisco Bay, bring federal resources to restore East Bay wetlands and create recreation opportunities along the Bay shoreline and in the East Bay hills. I have the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and I was honored to be named one of the "Best in Congress" by Working Mother magazine.

Swalwell: At every door, at every event I attend, people talk to me about basic pocketbook issues. This economy has produced job loss and reduction in wages and benefits for most people. But, other costs of living continue to rise including groceries, gas, utilities, etc. We can do more - through tax credits, research and development loans, grants and other incentives - to drive American innovation and manufacturing and create jobs right here. If companies outsource operations, they should be punished in the form of higher taxes. Finally, we must enact a fairer tax system so the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.


CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 17
(Vote for 1)
Candidates:
Mike Honda (D)
Evelyn Li (R)

TCV: What is your position on education?

Honda: As a former public school teacher, principal and school board member, I have made education a major focus of my legislative career. I was the original author and founder of the U.S. Department of Education's Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education. We must offer each child an equal opportunity to be successful in their learning and education. My STEM Education Innovation Act of 2011 (H.R. 3373) equips each student with the skills needed to win the future by providing Federal Agencies and states with the infrastructure needed to establish and execute national STEM education goals.

Li: I believe parents should have a choice about what school to send their children to, especially if they pay taxes. We should do what we can to ensure the freedom of choice for our parents. In my book, What Makes Sense, I have described several ways we can achieve excellence and affordability in education. Scholarships and vouchers are viable options. In addition, I advocate higher salaries to teachers since they are the mentors of our future generations. Smaller government is also necessary to allow creativity and autonomy to promote excellence.

TCV: What is your position on healthcare?

Honda: Healthcare is an inalienable human right. It is our responsibility to ensure that all Americans are given access to quality affordable care. I have been a tireless advocate for expanded health coverage, proudly standing on the frontlines with President Obama in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I have worked to address the needs of underserved communities. I fought to include historic language access and ethnic disparity provisions in health care reform and I have been a leader in helping write the Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act.

Li: Cutting unnecessary expenses, electing ethical controllers in the healthcare industry, and regulating the correct departments are important steps towards good, affordable healthcare.

TCV: How important is economic development and what have you done, or propose doing, for the fiscal well-being of the communities in the District?

Honda: A strong economy and economic development is vital to Silicon Valley. My Market Based Manufacturing Incentives Act (H.R. 3495) will identify the next generation of game-changing technologies and the bill's innovative tax credits will guarantee that companies build those technologies in America, creating jobs. My Scaling Up Manufacturing Act (H.R. 6120) would allow emerging businesses to claim a 25 percent tax credit on the costs of construction or lease of their first domestically located manufacturing facility, keeping manufacturing here in the U.S. Additionally, I authored the Budget For All, which is estimated to create 3 million jobs.

Li: Economic development is extremely important, especially in this District that includes much of Silicon Valley. Major companies are moving out of state because of the unfriendly business environment here. I propose: improving work ethics; fewer government regulations; cutting taxes; less stringent labor laws; and higher immigration quotas.

TCV: What other issues do the constituents consider priorities and how will you deliver them?

Honda: As a result of our broken immigration system, millions of individuals are forced to live in the shadows. The backlog in employment-based visas prohibits highly-skilled foreign workers from helping Silicon Valley flourish. I have championed the effort for comprehensive immigration reform since entering Congress in 2001, including serving as a senior Democratic whip during the House passage of the DREAM Act. My Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 1796) reduces the visa backlog and promotes timely reunification of immigrant families. I am committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform, which is estimated to generate $1.5 trillion in GDP over the next decade.

Li: Our constituents are concerned with using coal in place of natural gas in fear of carbon monoxide exhaustion. I am in favor of developing alternative energies. Tax credits are a good option for promoting this development.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 20
(Vote for 1)
Candidates:
Jennifer Ong (D)
Bill Quirk (D)

TCV: What issues do your constituents consider priorities and how will you deliver them?

Ong: Jobs leading to career opportunities; reduced crime within the home and outside; access to affordable, quality education from pre-school to graduate school.

