Issues

Ardy_Kids.jpgIncrease Funding for Public Schools

I’ll fight to make sure our schools have the funding they need by making Prop 30 permanent, increasing funding above the Prop 98 floor and working to direct more funds to the neediest schools. Teachers shouldn’t have to buy school supplies for their students with their own money and parents shouldn’t have to feel squeezed to fund the basics of their kids’ education by donating to foundations. Our children are our future, and we need to invest in our state’s future.

Help more students graduate from college debt-free

I’m committed to holding the line on tuition, expanding enrollment and reducing management and administrative costs to make public colleges affordable for all. We need to ensure that every Californian has a shot at getting a world class college education and that we’re not short changing our residents by adding more out-of-state and country students to balance our books. The promise of attaining the California Dream starts with hard work and a world class education.

Grow our economy

I’ll work to invest more in the innovation economy – including high tech manufacturing and clean energy – so we can create more high paying jobs with long term career paths for working people. Making sure California is competitive in the global market must be a top priority for Sacramento and I will fight to make sure we’re attracting more businesses to move here, keeping the ones we already have in California and ensuring that we invest in rebuilding and growing our state’s infrastructure. 

Healthcare

The Affordable Health Care act was a good first step. Now we must continue the work to bring down the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs. As a member of the Assembly, I will strongly advocate for the expansion of in-home healthcare services so patients can get the care they need at home, rather than staying in hospital for extended periods of time. As for the issue of vaccinations for children, our son, Armen, has received all of his childhood vaccinations. My wife and I believe all children should receive their immunizations, not just for their own benefit, but also for the protection of all the other children with whom they come in contact

Keep entertainment jobs in our area

As City Clerk I worked hard to make sure studios filmed locally and kept entertainment jobs here where they belong. I strongly support promoting and expanding the entertainment tax credit so that film and television production jobs stay in California and support the families that depend on them. Entertainment jobs are manufacturing jobs and as long as we’re making movies, TV shows, commercials and other types of entertainment here, we can ensure that the local economy will remain strong as well. 

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Create more affordable housing

Making sure people can afford to live in the communities where they work is very important to me. I’m a strong proponent of affordable housing, and support increased funding at both the state and local level for both public and public-private partnerships to create affordable housing units. When teachers, public safety personnel and nurses can’t afford to live in the communities where they serve us, we need to do better.

Ensure guns are kept away from the wrong hands

Many years ago, a friend and I were mugged at gun point on Brand Boulevard in Downtown Glendale – the experience was terrifying and it left a lasting impression on me.  Something needed to be done to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, so I teamed up with a group of activists to stop the Glendale Gun Show from utilizing city property.  After many years of lobbying, a reluctant City Council that was beholden to the gun interests finally agreed to take action.  In Sacramento, I will continue to stand up for what’s right, and work with law enforcement agencies and community groups to help prevent the mass shootings that have plagued our state and nation.  The stakes are simply too high to stand on the sidelines.

Support community policing to keep neighborhoods safe

We’ve all noticed the increase in crime and larceny. More people’s homes are being broken into and criminals who should be put away and individuals who should be rehabilitated are not. Strengthening public safety is a priority of mine, and I will work with local and state law enforcement to identify ways to enhance our neighborhoods through community policing. I will also make sure that we have the programs available that give individuals the help and skills they need to turn away from a life of crime and become contributing members of society.  

Promote conservation and environmental health

When my family moved to California there was a crisis that affected everyone’s health.  There was a time in Southern California when the air quality was so bad that children were told to play indoors.  We have come too far to go back to those days.  California is a leader in environmental policies and our state is better for it.  Tackling climate change, protecting open space, and supporting a statewide moratorium on fracking are my top priorities.

Address the historic drought

The drought threatens every Californian’s access to clean, reliable drinking water, and I support cost-effective and proven solutions to addressing our essential water needs.  Although we have largely met or exceeded the reduction targets established by Governor Brown, we can do more.  By funding conservation measures among residential and agricultural users, supporting regional self-sufficiency through increased storage capacity and improved water recycling, and protecting our sensitive watersheds, we can ensure that we have enough water for everyone as we move forward.

Equal rights for every Californian

Marriage equality is now the law of the land but it wouldn’t have happened were it not for everyday people like you and me who took up the cause and made our voices heard. Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect with no exceptions. I've stood up to hateful rhetoric and division in my community because it's important to do more than just take a position, but fully engage to advance the causes of equality and fairness. Making sure our friends and neighbors who are part of the LGBT community are treated equally and with respect is everyone’s responsibility.