The Issues of The 8th U.S. Congressional District of California

Forward

Strong Leadership. A Clear Healthcare, Education and Economic Plan. A Brighter, More Secure Future.

Dr. Rita Ramirez (D) is vying again for the 8th California Congressional District for House of Representatives seat.  While previously defeated in the 2016 election [see CAMPAIGN FINANCE], her concerns and views for the people of the high and low desert communities of the 8th have not faltered and her resolve to be of service has grown even stronger under the present white house administration.

“I believe in working toward the goals for everyone.  I believe in the American Dream.  My leadership style is to bring positive change and growth by embracing technology with an understanding of cultures and minorities.”

Serving the community of the high and low desert for over 25 years, involved in over 50 community boards and activities, Dr. Rita Ramirez is part of the fabric of the desert communities.  As a multi credentialed educator, whom has been in the community classrooms for over 35 years, she has taught many of the areas business leaders in the classroom and in the boardroom.  She has been involved in the politics of the community for over two decades and has held or holds distinguished positions in the California Democratic Party and California Democratic Council.  While a life-long Democrat, Dr. Rita Ramirez uses her education and experience to weigh in on the variety of issues for the community, the state and for the country.

When elected, you will not find her having the best attendance record on the hill, as she is committed to continue her community activism by establishing several offices throughout the 8th District and being available to listen, gather facts, and take educated actions based on community needs.

In the 2016 she was defeated, truly not by votes, but by campaign finance.  During the 2016 race, Ramirez spent less than 50 cents per vote, capturing nearly 60,000 registered voters’ attention to her platform based on the value of education.  Representative Cook, while placating to the minority of voters registered in the district that have ties to the military, spent nearly $7.50/vote.  His $1 Million war chest has insured that military spending continues both with current enlisted as well as veterans.

The California 8th Congressional District Issues are current indistinguishable from The Country’s issues, as Representative Cook as provided in his press releases, his website and his voting record. 

By Checking out the above link, you will find that Representative Cook as done very little to support the issues of the desert communities.  He has spent most of his tenure on The Hill either being a rubber stamp for the current administration, or he has spent his time (and your money) helping to keep the military complex a going concern.

Economy And Jobs

A Strong Economy For Desert Communities

Each day, thousands of commuters are forced to travel to the greater Inland Empire and as far as Los Angeles and San Diego for jobs. These are residents who would gladly trade in that commute for a more stable and rewarding job in one of the five High Desert cities.  Commuting times for all cities individually varies depending on different factors.

The commuting workforce of the High Desert could increase with future trends in education and technology, especially since coastal cities are where many high-to-moderate paying low-skill and high-skill jobs will be more densely located.

Consequently, college-educated Millennials are also more likely to move to urban/coastal areas since they provide more amenities they affiliate with. What does this mean for the future workforce? Industries that are not as dependent on education and technology will see a decline nationwide, including Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail Trade— with the only exception being Leisure and Hospitality, which will increase proportionately. In the County of San Bernardino,  However, there will be increases in work related to Construction and Logistics since the advent of e-commerce will require infrastructure and new facilities to operate.

THE CANDIDATE’S POSITION: Dr. Rita Ramirez believes that a strong economy for the desert communities begins with a change in attitude.  By obtaining funding to encourage higher education and business development, outside of the strong retail and hospitality sectors for the desert communities, will result in two important changes: (1) New technology enhanced businesses will be developed and grow, and (2) Millennials may stay longer in the communities in which they grew up, enhancing the region.

Dr. Ramirez believes that the #CA08 cannot rely on military contracts or incarceration contracts to sustain communities.  As People we have seen communities being stripped of these large institutions because of cuts in government spending.  And, having only retail services cannot provide an economic basis for survival.

Education

Education is the Key to a Thriving Future

In the near future, Baby Boomers are going to start retiring, which means Millennials will replace the existing workforce. This is going to shift current trends in the High Desert in terms of jobs, housing, education, and health. With Baby Boomers retiring, senior housing needs are going to increase. With an already jobs/housing imbalance in existence, public officials might need to consider how best to address this concern moving forward.

Education and technology will play key roles for the Millennial generation, especially with the advent of globalization. A well-educated, trained, and skilled workforce, especially in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and Health Care is critical.