Quirk: Residents in Fremont, Newark, Union City and the rest of AD 20 care deeply about the quality of local public education, job creation, economic development and public safety.
I support Governor Brown's proposal to institute temporary income and sales taxes through a ballot measure in November 2012. Once we've overcome the recession, I propose increasing education funding further. Meanwhile, more local autonomy for schools is necessary. Teachers working with local governing boards know best how to improve their schools and educate our children. I'll also fight to support police and fire services in Sacramento. We must not let the state appropriate local money meant for our basic public safety needs. I'll stimulate job creation by simplifying regulations and streamlining the approval processes for businesses while still protecting workers, consumers and the environment.

TCV: Are you in favor of local funds remaining in local communities? If so, what will you do to prevent future raids by state government on local, municipal funds?

Ong:Yes. I will not be supporting policies that "borrow" from local funds or redirect funding, temporarily or permanently, away from local municipalities. Each community's needs are unique. Local problems and solutions are the focus of local community members, so the incentive, accountability and transparency are of the utmost importance the more autonomy local government has over revenues raised from the community it serves.

Quirk: I believe local funds should stay in local communities. As a two-term city council member, I have witnessed first-hand just how hard it is for a city or local agency to function when the state raids its funds. I will be an advocate for local control over local funds if I am elected to the Assembly.

TCV: Following the abolition of redevelopment agencies in California, how can communities combat and rejuvenate blighted areas?

Ong: Communities are eager to serve the developing populations within AD 20: healthcare communities are keen to develop services and educational facilities; ethnic communities wish to develop manufacturing and deliver products unique to their communities, etc. Incentives to develop businesses start with a welcoming, business-friendly environment with good access to information and assistance, manageable paperwork and fees for a new business, a trained workforce that meets the specialized needs of employers and creation of a safe and aesthetically-inviting environment for the employees of new businesses that better utilize surrounding support services and businesses.

Quirk: First, local leaders must focus on getting things done and finding new tools to replace redevelopment. They must also find partners at the state level to help them locate the capital they need to accomplish important local projects. I will be a connection between local leaders and the State. I understand the local role and desperately want to help our communities improve.

TCV: How important is economic development and what have you done, and will do, to propose the fiscal well-being of the communities in the District?

Ong: My work is grassroots. In mid-September 2012, I gathered various community groups for a Job Resources Fair at Hayward City Hall. The event gives members of the re-entry population a chance to become productive citizens. It addresses education, safety, career development, recidivism, dwindling safety-net resources and accords ex-offenders dignity by providing educational training options, resume-development, job-hunting and job-retention advice and educating businesses about hiring incentives. Other socio-economically disadvantaged communities are examined: the disabled; seniors; veterans; single parents and English Language learners. These populations, whose members will become productive citizens, if given the chance, experience high unemployment, less assistance from social programs and must compete with job seekers who have advantages.

Quirk: Economic development isn't just important, it's critical. Without growth. there are no jobs, no revenue for local government and no mobility in our cities. As a Hayward council member, I have fought to stimulate the economy - I cast the deciding vote to bring a movie theatre to the Downtown. The theatre has helped bring restaurants and shops to Hayward. I also spearheaded an effort to reduce fees on development and simplify the permit process. As an assembly member, I would maintain that approach by working with local leaders to support their efforts to attract jobs and capital to revive our local communities.

TCV: What changes to the state legislature would you like to see, if any, such as a state constitutional convention and what will you do to achieve them?

Ong: As a candidate witnessing the imbalance between campaign funding and the funding of services that prevent children from living in poverty, sleeping hungry and being vulnerable to abuse and neglect in the United States, I'm most concerned about campaign reform. A country with a society willing to fund campaigns for personal advancement but unwilling to shift those funds to improve our educational system, assist working families and prevent children encountering hardship is not who we are. Americans have the unique compassion that strives constantly to balance wealth and power with the greater good; efforts are only effective when society is informed and the process is inclusive.

Quirk: I'd like to see less talk, more action. Less partisanship and more collaboration. I will work hard to build relationships with members of the other party and find ways to work with them to get California moving forward again. I believe that changes to the system are less important than the willingness to collaborate.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 25
(Vote for 1)
Candidates:
Arlyne Diamond (R)
Bob Wieckoswski (D)

TCV: What issues do your constituents consider priorities and how will you deliver them?

