As the race to California’s March 3 primary election looms close on the horizon, many candidates have stepped up their game for the final push to the finish line.
In California’s 42nd Assembly District, three candidates are vying for votes to represent constituents, San Jacinto City Councilmember Andrew Kotyuk, Mendy Denebeim, DeniAntionette Mazingo and incumbent Chad Mayes all have their names on the ballot, but only Mazingo responded to Valley News’ request for an interview.
Mazingo, who is a resident of Hemet, said she understood that homelessness was a big issue facing the 42nd District and that if elected she would look for the best ways to spend money already allocated first by former Gov. Jerry Brown and then followed by Gov. Gavin Newsome to help alleviate the problem.
“We have to find the best ways to spend that money to get people into shelters and housing,” she said. “We should look at using schools and other existing buildings overnight as shelters, give people a chance to sleep inside and use showers, and then send them to programs like they’re doing in Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Orange.”
Mazingo believes there needs to be more affordable housing, “whether new construction or conversion of unused buildings.
“That is the No. 1 way to keep even more people from becoming homeless,” she said. “We also should look into the ‘tiny houses’ and housing pods or even adapted shipping container housing.”
Many residents of the 42nd District live at or below poverty level. Mazingo said to alleviate the problem of disproportionate incomes throughout the district she wanted to help train youths and put them on the path to good paying jobs.
“We need more vocational training in middle schools and high schools and affordable or free training schools after high school,” she said. “There are great careers out there that don’t require a four-year college, but do need training: various kinds of mechanics, plumbers, electricians and other trades. These are good union jobs. And these are the people who will be able to build the housing that we need in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It’s a win-win.”
For Mazingo it’s not just about training youth, but fair wages for all workers in the 42nd District.
“We also need to pay better wages to our service and retail workers, and we need to bring in sustainable employment, careers that will allow our young people to support themselves with one job, instead of having to work two or three,” she said. “This will also help our young people remain in the community and raise families, instead of moving away.”
Mazingo said she is also concerned about the environment “our children are growing up in.”
“We need to enforce existing pollution regulations and find ways to keep our children healthier in schools,” she said. “You cannot overemphasize the importance of clean air and water for all Californians.”
Kim Harris can be reached by email at email@example.com.