State Assembly - District 35
|Why are you running for office?:||As a sitting Assemblymember, I have worked hard for our community. I was born and raised here on the Central Coast. I am running for re-election to continue our work supporting education, investing in local infrastructure, fighting human trafficking, supporting small businesses, and keeping us safe.|
We have an affordability problem on the Central Coast, which has been made worse by the pandemic. Our region also deserves a representative who will fight to make the Central Coast more affordable and grow our economy. We can’t make our region more affordable if we continually raise taxes and costs of living on struggling small businesses, like my opponent will do.
|What makes you qualified for the job?:||I’ve been an Assemblymember for four years. In that time, I’ve shown how much we can accomplish when we work together for the Central Coast. I’ve secured funding to finally fix the 41/46 Wye interchange to decrease the number of deaths in our community. |
I’ll keep working to create jobs that can provide for a family. I’ve already led the charge to continue state investment in career technical education programs across California and see the potential to augment local community colleges to train workers for specialized careers.
I’ve also successfully passed legislation to lessen the impact of Diablo Canyon’s closure on our community and fully fund career technical education. My record of delivering for the Central Coast proves that I am the best candidate to represent the Central Coast in the Assembly.
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:||When Diablo closes in 2025, about 1,500 head-of-household jobs will disappear. We need to bring more major job creators to the Central Coast, and we need a plan to replace Diablo’s lost energy and lost jobs.|
COVID-19 has illustrated just how unprepared our government was to handle the requests and needs of Californians. As a result of a poorly performing EDD, for example, my office has helped process over 3,000 claims from Central Coast residents who are out of work and desperate for help. State government agencies are in need of reform to work for the people.
California’s housing shortage and affordability crisis has had a major impact here on the Central Coast. Without substantial increases to our housing supply, our region will become more unaffordable and out of reach for the next generation. I have supported many bills in the Legislature that are aimed at increasing our housing supply.
|How will you interact with other governments?:||I have a strong working relationship with the other Central Coast representatives on every level. From our Federal counterparts, to the local officials. It is crucial that there be a strong working relationship. Because of these partnerships, we secured hundreds of millions of dollars for job retraining due to Diablo Canyon closing. We've outlawed usury and fought the cycle of poverty so many are stuck in. And e’re working to increase our region’s sources of renewable energy. I’m committed to working with whoever I need to ensure I deliver for the Central Coast.|
I have very good relationships with local officials across the political spectrum, and have been endorsed by a diverse and bipartisan coalition of local elected leaders from here on the Central Coast.
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:||COVID-19 has shown how unprepared our state is to handle the requests of Californians in need. The dysfunctional EDD has created a backlog of unemployment claims, resulting in thousands facing uncertainty in their ability to pay rent or put food on the table. My office has helped process nearly 4,000 claims from Central Coast residents who are out of work and desperate for help.|
Early in the crisis, after the state gave Central Coast healthcare providers tens of thousands of medical-grade N-95 masks with faulty elastic bands that rendered them useless, my office was able to connect providers in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties with an elastic provider. These difficult-to-find materials allowed providers to retrofit the faulty state-provided PPE and make them usable. We were also able to procure ventilators for San Luis Obispo County after a number of early providers fell through.
California should lead technologically but the state is failing residents when they need our government the most. We also need to continue to help our small businesses survive this pandemic.
|Which two issues are most important to you?:||I fight every day for every resident on the Central Coast. The reality is that we need to tackle a number of issues simultaneously. My main areas of focus have been, and will continue to be: bringing more high-paying jobs to our region, investing in infrastructure, enacting rational public safety policy, increasing our housing supply, cutting unnecessary government regulation and ensuring government accountability, expanding health care access, and building the energy infrastructure we need to address climate change. I would add fighting for our small businesses to this list, because they need help particularly now.|
Extended Interview with Jordan Cunningham