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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino Counties, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 60

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget Crisis, Education, Water, Health Insurance

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?

Answer from Diane Singer:

Simply stated, we have a budget crisis because we spend more than we have, we pass ballot initiatives that are not funded and we carry Washington's burden of unfunded programs.

On top of that, our legislature is too busy arguing instead of finding compromise. Our legislature needs to find a solution, they need to cross the aisle, find a way to make it work. We will no longer tolerate elected officials who just dig in and say no, we cannot tolerate those who refuse compromise and balance. We want leadership.

If California families can balance their checkbooks and live within their means, so can our state. The key is to cut wasteful spending, including a push back on the unfunded mandates forced upon us by Washington. Next we need to prioritize our needs, the first being taking care of our children's education.

Lastly, after every wasted dollar is saved and unnecessary program is cut, we need to look at our bottom line. Then and only then, just as families do, we need to consider how to increase revenue. In a family that might mean a second job for dad or that mom goes back to work. In government that means we need to look at creative ways to bring in revenue; it may mean sacrifice. We have to consider that a revenue generating plan might be necessary, but only as a last resort.

Then, after it is all worked out, when our budget is balanced and a surplus is realized, our legislators need to act responsibly, they need to spend as they go, they need to save for a rainy day (or fire, or earthquake, or flood). Going forward, we need a legislature who will protect taxpayers with smart and sensible fiscal restraint.

? 2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?

Answer from Diane Singer:

K-12 education should be our top priority. Sadly, it has become the political poker chip of the new millennium, at all levels of government, with terrible consequences for our children, our communities, our state and our country.

In our Assembly District, 96% of our children attend public schools yet our current representation has chosen to sacrifice our children's future for political purposes. The agenda has not been to improve our schools, it has been to promote vouchers and shortchange our children's learning with policy decisions that drive testing in place of teaching and learning. We've had enough!

Our children's learning is my top priority. We must do everything we can to fully fund public education and improve teaching and learning in our classrooms. We need to return music and arts education to our schools, invest in vocational training, and bring small classes to all grades. We need a child-centered curriculum that encourages our children's best work. We need a curriculum that teaches critical thinking, problem solving and soft skills so that our children can compete in the global economy. We need to say no to wasted instructional hours and the politics of standardized testing when it comes to our children's education.

This is California, the seventh largest economy in the world yet our schools rank 47th in per pupil funding. We must make our children our first priority with full K-12 funding and a child-centered curriculum.

? 3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?

Answer from Diane Singer:

California is a desert and water is finite. We cannot live without water; it is crucial to our agri-business, to our economy, and to the health and welfare of our citizens.

We need to conserve and develop our water sources. We need to educate our communities on water conservation and we need to find creative ways to increase our water production. We need water education programs in our schools, we need public service education programs for consumers and business and we need reward systems, like tax incentives or discounts, for those who actively conserve water.

? 4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?

Answer from Diane Singer:

All Californian's should have access to quality health care. It shouldn't be free, but it should be affordable, quality, healthcare. The free market, unfortunately, hasn't been a solution-provider in this area - our current system isn't working. Too many families suffer through bankruptcy, or financial ruin, if a loved-one gets seriously ill. It is the Legislature's job to provide Californians with access to quality healthcare they can afford.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: January 24, 2009 10:43 PST
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