Industries that will be high in demand in the future are those that rely heavily on education and technology; these include Transportation and Warehousing (Logistics); Health Care and Social Assistance; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; and careers in Scientific, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

THE CANDIDATE’S POSITION:  Dr. Rita Ramirez has focused on a lifetime of educating people to help them prove themselves in business and education.  She has served all people by firmly believing that, “Dropouts find themselves without job skills. And without job skills individuals are left to their own devices to find ways to make money.”  

Ramirez continues, “When I was ten years old when my father died. I was the youngest of four daughters.   My mother held our family together and education was central to that.  All three of my sisters and I have college educations.  My mother knew that if we did not get an education we would not survive.”

When it comes to the Economy for the desert communities, Dr. Rita Ramirez wants to establish a state university which will graduate BA, BS, MA, MS and PhD candidates.  By nurturing advanced degree students, The #CA08 will develop a greater foundation for potential new technology businesses to migrate to the area as well as infuse the current economic base with educated professionals that will attract a variety of new business to the communities the state university serves.

One of the prime focuses of this university will be that of “desert studies.”  These studies will enrich our knowledge of how to best use desert resources for humanity, how to develop sustainable living within the desert, while preserving its natural setting, and to develop was of taking resources from the desert and replenishing them when possible.

Environment

It May Be Hot. It May Be Not. But It Is Our Desert.

The desert environment has been a hot bed topic for years.  No one is going to forget the last BARSTOW TO LAS VEGAS RUN or HINKLEY.  However, like it or not, the desert is our home and we need to preserve and protect it — sometimes from ourselves… sometimes from others.  Here are a few of the environmental issue to consider:

Solar energy:

Solar’s biggest year was 2015, when 7,260 megawatts of solar power was installed in the United States for a gain of 16 percent over 2014, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The SEIA, a leading trade group, predicts that number will double this year. Residential solar is leading that growth, increasing 66 percent from 2014. At the same time, larger solar farms and utility photovoltaic plants are also adding to the country’s renewable energy portfolio. But not without controversy.

The Ivanpah solar plant built in northeast San Bernardino County came on line in 2014.  But because the plant burns natural gas as part of its process, it is not 100 percent green and is being labeled by some as a “hybrid.” The plant produced 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in its first year of operation. It also came under fire during construction for displacing more than 100 desert tortoises, a species threatened with extinction, and for its towers that burn birds in mid flight.

Hinkley:

In this small town devastated by cancer-causing chromium-6 in its drinking water, news of recovery began to surface this past year. The Lahontan Regional Water Control Board in November approved a comprehensive cleanup plan for the world’s largest known plume of the cancer-causing chemical. The order requires Pacific Gas & Electric to further define the plume, monitor it and reduce chromium-6 concentrations, especially in the core area near its Hinkley natural gas compression station.
In January, the community learned the toxic plume had shrunk by half over the previous four years. The community had hope that it could begin to rebuild, to attract more residents and to re-open Hinkley School, which closed in June 2013. From 1952 until 1964, San Francisco-based PG&E discharged untreated chromium-6 from cooling towers in its Hinkley station into unlined ponds, a common practice during that era, before the cancer-causing properties of chromium-6 were fully understood. From the ponds, chromium-6 percolated into the ground. Hinkley’s water contamination problems were thrust globally into public view in the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” starring Julia Roberts.

Salton Sea:

Various fixes to the Salton Sea, a dying lake occupying about 378 square miles in Imperial and Riverside counties, include a geothermal operation and algae harvesting.
Brown’s 2016-17 budget includes $80.5 million for the giant lake, labeled as a start but nowhere near the full amount needed to restore the sea.
Some have suggested that economic activity would pay back the cost of restoration, which at one point was tagged at $9 billion.  Bruce Wilcox, whom Brown appointed as secretary for the Salton Sea Policy within the California Department of Natural Resources, spoke publicly about what can be done to save the lake. If nothing is done, the giant sea will have shrunk by about 100 square miles by 2050, resulting in dust storms and hydrogen sulfide “bumps” that affect air quality throughout Southern California, documents show.

Cadiz:

California’s public lands are under assault from the Trump administration, and the desert is particularly vulnerable. Using its connections in the administration, Cadiz is trying to undermine environmental protections and avoid federal oversight. We’re not opposed to smart investments in California’s water infrastructure. In response to the historic six-year drought, we both championed legislation to increase the efficiency of California’s water use and its capacity for water storage.