Diamond: Assembly District 25 covers a wide area including cities in both Alameda and Santa Clara County. Generally speaking, these communities care about the quality of their lives, the loss of their jobs, those of their neighbors and their children's future. They are also quite concerned about the allocation of resources and wonder if our legislators have their priorities straight.

Wieckowski: My top priorities are job creation, investment in higher education; environmental protection and balanced budgets.
Job creation will remain my main focus in the Legislature while continuing with my "Made in California" Jobs Initiative and meeting business owners and industry leaders to get us back on track.
I'll also find ways to guarantee access to quality, affordable higher education. I co-authored the "Middle Class Scholarship Act" and challenged so-called "for-profit colleges" to raise their standards for our students' benefit. We must pass Proposition 30 to avert cuts and fee increases.
I'll continue to balance California's budget with a healthy mix of cuts and revenues while protecting core services and programs upon which California's working families depend and provide assistance to small businesses.

TCV: Are you in favor of local funds remaining in local communities? If so, what will you do to prevent future raids by state government on local, municipal funds?

Diamond: Yes; I strongly favor local funds remaining in local communities. The voter must be honored and respected. If funds are taken away from where they have been allocated, voters are being deceived.

Wieckowski: One of our Legislature's main jobs is to balance the state budget, which required analysis of all funding sources. It's important that cities and the state Legislature work closely together. Ultimately, much of the state budget funds important quality-of-life programs in local communities.
I've worked hard to make it easier for local communities to go to their own voters and seek funds for key services. This included my bill, AB 1086, which allowed Alameda County to go to the voters to improve transportation infrastructure with a sales tax increase in November 2012.

TCV: Following the abolition of redevelopment agencies in California, how can communities combat and rejuvenate blighted areas?

Diamond: We have a range of community needs, from smart growth to no growth. Each city's planning department needs to work closely with community members and developers to improve these blighted areas (without resorting to eminent domain). If the small business owners in these patches of land saw the personal and community benefits to change, they would embrace it.

Wieckowski: There are still tools available to communities and others that moved through the legislative process this year.
One of the bills I authored, ultimately signed by the Governor, helps homeowners' associations (HOAs) identify owners of foreclosed properties so they can continue to collect fees to maintain neighborhoods and prevent blight. My bill requires copies of new deeds to be mailed to local HOAs upon sale or change in ownership and to be recorded in the county recorder's office.
We also passed the Homeowners Bill of Rights which will give families more tools to stay in their homes and also reduce blight.

TCV: How important is economic development and what have you done, and will do, to propose the fiscal well-being of the communities in the District?

Diamond: It is through economic development and growth that we improve the quality of life and the welfare of our citizens. As a consultant to businesses and local government agencies, I have worked to enhance the effectiveness of people and the efficiency of processes. If elected, I will support activities that encourage fiscal well-being.

Wieckowski: My top priorities are job creation and economic development. In early 2011, I launched the "Made in California" Jobs Initiative to expand California manufacturing, invest in biotechnology research, waive the sales tax for manufacturing equipment and provide hiring tax credits for small businesses. I've spoken with business leaders and employees throughout my District about challenges facing their industries.

I teamed-up with local businesses to pass legislation that protects local florists and funds Clean Technology projects more quickly and worked to place Measure B1 (Alameda County's Transportation Sales Tax) on the November 2012 ballot which will raise billions of dollars for transportation infrastructure improvements across Alameda County.

TCV: What changes to the state legislature would you like to see, if any, such as a state constitutional convention and what will you do to achieve them?

Diamond: The changes I would like to see are more about attitude and cooperation than about laws. I want us to be able to respect each other and work together.

Wieckowski: The most important change is to bring our Legislature together to actually accomplish things that prepare us for the 21st century economy. This requires more legislators to listen to all sides of the story and work in mutual agreement to achieve things. I demonstrated a strong ability to work across the aisle and with constituent groups to pass more than 24 bills and reduce our structural budget deficit for the coming years. I've tried to set the example for how I hope our Legislature will conduct itself in the upcoming term so we can get this state working again.

ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERVISOR
DISTRICT 2
(Vote for 1)
Candidates:
Mark Green
Mary Hayashi
Mark Turnquist
Richard Valle

TCV: What is the role of County government and how do its Supervisors ensure a fair and equitable distribution of resources between the five Districts into which Alameda County is divided and between the communities within each District?

