|Candidate Name:||Mike Stoker|
|Position Sought:||California Assembly – District 37|
|Website / Social Media:||www.stokerforassembly.com|
|Why are you running for office?|
|I’m running for State Assembly because I believe that California is on the wrong track. Inflation and the cost of living continues to skyrocket, gas prices are at historic highs, not enough energy is being produced to power the grid, our water reservoirs are going dry and we haven’t built new water storage in 40 years. |
As a small businessman and public servant, I want to get our state back on track because I believe California is worth fighting for. As your next Assemblyman, I’ll stand-up for parents, law enforcement, farmers, small businesses and the taxpayer. I’ll always fight for the Central Coast and put YOU above the Sacramento special interests my career-politician-opponent is taking tens of thousands of dollars from.
|What makes you qualified for the job?|
|I was raised right here on the Central Coast, and raised my family right here in Santa Barbara County. I’ve started a business here, and I’ve represented parts of the County as a Supervisor. I’ve also served at the state and federal level so I’ll hit the ground running knowing how to be an effective state legislator. I know the Central Coast better than any other candidate, and will fight to make it the best place in the country to live, work, start a business and raise a family.|
|What are your two main priorities if you win?|
|The first thing we need to do is make California more affordable and safer. The California Dream used to be a real thing – this was the land of opportunity. Now, sky-high housing, gas and energy costs have made it nearly impossible for the next generation to stay here on the Central Coast. As your next Assemblyman, I’ll fight to increase our housing supply in order to bring costs for new homebuyers down. I’ll also work across the aisle to address our highest-in-the-nation gas and energy costs. Many of us can’t afford to pay $7 for the gallon of gas we need to get to work – we need a full-court-press strategy to increase our state’s energy production and bring the cost of gas down. And to keep us safe, unlike my opponent, I will oppose any efforts to defund our police. |
Secondly, we need to address our state’s aging and lackluster energy and water infrastructure. We do not currently generate enough electrons to keep the lights on during heatwaves and peak demand. Instead of generating clean power here in California, we have to import dirty power from other parts of the state to keep ACs running and lights on. We need to make serious investments into a more balanced energy production portfolio that allows us to continue to cut emissions without risking widespread blackouts.
On the water front, we haven’t built large-scale water storage in 40 years. There is a project in Northern California called Sites Reservoir that could increase our storage capacity by a 500,000 acre feet – enough water for 1 million California households. That project is fully funded and ready to break ground today, but it’s sitting on some bureaucrat’s desk waiting final approvals from a plethora of state agencies. And, especially in times of drought, we should not be diverting up to 30% of water we export from northern CA to central and southern CA into the Pacific Ocean for some microscopic fish.
We’re in a historic mega-drought. We need more water storage in order to capture more drinking water and we need to build more desalination plants along the CA coast. We cannot continue to sit idly by as our state runs out of fresh water.
|How will you collaborate with other governments?|
|As both a County Supervisor and the Regional Administrator for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, I worked constantly with state, local and tribal governments to get big things done. In the Assembly, I’ll work with federal, state, local and tribal leaders – regardless of party - to advocate for our often-overlooked slice of California.|
|What do you think are the two biggest issues that need to be addressed right away?|
|We need to curb inflation and address California’s affordability crisis; and we need to bolster our aging energy and water infrastructure. |
Inflation is stretching our budgets to their thinnest. Local residents cannot continue to pay what they’ve been paying for groceries, gas and everyday goods. We cannot continue to allow career politicians to raise our taxes. We need policies that curb inflation and bring prices back down to earth. I oppose tax increases and will fight for common sense fiscal policies that bring inflation down and make California more affordable.
Our energy and water infrastructure is failing. We don’t create enough electricity to keep the lights on during peak demand in the Summer, and we don’t have enough water storage or desalination projects online to quench our state’s thirst. We need to develop a statewide plan to create more clean energy, and we need to break ground immediately on new water storage projects like Sites Reservoir and desalination projects.