The Cadiz project is not just a bad investment. It could destroy the Mojave Desert. Knowing that its project would be an environmental disaster, Cadiz is desperately trying to exploit an obscure 1875 law that would allow the company to avoid any federal environmental review if it uses the railroad right of way. To do this, Cadiz is claiming that burying its pipeline next to the tracks will somehow benefit the railroad — a laughable claim.

Opponents have been able to delay the Cadiz project at the federal level for almost two decades. But the Trump Administration is now dismantling the regulatory framework that prevented Cadiz from exploiting the railroad law. None of this comes as a surprise. President Trump has long made clear his preference for corporate profits over the environment, and Cadiz has close ties to his administration. (SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE, HERE)

Nestle:

Nestle’s use of water from the national forest has sparked strong opposition during the past two years. The issue prompted a federal lawsuit, an investigation of the company’s water rights claims by state regulators and a review of a Forest Service permit allowing the company to continue using its wells, pipelines and water collection tunnels in the forest.

A 2015 investigation by The Desert Sun revealed that the Forest Service has been allowing Nestle to continue drawing water from the national forest using a permit that lists 1988 as the expiration date. The Forest Service subsequently announced a review of the permit and in March 2016 released a proposal to grant the company a new five-year permit to operate its wells and pipelines in the mountains near San Bernardino.

Under the proposed management plan, water extraction would only be permitted when it’s demonstrated “that the water extracted is excess to the current and reasonably foreseeable future needs of forest resources.” Like Cadiz, Nestle is obtaining the necessary traction for continued profiting from the Trump Administration.  SEE CADIZ ABOVE.

Steve Loe, a former Forest Service biologist, has called for the agency to limit Nestle’s use of water from the national forest to protect Strawberry Creek and the wildlife that depends on it. In an email to Forest Service supervisors in March, Loe said limiting the amount of water Nestle takes would help groundwater levels recover after more than five years of severe drought. “Everything we can do to reduce the take of groundwater will help with recovery and will help improve the health of the Strawberry Creek ecosystem, especially in the summer low-flow period,” Loe said in the email. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the Forest Service has the authority and responsibility, in cooperation with the State, to manage and restrict the take of groundwater involved in this permit.”

But will the Forest Service be allowed to under the Trump Administration?

THE CANDIDATES POSITION:

Dr. Rita Ramirez has stated that, “God created our environment for our survival, not to destroy it.  We need to safeguard Mother Earth.  At the end of the day, The Environment will both protect and save us.”

Heathcare

Will Your Health Be The Same In The Future?

The Federal Health Resources and Services Administration designates Health Professional Shortage Areas as areas with a shortage of primary medical care, dental care, or mental health providers. They are designated according to geography (i.e., service area), demographics (i.e., low-income population), or institutions (i.e., comprehensive health centers). The entire California U.S. Congressional 8th District lies in these designated areas.  (see map below)

So, not only is your healthcare in jeopardy from the Republican led Congress, it’s in jeopardy from a lack of skilled healthcare workers and healthcare facilities.

Need we say more?

THE CANDIDATES POSITION:

When it comes to healthcare, Dr. Rita Ramirez has a plan to bring better health to the #CA08 – a network of healthcare clinics that are both in brick and mortar buildings, as well as a fleet of mobile healthcare providers.  This healthcare initiative will provide seniors, disabled and rural families much needed access to better healthcare and faster medical care when needed.

Immigration

DACA, Color, and Integration

 

As California voters, we all know that the immigration issue is a hot bed.  The problem for most politicians is that they either quickly respond to the emotional issue of immigration reform or they respond based on party platform.  Dr. Rita is about #PeopleOverPolitics.  As we are a country of immigrants, we should look to the reforms as how do all people immigrate to the United States of America without building walls, without looking at colors of skin, without looking at how deep one’s pocketbook is, nor feeling too charitable because of country of origin hardships.

To date, the campaign has tried very hard to not focus on the immigrant issue.  Over 30% of the eligible electorate is of Hispanic origin. 8% is Black or African American.  White, alone, makes up just a simple majority of 55%.  So, when we begin to look at the landscape of Immigration as an issue, this campaign begins to see it as potentially a Race issue and one that we have to tread lightly on given this potential.

