We reached out to former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez on her run for Orange County Board of Supervisors. The short campaign is very different than a typical Congressional campaign and Sanchez is the only Democrat in the race.
Here are her answers to eight questions we posed. Comments are always welcome below:
1. Why run for Supervisor?
Orange County is my home. My family and friends are here. For 20 years I flew home every week to live and understand OC so I could do a great job for us. Now, I get to stay home and continue to work on things that effect us every day like homelessness and the housing crisis. I believe I am the most qualified and experienced candidate to work with our state and federal elected officials to bring more funds to our county and to work in collaboration with our local elected to implement positive changes for OC.
2. What are the Biggest Issues?
A. Fire Suppression (for 3rd district residents)-We need to fight for every dollar from the state and federal government to increase firefighting resources and create buffers, especially with the wilderness areas. We need an effective fire suppression plan which includes alternate escape routes.
B. Homelessness-We need to revamp CalOptima and ensure we put in the systems for a robust mental health system and create more rehab beds to address the opiate crisis. We need to work on private-public partnerships to create permanent supportive housing projects.
C. Transportation Congestion-Any major metropolitan area must have a transportation system that moves people. We need to ensure that our transit system is easy to use, affordable and robust (with wait periods of no more than 10 minutes so riders will use it).
3. How Will You Use Your Experience in Congress to Bring Home Funds
There is no candidate with more understanding and good relationships to get more of our taxes back than me. I can do this both at the state and federal levels, where money decisions are controlled by Democrats.
4. What Issues will you champion?
Mental Health Parity, Redo of CalOptima, increase of living standard for lowest paid County workers
5. How Will You Tackle the Homeless Situation
This past year (pro bono) I have been co-chair of a capital campaign to raise funds to build a 30 micro-unit apartment building to house unaccompanied, homeless women. Women alone on the streets are the most vulnerable. I am not just “talking” about the homeless, I am doing something about it. These types of efforts will help, but we also need all the “wrap around” services (mental health, rehab, employment training and opportunities< etc.).
6. There’s a Argument Some Voters in the District Don’t Know You Well. How Do You Respond?
For 20 years I represented all OC residents. I was the only vote for the Affordable Care Act, which eliminated discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and allowed affordable health care for more residents. When I brought the funds to widen the 5 or 22 or 91 freeways, it just wasn’t for the central portion of OC. When I worked to fund the largest water recycling plant in the world to make our water supply more secure for OC-it affected all of us. When I would be the only congressperson from OC to cast a positive environmental vote-it was for all of us.
7. The OC GOP Sent a Fundraising Letter Calling you a “Notorious Liberal?” Are you?
Well, I’ve never been one much for labels. I would say if you look at my record over 20 years in the Congress I always s stood up for good ideas and stood against bad ideas. I voted against the Iraq War (biggest folly of our nation in a long time), against the Patriot Act (which eliminated many of our civil liberties), against the Bankruptcy Act (which turned many working-class people into indentured servants, against the Bank Bailout, which gave money to Wall Street but didn’t save our homes). I voted for the Affordable Care Act, for Green House Caps, for education bills, and for the American Recovery Act to pull us out of the recession.
8. What should OC know about you?
I’m a mother, grandmother, outdoor adventurist, and I thank God everyday that he watches over me and my family here in beautiful Orange County. It is a privilege and an honor to work on peoples problems and make opportunities happen so their dreams can come true.