Community First

The job of our member of Congress should be simple: to be an advocate for our community’s needs in Washington. But for too long Tom McClintock has been voting for his own ideological agenda and placing blame instead of finding practical solutions that address the problems that people here are actually facing. We need to change the political culture, so that we stop defining winning as the other party losing. We need homegrown leaders that understand our issues-- real concerns like affordable housing, fire danger, and infrastructure. I will always make the time to listen to the voters of this district, and to work with leaders in both parties to find common sense solutions that last centuries and not political cycles. As your Congresswoman, I will work to...


Affordable Housing

Finding an affordable place to live is getting harder everywhere in our district. That forces families into hard choices between rent and food, makes harder for businesses to retain a skilled workforce, and contributes to a growing homelessness problem. Tom McClintock believes that housing should be left to private developers, with no efforts to produce the affordable workforce and low-income housing we need. I believe we have to work as a community-- private sector, government, churches, nonprofits, all of us--  to solve what is increasingly a problem for everyone in our district.

Expand tax credits that build affordable housing. We should expand the tax credits that builders in our community rely on to finance affordable housing development, especially the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The Housing Credit is a bipartisan success story, helping to build 3 million affordable units since President Reagan signed it into law. But Tom McClintock is making the housing affordability situation worse: the tax plan that McClintock voted for will result in 235,000 fewer units of affordable housing being constructed each year.

Work across the aisle to address the crisis. A bipartisan group of Senators recently created a Task Force on the Housing Affordability Crisis, recognizing that we need to come together to find new approaches to solving this growing problem. I would take that approach to the House, working with both parties to find and act on the best new ideas to get more affordable housing built.

Help people who lose their housing. With housing costs rising, a growing number of people with jobs are becoming homeless; it is estimated that as much as a third of homeless people are working at least part-time. We should expand rapid re-housing programs that help people who lose their housing find affordable housing and deal with move-in costs, so that they do not become chronically homeless.


Fire Prevention

Wildfire has become a constant and tragic danger across our district. But wildfire is not just a natural disaster, it's also a political disaster fueled by underinvestment in proven approaches to prevention. We know why these fires rage: clear cutting at the turn of the century and decades of misguided fire suppression policy have led to overly dense forests, which are now under stress from regular droughts and a warming climate. We can lower our risks by wisely thinning our forests, finding uses for forest waste, and developing thoughtful plans for grazing and controlled burns. These solutions would not only keep our community safe, they would create local jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Invest in cost-effective fire protection. We spend billions fighting fires. Battling the Butte fire in Calaveras, for example, cost $1,200 an acre. Meanwhile building fire breaks, thinning brush, and control burns cost a fraction of that, as little as $150 an acre. Yet fire prevention work through the Forest Service and other agencies has been chronically underfunded. And the forest service has had to draw from the little money it has for prevention to pay the cost of fighting each new fire, a vicious cycle in which each new fire makes the next one more likely. I will fight to properly fund the budgets for both fire prevention and firefighting, making smart investments that keep us safer and save money in the long run.

Support local solutions for forest health. Large scale timber sales in the Sierra, Tom McClintock’s preferred solution, will only leave us with a patchwork of cluttered forest and destructive clearcuts. But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve forest health  and reduce fuel loads. Local forestry managers, timber professionals, and environmental groups are already developing collaborative approaches to landscape-scale forest restoration that support our outdoor recreation industry, preserve environmental protections, and involve local communities in the decisions.

Emergency assistance and fire insurance. I will stand behind residents who lose their homes in fire, or lose their insurance to protect against it. It’s shameful that Tom McClintock voted against federal emergency assistance for victims of California wildfires, and for a tax bill that removed the deduction for personal losses in wildfires. And he’s been silent as insurers cancel fire policies in Sierra communities. In Congress, I will support emergency assistance to fire victims and efforts to preserve the availability of fire insurance in our district.

Create jobs reducing fire risk. Instead of fueling wildfire, excess timber can fuel economic growth in our district. Removing beetle-killed create a supply for local wood products companies. And pilot projects in woody biomass have the potential to produce affordable energy and create local jobs.


Infrastructure

Generations before us took on the responsibility of building roads through the mountains, piping water down the foothills, and stringing telephone wires into our homes. They were proud to build up their community, knowing they laid the groundwork for future prosperity. I haven’t forgotten that. When I see our road and water infrastructure falling further into disrepair, or our communities missing out on the digital economy, I believe it’s time our representative took responsibility.

Transportation | Our roads are in serious needs of repair; on the most recent report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the country’s highways received a D+. Here in the 4th district that can translate into hours more each week spent waiting in traffic, like at the 65/80 interchange, and hundreds of dollars a year in extra car repairs. Properly funding road repairs would save us all time and money, while creating good paying local jobs. I will work to ensure the National Highway Trust Fund is made solvent for the next decade, paying for it responsibly by reversing special-interest giveaways in the Administration’s tax plan.

Water | From Gold Rush-era pipes to dried-up wells to degraded streambeds, our district’s water systems need real attention. While Tom McClintock promotes unsafe dam building to move Sierra water to Southern California, I’m focused on the safety and reliability of our local water supply. And while he has led an effort to use federal authority to overturn California state water laws, I’ll work to preserve hard-won local agreements that balance the needs of farmers, commercial fisheries, water quality, and the environment.

Rural Broadband | High-speed internet is a modern utility. A fast connection is how our kids do school work, our businesses connect to markets, and our healthcare providers exchange vital data. Yet large in large areas of our district, people are cut off from those opportunities by slow or unreliable service. Our representative hasn’t been an advocate for us on this issue. I will work with the bipartisan Rural Broadband Caucus that is putting this on Congress’ agenda, establishing an Office of Rural Broadband and developing public-private partnerships with leading companies that want to help.