THE CANDIDATES POSITION:

Discussing DACA and other immigrants, the deportation of families is illegal and immoral. We are not WWII Germany by separating parents from their children, creating terrorism and fear in the lives and heart of DACA students, not only one life but in 800,000 lives. Many other immigrants were promised a haven because of disasters or physical violence in their respective countries. These promises were broken by the same government that encouraged their decision to seek asylum in USA. Have we become liars and racists because these immigrants are non-white?

This is a country that came to greatest because of immigrants. They came to have freedom, to believe, and seek safety from violence, and to be free of persecution. Today, greatest is being tarnished by denying the civil rights of those who came as children, DACA, and those being denied because of the color of their skin or because of their faith. How shameful! It is People, not Politics that makes this USA GREAT. USA means US, All of Us. Stand Up and SHOUT, NEVER AGAIN AND WE SHALL OVERCOME RACISM IN ALL ITS FORMS OF EVILNESS!

I welcome immigrants because diversity makes our country great. They come with love for democracy, faith in American Values, and loyalty to the American Constitution. Immigrants come to become True Americans.

Housing

Ratio

According to CoreLogic, the median home price of a home in San Bernardino County has risen 5.6% since a year ago.

As an example of home prices:

Zillow has calculated the median home value in Apple Valley is $234,500. Apple Valley home values have gone up 8.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Apple Valley is $139, which is lower than the Riverside Metro average of $193. The median price of homes currently listed in Apple Valley is $259,700. The median rent price in Apple Valley is $1,300, which is lower than the Riverside Metro median of $1,950.

We asked a half-dozen economists and industry analysts what the future holds for home prices in the region. Among their answers:

  • Southern California home prices aren’t about to drop. In fact, they believe prices will keep rising for two more years, at least, and possibly longer.

  • The market isn’t in a bubble — yet — although bubble talk is starting to “raise its ugly head” at cocktail parties, one economist said. Some analysts are saying Southern California home prices are showing signs of being overvalued.

  • If you’re thinking about buying a home, now just might be the time to act — provided you don’t overextend yourself and you plan to live there awhile.

So, why is the home situation an issue in the 8th?

The High Desert region has a total of 65,376 jobs and 127,615 occupied household units. There is an imbalance, with too few jobs for the residents of all five incorporated cities and the region, which offer only 0.51 jobs for every 1 household. Only Victorville approaches parity. Of the cities, Hesperia has the most out-commuters and Victorville has the least. These commuters are traveling either outside of the city in which they live, or entirely outside the region.

Too many housing units, not enough jobs.

THE CANDIDATE’S POSITION:

Housing has been on Dr. Rita Ramirez’s mind for some time.  She has a definitive thought on the matter when it comes to seniors – their housing should be subsidized, when needed and warranted.

Not just seniors are in her plans.  She has a proposal for young people to obtain their first owned housing by a grant process, like the National Defense Loans, whereby in exchange for service to the community, the first-time homeowners can have interest only loans for a period of not more than 5 years.  This allows engineers, skilled workers, computer experts, and teachers to stay in the community.  She says, “Take a look at Palo Alto on how it helps its teachers establish homes.  It seems to be working there.”

Small Business Development

An Opportunity to Develop A Strong Economic Future

There are a myriad of conventions, meet-ups and soirees that have been put together by small business owners starting grass-roots business development for the 8th.  One of which is the High Desert Opportunity (HDO).  HDO is the premier High Desert event showcasing local businesses and development opportunities for new and expanding businesses. The goal of the event is to support economic growth and stability by attracting businesses and jobs to the High Desert. The region encompasses the cities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia and Victorville as well as portions of San Bernardino County. For over 30 years, High Desert Opportunity continually attracts nearly 1,000 attendees focusing on the benefits of doing business in the High Desert.

Past keynote speakers at HDO have included Barbara Corcoran, Magic Johnson, Ben Stein, John Naber, Jack Canfield, Steve Forbes, Kyle Petty, Newt Gingrich, Terry Bradshaw, George Stephanopoulos and Tommy Lasorda. Previous conference sessions have included topics such as local real estate and development trends, and infrastructure and transportation plans. The expo features local businesses, commercial real estate associates, the local chambers of commerce, local and regional government representatives from the High Desert.

Who’s name is missing from the above?  Well, Rep. Cook, of course.

