Strong Kern, strong California

From the capitol

Strong Kern, strong CaliforniaBy ASSEM. VINCE FONG

With the passing of another year comes another string of political failures pushed by out-of-touch Democrats that control Sacramento. The time is now to make our voices heard as we persist in proposing commonsense solutions to the most pressing issues facing Kern County residents.

The disconnect between Sacramento Democrats and California constituents continues to widen. Democratic leaders are overly focused on pushing unwelcome one-size-fits-all regulations onto Californians, resulting in job losses and growing frustrations. They continue to advocate for unpopular and wasteful projects like the High-Speed Rail. In return, working- and middle-class Californians are left to face the consequences. Californians cannot afford the extreme taxes, higher gas prices, rising housing costs and unaffordable costs of living caused by Sacramento.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed power shutoffs to become a new normal, which is unacceptable. Entire towns are subject to power outages. Numerous Kern County schools, including all of the schools in Tehachapi Unified School District, were forced to periodically close due to short-notice blackouts. Special districts have to search for generators to ensure that they can provide water to residents. Kern County residents and Californians deserve better.

Sacramento’s role in permitting homelessness to develop into a statewide crisis can no longer be ignored. The homeless in Kern County are in desperate need of mental health services, drug addiction treatment and emergency bedding. It is no irony that this problem has worsened after Propositions 47 and 57 and as we continue to force costly regulations on housing. Sacramento must get serious about helping people get off the street and into stable living conditions in partnership with our local communities.

California’s attempted crackdown on energy production threatens the state’s economic health. Additional layers of red tape and bans on high-pressure steam injection technologies threaten Kern County jobs and inadvertently force California to increase reliance on foreign oil. Sacramento must stop overregulating our domestic producers and start considering common-sense approaches to provide reliable and affordable energy to Californians.

For 2020 we cannot rest because a strong Kern County is a strong California. As the representative of the 34th Assembly District, I will pursue policies that support Kern County residents and industries that are often ignored from the state’s policymaking process — industries we rely on every day. I will pursue better policies to bring more water to our farmers and ranchers, allow for needed energy production, reform the Department of Motor Vehicles and other bloated state agencies, provide needed services and treatment to our homeless and defend the hardworking residents who rightfully just want fewer burdens from Sacramento.

I am proud to call Kern County my home and champion our region, and I look forward to working together to fight for policies that help our community prosper.

Story First Published: 2020-01-10