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State Assembly - District 35

Dawn Addis

dawn addis
Dawn Addis - State Assembly District 35 candidate

State Assembly - District 35

Why are you running for office?: The Central Coast needs change. The life we’ve enjoyed here is slipping away for too many, regardless of their political party or age. The way we get out of this is to listen and to show up to do the work. I have been a classroom teacher, a community organizer, a city councilmember. The one thing these all have in common is that they have allowed me to be an advocate for the people I serve.

The Central Coast is my home. My husband and I chose to raise our children here. It’s where I have coached futsal, tended the snack bar at football games, and been a part of the local Rotary. It’s where we have made our family memories hiking, biking, and surfing. It’s where we have celebrated family holidays with the grandmas.

But things here are getting worse, not better. And especially so in the last four years. The life we have had is becoming unattainable for even people who are raised here. So it’s time for change. We need someone to speak up for us to get our fair share from Sacramento.

And that’s just what I intend to do.
What makes you qualified for the job?: I am a Morro Bay Councilmember and a former appointee to the Citizens Finance Advisory Committee. I have a long record of community involvement including co-founding the Women’s March in San Luis Obispo (WMSLO), which drew a crowd of around 10,000 people in 2017 and has since grown into a successful nonprofit organization. Professionally, I am a classroom teacher and educational program developer. I have worked for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, the largest Unified School District in the 35th Assembly District, since 2001. I hold a bachelor’s degree in art education and Spanish and a master’s in special education from San Francisco State University and four different teaching credentials.

I will show up and speak up for the Central Coast in ways that my opponent hasn’t and won’t. While he may be a nice person, he has voted numerous times against coastal protections, fire prevention, and funding for infrastructure in our County. As a teacher, I advocated strongly for my students - even when it wasn’t popular. As a councilmember I am in tune with boots on the ground needs. As a community organizer I have been shoulder-to-shoulder with residents who are working for change. I understand the community and am unafraid to work for what we need.
What are your two main priorities if you win?: Supporting individuals, families, and small businesses through this pandemic and economic fallout is what I am focused on now and will continue to focus on in the Assembly. When small businesses fail, we not only lose well-paying jobs, but the very character of our Central Coast. I will champion recovery from both the economic and the healthcare crisis.

As a legislator, I intend to fight for the people of our district. My priorities include access to housing, job creation, protecting our environment and communities from the dangers of wildfires and climate change, fighting for greater health care access, rebuilding our infrastructure, and fully funding our schools. All of these priorities are important to make the Central Coast the best community it can be for all its hard working residents. I will work just as hard as AD35 residents work to make sure our community’s voice and needs are heard in Sacramento.
How will you interact with other governments?: The key to successfully addressing the priorities of the Central Coast is through regional collaboration. I have experience working across various levels of government to make sure that our communities and leaders are working towards the same goal. I have excellent relationships with members of both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors and have worked extensively with other local leaders from both counties. I have done this during my time on city council and am committed to bringing this same approach with me to the state legislature where I will work across political and geographic lines to solve the pressing issues of our community.
What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?: We face the most significant economic challenge since the 2008 financial crisis, as unemployment hits record levels and small businesses struggle to make ends meet. California has to take a bottom-up approach, providing economic relief to those who need it the most, beginning with low income families and essential workers. I’ll work to prevent small businesses from falling into bankruptcy and fight to support our Central Coast communities with additional state infrastructure investments.

Economically, I would champion a consistent pathway for businesses success during reopening, while providing enough testing and PPE to re-open safely. We must also fix the problems with services for people out of work due to the crisis. In healthcare, we must increase public health funding and healthcare access. Additionally we need pathways to housing and home ownership for our healthcare workforce so that healthcare professionals find the Central Coast a viable live and work option. For our schools, I would work to ensure full funding as well as proactive
prevention of the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff.
Which two issues are most important to you?: All of the issues that I mentioned above — affordability, jobs, environmental protection, recovering from COVID 19, among others —are incredibly important, and inextricably linked. Done well they create an ecosystem of success.

I have been a champion on all of these issues. On Council, this includes working to keep Dog Beach open and conserve the Chevron Property between Morro Bay and Cayucos; promoting investment in wind and solar storage; awarding economic development contracts to the Chamber; worked to refine and streamline government services; lead the way to address the complicated issue of housing; worked on providing homeless services; moved a critical water reclamation project forward; advocated to a science-based approach to the COVID 19 crisis; funded fire truck replacement; and collaborated regionally on the Economic Vitality Corporation. I have also been a member of the Common Ground Task Force and Police and Communities together. This is the kind of leadership I would bring to the State Assembly.

Extended Interview with Dawn Addis

2020 Voter Guide
Author Profile Photo

NewsChannel 3-12

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