THE CANDIDATE’S POSITION:

Business need time to grow and prove themselves, not only in their community, but in their various markets.  Dr. Rita Ramirez believes that providing new business grants to small business owners is one way to help.  She sees some type of exchange of guaranteeing employment of a small number of underemployed or unemployed workers being the basis of such a grant program.

Additionally, Dr. Ramirez would like to see a strong mentor grant program established that provides both online access, as well as personalized education and mentoring services to new business owners.  Mentors, she believes, should be compensated for their knowledge and experience through tax benefits and/or direct compensation.

Other Issues Beyond Our Borders

Priorities.  Our Backyard First.  Then Someone Else’s.

There are many who would contend that the United States House of Representatives has gotten away from the original intentions of the Constitutional framers.

The House of Representatives shares equal responsibility for lawmaking with the U.S. Senate. As conceived by the framers of the Constitution, the House was to represent the popular will, and its members were to be directly elected by the people. In contrast, members of the Senate were appointed by the states until the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment (1913), which mandated the direct election of senators.

The “popular will” of The People of the 8th is currently at a loggerhead.  Rep. Cook has taken what amounts to be about 20% of the voting base (veterans and current military) and calling that “popular will.” There are other voices in the community and they should be heard as well. However, these other issues are ones that the 8th does need to weigh in on as well:

 

  • Congressional Issues
  • Defense and National Security
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Spending Cuts and Debt
  • Tax Reform
  • Veterans Issues

 

 

All of the above are issues which Rep. Cook has voted along Republican Party lines and with The President.  There is a 96% chance that he will continue to vote in this same way. Perhaps Rep. Cook should consider running for Senator for the great state of California.  In that way, we can promote him to keep working on these bigger issues that are outside of our sandbox and outside of our backyard.

THE CANDIDATE’S POSITION:

“Strong Government means a strong Middle Class,” says Dr. Rita Ramirez.  The very taxation representation going on in Congress today is exemplary of the misunderstanding of this concept.  Dr. Ramirez believes that to maintain a healthy economy to support certain Government spending, the Middle Class must have at its disposal 80% of what it earns, so that it can buy the goods and services that are taxed to support such endeavors.

When it comes to defending United States security and borders, she believes that companies which choose to employ less than a majority of its worker base in the United States, should be considered a foreign corporation.  As such, these corporations’ goods and services should pay import tax and other taxes that pay for stronger boarders and security.  After all, these corporations, who are just using the United States for sale of their products and thus can warehouse goods cheaper than we, The People, can protect our country.  If they want to ensure that U.S. citizens will buy their goods, they can pay for the protection of their being, which is attached to their pocketbooks.

Conclusion

Strong Leadership. A Clear Healthcare, Education and Economic Plan. A Brighter, More Secure Future.

During the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Dr. Rita Ramirez represented the Democratic Party for California’s 8th Congressional District for the U.S. House Of Representatives. Unfortunately she lost.

Out-spent by Republican incumbent, Paul Cook, by a margin of 15:1, Ramirez’s campaign contributions were less than $40,000, while Mr. Cook’s were nearly $1 Million.

And what has Cook done after the election?

His voting record and his time and Washington, D.C. is clear – he has voted 100% with The President and continues to support the businesses of The Military and Prison System. He hasn’t had one town hall within the district since being voted in last November.

Now, Dr. Ramirez is fighting for the future of the desert communities.  However, this time to win she needs your help and support by DONATING to her campaign and YOUR VOTE.

Why support Dr. Ramirez?

PEOPLE OVER POLITICS

As a candidate she is a true representative of the people.  She has focused on a lifetime of educating people to help them establish themselves in business and education.  She has served all people by firmly believing that “Dropouts find themselves without job skills.” And without job skills individuals are left to their own devices to find ways to make money.

Ramirez continues, “When I was ten years old when my father died. I was the youngest of four daughters. My mother knew that if we did not get an education we would not survive. All three of my sisters and I have college educations. My mother held our family together and education was central to that. Parents will do anything for their children and make sure they receive the best education. They are entitled to the American Dream, even those who are not yet but want to become American citizens. With education comes jobs and prosperity and everyone is better off.”

Help the desert communities and California’s 8th Congressional District become much better off.   Send a message to Washington, DC and to those that ignore The People.  Vote Dr. Rita Ramirez for Congress 2018!

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