|Candidate Name:||Jimmy Panetta (*incumbent)|
|Position Sought:||Congress – District 19|
|Website / Social Media:||www.jimmypanetta.com|
|Why are you running for office?|
|I am running for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives so that I can continue to serve the people of our home and fight for our Central Coast values. Although the shape of our congressional district changed, it does not change my dedication and desire to enhance the lives of my constituents. Through my casework for individual constituents, I have helped provide opportunities for numerous people that have had a variety of issues with federal bureaucracies. Through my federal legislation, I am creating policies to protect our environment, provide more affordable housing and accessible healthcare, lower drug prices, support our agriculture industry and small businesses, enhance our national security, and invest in our infrastructure. Having been raised on the Central Coast, I understand the obligation to give back to our communities and country. That is why I hope to continue to have the honor and privilege of representing our home and fighting for our values in Washington, D.C.|
|What makes you qualified for the job?|
|I have served in the U.S. House of Representatives for just over five years. In that limited amount of time, I have proven that I can get things done in Congress for our home on the Central Coast. I have authored and had signed into law several pieces of federal legislation that supported our men and women in the military and their families, enhanced the lives of homeless veterans, helped manage our federal forests, and ensured security for those in hospice care. I have fought for and secured millions in federal funding for affordable housing, farmworker protections, and infrastructure investment. I also helped author the Farm Bill and the USMCA trade bill to protect and promote our specialty crops and wine industry at home and abroad. I led the effort to successfully reverse the previous Administration’s harmful environmental regulations in order to sustain coastal and ocean resources. I secured compensation for restaurants, small businesses, farmers, farmworkers, and hospice care providers to offset losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. I co-authored the House passed bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act to provide opportunities for earned citizenship for essential workers. Recently, I secured funds in the bipartisan infrastructure law that could be invested in key Central Coast projects including water resources, wildfire resiliency, energy grids, and supply chain solutions. In recent House-passed legislation, I secured key funds for agricultural research and conservation and tax credits for investments in microgrids and linear generators and purchases of electronic buses and e-bikes to help reduce carbon emissions. As a member of the Ways and Means, Agriculture, and Armed Services Committees, I am able to work on many of the solutions for the issues that affect us on the Central Coast. Moreover, I believe in working together to get things done. I serve on the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus and am a founding member of the For Country Caucus that strives to reject partisan and political interference in favor of achieving consensus and compromise with bipartisan policies.|
|What are your two main priorities if you win?|
|Affordable housing is a leading issue in the new 19th Congressional District. Fortunately, I have proven my ability to provide solutions and assistance for such a troublesome problem on the Central Coast. In my limited time in Congress, I fought for and secured over $100 million for housing and homelessness programs in my current congressional district. During the pandemic, I obtained $23 million in housing relief and an additional $16 million for rental assistance for Central Coast residents. I also am fighting for more low-income housing tax credits for the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing. I authored and passed a tenant bill of rights for residents of privatized military housing in the annual defense bill. Moreover, I have consistently supported increases in housing allowances for farmworkers, seniors, and people with disabilities, as well as energy efficient and climate resilient upgrades to federally assisted housing.|
Having grown up on the Central Coast, I value our environment, but more importantly, I also comprehend what it takes to protect our natural resources. We must bolster our existing protections so that we can continue to maintain our pristine coastline, marine sanctuary, national monuments, and federal forests. I authored the Replant Act, which was signed into law, to increase reforestation investments and introduced legislation to help manage our federal forests and prevent wildfires. I authored the Monarch Act, which was signed into law, to protect and enhance the habitats of key pollinators. At the same time, we must seriously address the climate crisis by passing legislation that reduces our carbon output in our energy and transportation sectors. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, we passed a bill that provided tax credits for investments in microgrids and linear generators and purchases of e-bikes and electronic buses. A lot has been done to protect our environment, but more needs to be done legislatively to ensure the future of this place and planet that we call home.
|How will you collaborate with other governments?|
|I will collaborate with any public servant in the state, county and local governments to help make government work for the people of the Central Coast. Our shared commitment to public service is reflected in the development of community projects and public policy. My approach starts with building trust among constituents and stakeholders, providing reliable information and keeping commitments. I enjoy the process of organizing and managing coalitions to build a base of support. I also believe in negotiating with those who disagree with me. Collaboration is not only about working with supporters but also about negotiating with those with different or opposing views. One of the most important skills of a public servant is the ability to work with opponents and convince them to reconsider their stated positions and to consider new ideas. An important example of this collaboration is our recess success securing $67 million in federal funding for the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project in the infrastructure law. We built a team of local leaders in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties who joined me in advocating this project and will continue to help me work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that we achieve the goal of 100-year flood protection for residents in Watsonville and Pajaro.|
|What do you think are the two biggest issues that need to be addressed right away?|
|The Central Coast must receive its fair share of federal support and funding for the substantial federal government presence in the form of military installations, national parks and forests, and agricultural and environmental activities. This year, I secured funds through the bipartisan infrastructure law that can be invested in key Central Coast projects including road repair, water resources, wildfire resiliency, rural broadband, energy grids, and supply chain solutions. Additionally, I secured key funds for agricultural research that would directly benefit Central Coast farmland as well as conservation and tax credits for investments in reducing our carbon emissions. Most recently, I secured federal funding for several local infrastructure projects that will improve our roads, pedestrian safety, water projects, workforce development, accessible healthcare, and affordable housing. More needs to be done to bolster our infrastructure, but I have proven that I can deliver federal investment to our home on the Central Coast. |
As a federal representative, it is my responsibility to make the federal government work for the people of the Central Coast. That is why I fiercely advocate for constituents by breaking through the many layers of federal bureaucracy to find answers and solutions to their questions and problems with the federal government. This requires tenacity and constant follow-through. However, that type of personal service is what inspired me to run for this office and, now, having done the work and seen the results that affects people’s lives, it is the main reason why I hope to continue my service to the people of the Central Coast.