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State Senate Candidates Call For New Representation

The candidates of the new 25th Senate District discussed their platforms in a Thursday forum.

Hoping to win a place on the November ballot for the , two of the three candidates championed a new order of representation in Sacramento during last night’s Candidate Meet and Greet at the Citrus Valley Association of Realtors in Glendora.

Republican Senate candidate Gil Gonzales and Democratic candidate Ameenah Fuller discussed their views on topics important to local voters, including education, taxation and redevelopment.

Carol Liu, the Democratic incumbent for the current 21st Senate District and the third candidate for the newly-drawn 25th district, was in a budget meeting in Sacramento and could not attend Thursday evening’s forum, according to her assistant.

Fuller ran for state senate in 2008, but just missed winning a seat by a few percentage points. The chief executive officer of a business consulting firm in Upland, Calif. said she wanted to wipe out the obvious corruption in the state capitol.

“This is a new district, but a lot of the issues when I ran in 2008 still exist today,” said Fuller. “There is something fundamentally wrong with our legislators in Sacramento.”

Gil Gonzales, director of public affairs and government relations for Vons/Safeway, criticized entrenched incumbents such as Liu.

“I believe I am most qualified for the job,” said Gonzales. “The political dynasty of Carol Liu and that particular party needs to be handed back over to the voters.”

Solution for Funding for Schools

When discussing schools, Gonzales turned the attention to business funding, citing a link between local economic stability and job creation, and the financial health of schools.

“A lot of the problems when it comes to school funding, we need to look at the revenue side of things," said Gonzales. “We have to stop the bleeding of jobs that are leaving California.”

Fuller asserted the importance of education funding and looking for alternative, yet cost-efficient programs to maintain the quality of public education.

“I would like to make sure that I would put together a proposal to expand learning education programs, look at ways to make learning more efficient and cut out any waste in education to make sure it is sustainable,” said Fuller.

Should the Wealthy Pay More in Taxes?

Fuller said she believed taxation for the purpose of subsidizing areas such as education was justified, although taxing primarily the most wealthy was not a solution.

“I want to see more children successful in our state,” said Fuller. “It would not be a problem to me to promote that to everyone. I would offer economic summits to educate people on the issue before bringing in the idea of taxing anyone.”

Gonzales said the taxing the wealthy would stunt business growth and continue to leave the economy in a poor state.

“I don’t think people should be penalized for being successful,” said Gonzales. “You heard the term, ‘Everyone needs to pay their fair share.’ We are the most overtaxed state in the nation. Many businesses that consider coming into the state turn around and go straight into Texas and Nevada.”

Redevelopment

Gonzales said from past experience of working on redevelopment projects, he believed redevelopment was a faulty but beneficial program for cities, creating jobs and economic opportunity.

“The first thing we need to do is show our taxpayers and our legislators what the outcome of [the end of redevelopment] is really going to look like,” said Gonzales. “The bill that created thousands of jobs was gone in a flash...and now we are going to see costly bills of litigation.”

Fuller said the issue of redevelopment needed to be resolved by “weeding out the corruption in Sacramento” first before creating new programs that will “work” for each city.

“If we don’t weed out the corruption in our cities, we’re going to have the same problems years from now,” said Fuller.

The 25th Senate District serves Sierra Madre, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Pasadena, La Cañada-Flintridge, Montrose, Glendale, Burbank, Glendora, San Dimas, Claremont, Upland and Duarte.

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