|Candidate Name||Jon Wizard|
|Position Sought||California Assembly, 30th District|
|Website / Social Media||www.ElectWizard.com|
|Why are you running for office?||I'm running for Assembly because I respect the need to take a regional approach to solving our problems and the Central Coast desperately needs a champion fighting for them in Sacramento. No community, no matter how big it is, can solve all of its problems on its own, and despite well-meaning efforts, when partners and neighbors don’t work together, it leads to wasted effort and poor outcomes. And with not one city in this new district being bigger than 50,000 people, someone who understands regional collaboration and how to work with partners is going to be successful in bringing tangible benefits back to the Central Coast.|
|What makes you qualified for the job?||I believe I'm the best choice for the job because I'm the only candidate who has lived and worked in each county in this new district. This district spans one-fifth of the California Coast and its residents deserve representation from somebody who knows the people and challenges in every community. With my professional experiences as a first responder and in creating more housing, plus my experience in public office as a county planning commissioner, city council member, and housing authority chairperson, I'm the most qualified to tackle the important issues facing our district.|
|What are your two main priorities if you win?||My top two priorities are the issues of housing and homelessness, as well as drought and wildfire. |
Having worked for Habitat for Humanity and now as a policy director for the Campaign for Fair Housing Elements, as well as being the chair of the board for the Monterey County Housing Authority, I've spent years focused on the housing crisis. I've also spearheaded the effort on the Monterey Peninsula to create the first ever shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness, which has gotten more than 60 families off the street and secured permanent housing for more than half of them. If elected, I will leverage my housing expertise to deliver real, lasting solutions to our district.
As a former firefighter and as a current director of both a public water utility and public wastewater utility, I'm laser focused on water supply issues and how they affect our ability to grow our community and workforce. In addition to working on increasing our water supply with recycled water and advanced treated water, as well as through stormwater capture, we must take appropriate steps to manage our vegetation and wildland areas to ensure we're preparing for wildfire under long-term drought conditions.
|How will you collaborate with other governments?||As someone who started their time in public office as a Monterey County Planning Commissioner, a county nearly twice the size of the State of Delaware, my perspective is framed by the need to work collaboratively across communities to ensure our choices do the most amount of good for the most amount of people. Additionally, I currently serve on the three-county "council of governments," which covers Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties, and create policies around climate, transportation, and housing across a region with more than 800,000 residents. I was also a director of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, which oversaw the closure of a base the size of the City and County of San Francisco, helping plan for generations of redevelopment to replace the lost economic input when the military left. The Fort Ord Reuse Authority is not dissimilar from the decommissioning of Diablo Canyon, but its board was made up of elected officials from eight cities throughout Monterey County, plus three supervisors from the County of Monterey, as well as eight ex-officio members representing local colleges, universities, transportation agencies, and water agencies. My experience in regional governance and collaboration is unmatched by any other candidate, and I'm the most experienced and qualified candidate running for this new Assembly district.|
|What are the next two issues that are most important to you?||The next two issues that I will work on are ensuring we have access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, as well as creating opportunities for our region's youth to be successful even if they don't go to college. |
Because of our rural and suburban setting, we often have to travel far distances for specialized medical care—many people in SLO go south to LA, and many people in Monterey and Santa Cruz go north to Stanford. Additionally, as the cost of living continues to rise and it becomes harder to get by throughout the Central Coast, doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners find it more difficult to move here or to sustain their business. We need to continue making investments in loan forgiveness, tax relief, and other incentives that will draw skilled medical professionals to the Central Coast so that we have access to local, high-quality, and affordable healthcare services.
While we encourage our children to attend college and get a degree, that option isn't for everyone. But not going to college shouldn't mean a lifetime of hardship. We need to create pathways into middle-income, head of household jobs for kids who decide college isn't for them. I will fight to dedicate funding toward professional technical jobs and the skilled trades, like aircraft maintenance, surveying, and carpentry, so that even when kids don't go off to college, they can still learn skills that allow them to achieve financial success in life.
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