California's Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Public Policy
Five candidates for governor of California participated in a debate on Monday at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. Moderated by NBC4 anchor, Colleen Williams and chief political reporter, Conan Nolan, the “California’s Race for Governor” debate was primarily focused on public policy. The candidates are Travis Allen, John Chiang, John Cox, Delaine Eastin, and Antonio Villaraigosa.
Considering the turmoil in the White House, Williams pointedly asked, “Is California at war with Donald Trump and his administration?” Her co-moderator Nolan quickly interjected, '... in light of the nearly two dozen lawsuits filed against Washington D.C. since he's taken office.” Former two-term mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa stated that California will mark a different path from the White House. Villaraigosa made it very clear that universal healthcare is vital to remain intact. He also expressed a desire to have strong environmental standards in the state along with a need to protect California's immigrant population.
Travis Allen, a three-term Republican assemblyman from Orange County was clear on his message: It’s time we take California back. Allen’s plans for 'taking California back' include the elimination of sanctuary cities, “I am now encouraging every California city across this state to call your city council and tell them to opt out.”
One of the central debate topics highlighted California’s housing crisis. California is in the middle of a dramatic housing crisis making homes unaffordable for many new buyers. This resulted in the debaters shifting the discussion to California Senate Bill A27 which focuses on zoning along transit lines. John Cox, a Republican who ran against Barack Obama for U.S. Senate in 2003 stated, “I am in the housing business.” Cox, was firm in his belief that regulation, taxes, and fees are the main causes for California’s housing crisis and he has a plan to build 3 million housing units in California. But he stresses that subsidies will not best serve the state.
Gun safety in America has been a recurring topic and the next phase of the debate shifted to how these candidates can assure parents that safety is their primary concern for Californians. Delaine Eastin, served as a superintendent of public instruction from 1995 to 2003, and on the Assembly from 1986 to 1994, including as chairwoman of the Education Committee. Eastin declared, “We were the first state to pass an assault weapons ban and I was in the assembly at the time.” Eastin elaborated on her experience with the NRA and believes that 'There is no excuse to have an assault weapon… we don’t need the militia that we needed in 1789.'
“To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world....Understand the power you have to affect each other's lives.” This was the message from John Chiang who was elected state treasurer in 2014. Chiang had a passionate message about how he would encourage young people to get involved in their communities. Chiang stated that he’s had a long history in diversifying corporate boards with women, members of the LGBTQ community and believes in recruiting young people and getting them involved.
Gavin Newsom wasn’t in attendance at the debate and the candidates made it very clear they noticed as well. Chiang called it 'sad that Newsom didn’t attend the debate' and, “If he doesn’t respect you now as a candidate, why should you trust him as governor?" Newsom, the current Liutenant Govenor of California was the mayor of San Francisco for two terms from 2004 to 20011.
The primary election will be held on June 5, 2018 followed by the general election on November 6, 2018. If you'd like to watch this debate in its entirety, follow this link to NBC Los Angeles: Watch the debate here at NBCLosangeles.com