The greatest challenge the Assembly faces is putting California on a fair, responsible and sustainable fiscal path. While the Assembly must confront the budget issues facing the state, we must not do so at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens: the poor, seniors, disabled and the millions of children attending our public schools.
As Mayor of Santa Monica, I have proven that when officials work together, we can balance the budget and provide necessary resources for our constituents. Some of my proudest accomplishments are:
13 consecutive years of balanced city budgets and AAA Bond ratings
Thousands of jobs created
Scores of new businesses locating in the city
Encouraging innovation and providing infrastructure that led to Santa Monica being dubbed "Silicon Beach"
My wife, Robbie, and I raised two children who attended our fine public schools. Like most parents, we are proud that Zac and Emmett attended great colleges and are now making their way in the world pursuing exciting careers.
As Mayor, I've championed school funding issues and led the charge for increased financial resources for our schools. We've more than tripled the amount of money granted to our district to over $14 million dollars annually. I also spearheaded City support for "For the Arts" the SMMUSD Education Foundation's art and music programs. The results of our combined efforts are high performing graduates who are going on to attend college in record numbers.
The Assembly must find predictable and sustainable revenue streams to ensure that our public education system gets the support it needs, from kindergarten to college. As our standards for student achievement rise, we must ensure that all our students benefit, including children with disabilities.
My record as a strong steward of California's environment is well known. Throughout my public career, I have led on issue after issue, making sure that we leave a better environment to our children and that we enact sustainable policies to protect our land and oceans well into the future.
I successfully fought the big oil companies, forcing them to clean up Santa Monica's polluted wells. I helped clean up Santa Monica Bay, built and restored our great parks and mountains, protected our ocean and coast and made Santa Monica into an internationally respected green city, which recently earned us the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Award.
In Sacramento, I will bring these ideas and experiences and lead a broad coalition to make California the nation's leading green state.