Green: The County has responsibility across a wide range of services including: public safety, public health, court proceedings, transportation, welfare, flood control, voting, business records, property assessments and social services. Each supervisor represents a district in the county and should balance the relative needs of the district with those of the county as a whole. Even inside each district, a particular city may be in greater need of a specific service than another city. A perfect balance of resources between each city or each district on every service is not realistic because needs vary. I would seek overall equity and fairness.

Hayashi: County government is the frontline of public service because in the face of dwindling resources the state has been shifting additional responsibilities to the counties. I am an effective legislator who brought tax revenues back to our county and advocated for the people of Hayward, Union City, Newark, Sunol and Fremont. I am a proven leader who has delivered results and has experience with the broader issues facing the state and County. As the state shifts additional health services and public safety to Alameda County, it will be more important than ever to have an experienced voice at the table.

Turnquist: Manage the budget of the Alameda County Government, based on population and the needs of each community. Each Department is given a budget and the GSA over sees all of the buildings, vehicles and supplies.

Valle: The role of County government is to listen to and serve constituents. As your Supervisor, I am committed to accountable and responsible fiscal management that protects essential public safety, healthcare, economic and youth services. As a former City Councilmember I fully understand the needs of seniors, youth, children and families in our communities and am committed to providing the outstanding, accessible service you deserve. I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that South County and Central County residents get the attention we need and deserve.

TCV: Within District 2, what issues do the constituents consider priorities and how will you deliver them?

Green: Top priorities in District 2 include making the District, and the County, an inviting place to do business and create jobs. Evidence clearly shows the top two areas for new job creation are in new businesses being founded and expansion of established businesses. We need to make District 2 and Alameda County an inviting place for new business and appealing for a successful business to stay here and grow. Public safety is an area in which greater cooperation between cities and the County is desirable. My experience as a mayor and in regional government will be valuable in these areas.

Hayashi: I have devoted my entire life to public service, improving my community and advocating for good jobs. As an Assemblymember for the 18th District, my focus has been on jobs, public education and expanding access to health care for the uninsured. If elected as Alameda County Supervisor for the 2nd District, I hope to continue focusing on those issues so we can build a better future. Infrastructure and economic potential is very important to attract and retain businesses. We need to make government a partner for entrepreneurs looking to start-up and businesses looking to expand in Alameda County.

Turnquist: Saving St. Rose Hospital. I have a health care plan which would save the County millions of dollars and save the hospital. There are so many buildings vacant and I would create a task force to go outside the area and recruit businesses to our area.
Valle: Education and good jobs for our youth. I have dedicated most of my life to helping youth find meaningful employment, including young people who have been previously incarcerated.
Public Safety: Sacramento's repeated money grabs and shifting of responsibility threaten the safety of our communities. Ensuring our safety is a top priority. I'll fight to make sure Alameda County receives the resources necessary to address public safety realignment and has appropriate plans and programs in place.
Additionally, I am working to restore accountability and transparency for District 2 as well as fighting to keep St. Rose's doors open.

TCV: What have you done/will do for the residents, visitors and businesses, specifically in District 2, and in Alameda County?

Green: Making Union City, Alameda County and the Bay Area better places to live has always been my goal while in elected office. Areas such as quality and affordable housing, retail development, transportation improvements, public safety funding, park and recreational projects, environmental protection, economic development and inclusion of our diverse community in the political process have been in abundant evidence during my positions as mayor and in regional government. I will continue to advocate for the betterment of District 2 residents as a county supervisor while maintaining the need to be fiscally responsible of public resources.

Hayashi: As a state legislator, I have the strongest record of bringing tax dollars back home. I passed AB 142, reforming the lottery and bringing in $500M for public schools. I authored AB 1386, a compromise between Hayward and Caltrans that raises over $250M for infrastructure improvements and creates hundreds of jobs. I brought Alameda County an additional $10M for parolees. I permanently funded the Alameda County Family Justice Center. I also oversee Prop 63, which provided almost $225M to the County. I will use these skills to ensure we get our fair share of tax revenues.

