When you add California’s $ 5 a gallon of gas, deadly forest fires, priceless housing, open-air drug markets, brazen crime, skyrocketing homelessness, top state income tax, closed roads, sanctuaries, and erratic electricity tariffs, it’s easy to see why those People have decided to recall Governor Newsom.
Recalls are born of anger and frustration, and I share the resentment that fueled this political uprising, but I am running for governor for a very different reason: hope.
My family has lived in California since the gold rush. My business is here, my children and grandchildren live here, and I want them to experience the confident, beautiful, and welcoming California I once knew.
Changes required must be dramatic and large enough to meet the challenges of the recall.
That means reversing policies that made California astronomically expensive. When adjusted for our cost of living, California has the highest poverty rate in the country.
As governor, I will push affordability. California has managed to turn staples into luxury goods and is driving families out of our state.
California’s gasoline prices are twice as high as other states because we tax it to the death and pile up other fees and restrictions that drive the price up. We need to lower the gas tax immediately.
Our electricity tariffs are 50 percent above the national average. While the affluent elites in temperate Marin County may not be affected, it is a killer for young families and low-income workers in the blazing Inland Empire and Central Valley. We should make electricity and all other necessities as cheap as possible.
This applies twice to living. With an average home price of over $ 800,000, families are being brought out of the California dream. We need to reform laws, fees, and permit costs that make building too difficult and add to the cost of living in the stratosphere.
The shocking crime videos circulating on the Internet, in which fearless criminals fall victim to innocent Californians and rob businesses in broad daylight, make it clear that we must start punishing criminals again. I will continue to support law enforcement and ensure they have the tools, training, and personnel necessary to keep the public safe.
The size and resilience of our homeless camps is a political failure that is inhuman. Despite the rhetoric that most people are only a paycheck away from homelessness, anyone who will admit it will recognize that most homeless people suffer from tragic addictions or serious mental health problems.
Those who need our help most urgently are least likely to go to it themselves or to stick with it when it is offered. Some of the most beautiful urban spaces in our state have been turned into tent camps, their rightful uses abandoned, and stolen from the public. We need to help our homeless and reclaim our public spaces.
These problems are serious, but they are all opportunities. We can turn the state around. California is just as beautiful and the weather is just as temperate as never before. But without a vision people perish.
Senator Ted Gaines (retired) was elected to represent the first district on the Board of Equalization. He is a leading taxpayer advocate, defender of Prop. 13, and is committed to providing trusted and transparent representation for nearly 10 million citizens in 30 counties of northern, eastern and southern California.