The field of candidates hoping to fill California’s 28th Senate District vacated by Jeff Stone, who accepted position with the U.S. Department of Labor as the western regional director, is a crowded one.
Three candidates, California 67th District Assembly member and Lake Elsinore resident Melissa Melendez, along with real estate broker John Schwab of Temecula and Palm Springs resident Joy Silver, all shared their thoughts and ideas to help voters decide where to cast their vote in the March 3 special election in the Feb. 7 edition of Valley News.
This week, readers get the chance to learn about a fourth candidate for the seat, Anna Nevenic, a registered nurse, political science major and community activist. The fifth candidate, Elizabeth Romero, has not responded to requests for an interview.
Valley News: Can you give a little bit of background on yourself?
Nevenic: As a registered nurse, political science major and community activist, I have worked with thousands of people from all walks of life and gained the knowledge, experience and desire necessary to respond to people’s needs. I have volunteered in schools, worked in the prison system and have seen the inadequacy of our education system and the broken criminal justice system.
Valley News: Why are you qualified to represent the constituents of the 28th Senate District?
Nevenic: I have detailed plans and viable solutions to remedy our broken health care system and provide drug counseling and rehabilitation for 85% of addicts that have never received recovery services. If we rehabilitate ex inmates and drug addicts, our tax dollars can be spent on making them productive members of society and not incarceration.
As a nurse, I understand the importance of providing preventative health care for everyone so that people don’t become chronically ill and disabled and so that the younger population do not develop diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases that happen in older age.
Valley News: What do you think is the biggest issue facing the district and how would you work to combat that issue?
Nevenic: The biggest issue is lack of access to health care for everyone. Affordable housing, lack of well-paid jobs for our low wage earners, especially for young people and seniors. Inadequate public transportation and infrastructure. We will diversify our economy by investing in renewable energy and encouraging high-tech companies to expand and relocate their plants to Riverside County.
Valley News: The area that Valley News serves skews as a strong Republican base and over the years residents of the area have cited high taxes brought on by the democratic supermajority in Sacramento as being a major area of concern. If elected, how would you work to protect constituents from increases in state taxes which many believe are making the California way of life unsustainable?
Nevenic: The pet projects, duplicate and ineffective programs should be evaluated and eliminated. The legislators are obsessed with passing lots of unnecessary laws which are costly and do not solve societal problems. Our state is the highest contributor to federal taxes, and we should demand a greater return of our taxed income back to the state.
Kim Harris can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.