Turnquist: I will bring businesses to our area and create jobs through my County health care plan and I have program ideas which will give welfare recipients jobs and get them off welfare and make them tax-payers.

Valle: As the President/CEO of Tri-CED Community Recycling, I have created hundreds of well-paying jobs for Central and South County youth.
As a Veteran, I understand first-hand the unique challenges that many of us face in difficult times. We must improve our local hospitals and healthcare so that anyone, who needs it, receives compassionate, quality care.
As your Supervisor, I am committed to being accessible to the community that I have called home for over five decades. If you need any assistance, feel free to contact my office at (510) 272-6692. Visit www.ElectSupervisorValle.com to learn more about what we are working on.

TCV: How would you raise public awareness of Alameda County government and its initiatives?

Green: Greater awareness of county government could be achieved by televising meetings, conducting some meetings in the evening and moving meetings throughout different parts of the County. Many people find it difficult to attend morning meetings in Oakland; occasionally breaking out of the mold could raise the profile of County government. At the District 2 level, I would be engaged with local elected officials and city staff members in a dialog to exchange ideas and concerns on the common or unique problems faced by jurisdictions. I would also have a centrally located district office to make contact with residents easier.

Hayashi: As a County Supervisor, I will raise awareness of County government by advocating for the people and informing them of important services. As Assemblymember, I have a strong track record of working with community groups and local governments to promote senior health, jobs for students and the unemployed, dental screenings for children, earthquake preparation and fight against hunger. We need a transparent and effective County government that puts people first and works to create good jobs in Hayward, Union City, Newark, Sunol and Fremont.

Turnquist: I would hold Town Hall meetings in each community of my District. I would have an open-door policy for residents and business owners to have direct access to me so, when there are issues in the community, I could interact with the sources of the problems at-hand.

Valle: I have been meeting with local chambers of commerce and will work with local businesses to ensure District 2 businesses have increased participation in contracting opportunities. Since taking office two months ago, I have meet with countless constituent groups, businesses and individuals to address their concerns and find opportunities to collaborate. I have presented to the city councils of Hayward, Union City and Newark and have a town hall scheduled in Fremont. My office will continue to outreach to all constituents in District 2 and throughout the County to make sure District 2 gets the resources we need and deserve.








BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT DISTRICT
(BART) Director, District 3
(Vote for 1)
Candidates:
Anthony Pegram
Rebecca Saltzman (no response)

TCV: What are your constituents' priorities and how will you deliver them?

Pegram: Passenger Safety - I'll increase the presence and effectiveness of BART Police on our trains and in our stations. Additionally, un-armed BART Resource Officers should be on our trains to deter problem behavior and aid riders when necessary.
Cleaner Trains - I'd require that our trains and stations are cleaned at a much higher rate. BART facilities should be the model for cleanliness for the region's public transit systems.
Reliable Service - Every time you ride, fare machines and gates need to operate flawlessly. Elevators and escalators should be clean and bicycle storage should be available at stations.

TCV: What will BART look like, a decade from now?

Pegram: New, cleaner and quieter trains with three sets of doors will make boarding easier. Solar panels will cover many stations and parking lots to power the lighting and machines in our stations. Trains will have special racks for bicycles. BART will extend from San Jose to Antioch and from Millbrae to Livermore. Transit Oriented Development will serve as destinations at our major stations. BART will be better able to serve its ridership connecting to all three Bay Area Airports, to Amtrak, ACE and the Capital Corridor.

TCV: Should BART be extended generally within San Francisco and the Bay Area, in all directions, with many more stations to serve more communities, in the same way as the London Underground and Paris Metro where many residents of these high-density cities are no more than a 15-minute walk from a station? If so, how?

Pegram: While a much more extensive system, mimicking the world's oldest public rail systems would be wonderful, the realities of construction in dense urban areas and real-world costs make that an unlikely scenario.
Instead, we need to focus on strengthening the BART system to serve as the backbone for our region's public transit system. We need to augment our light rail and bus systems to ensure easier transitions to BART and focus on providing quicker pedestrian access to a safer and cleaner multi-model system of public transit.

TCV: How effective is current BART-related/BART-partnered transit-oriented development in attaining the goals of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act 2006) and SB 375 (Sus

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