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Issues

Cooper has a plan to ensure a bright future for California. His policy agenda seeks to lift up those who have been underserved while creating more prosperous communities and keeping Californians safe.

Cooper Hefner walking
Background

Healthcare

Quality healthcare is a human right. California is on the cutting edge of medical treatment and technology, yet for many, those innovations are inaccessible. All Californians deserve access to high quality healthcare, regardless of their age, income, or status. We all benefit from a healthy California. While expansions to MediCal and Covered California have moved us in the right direction, there is far more that needs to be done. More funding is needed for hospitals, particularly in low income areas where residents continue to suffer worse healthcare outcomes than residents of wealthier areas. Nurses, doctors, and all healthcare workers need to be supported with the tools and supplies they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. Given that the important work they do benefits us all, I will work to provide publicly funded education for those seeking to go into healthcare and loan forgiveness for those who have already chosen that career path. This initiative will ensure that California continues to be home to the best doctors and nurses while expanding access to their skills to all Californians.

Economic Opportunity & Jobs

All Americans have the right to work to earn a living that allows them to do more than just survive. Technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and entertainment are growing industries in California communities that are strengthening our economy, encouraging greater ingenuity, and providing opportunity. I will work to ensure communities and entrepreneurs are provided with the infrastructure to both survive and thrive. I will fight for fair pay, worker protections, and regulations that allow growth while protecting employees and the environment. Achieving this requires collaborating with multiple community partners, establishing a system that allows for California’s workforce to advance and prosper. A stronger economy allows greater opportunity for all. I will work to ensure that for our community. 

Public Safety Reform

Ensuring the safety of our community is a top priority. For too long, legislators have pushed for massive funding for police while neglecting to fund the foundation of public safety, including social services, education, and conflict prevention programs. The lack of innovation from policymakers and status quo approach has failed and disproportionately harmed Black and Latinx people. The obscenely high levels of incarceration and violence perpetrated against these groups is the exact opposite of public safety. I will push for an end to qualified immunity for law enforcement, a statewide oversight board that investigates misconduct by law enforcement, and a redirecting of funds to programs that lifts communities up rather than bringing them down. Additionally, I will propose funding for community mediation services that are not connected to traditional law enforcement, which can assist in resolving local disputes without the threat of violence or jail time. This should be the type of first response to most conflicts, rather than a militarized show of force.

Education

Technology, the workplace, and society as a whole are in a state of transition, requiring California schools that can adapt to provide students the skills they need to to find success in this changing world. Ensuring students are appropriately equipped for a twenty-first century workplace will enable them to find better job opportunities and keep our community at the forefront of the nation’s economy. I will introduce a strategy that provides a path for development, ensuring our public middle and high schools implement changes to their curriculums along with resources that ensure there are well-paid teachers and the state of the art facilities our children need to gain the experience for the rest of their lives. Diversifying our education will give our students the new skills needed for employment in areas that continue to grow throughout our communities and state, including professional science, technology services, and the arts. 

Immigration

Immigrants are integral to the 30th District, California, and the United States as a whole. Immigrant communities must be protected and provided the opportunities that they deserve. Nonviolent undocumented immigrants who pay taxes should not live under fear of being taken from their families and forcefully deported. The immigration regime at present is cruel and unjust and is in contradiction to the pillars of the American dream. I have personally witnessed loved ones facing this threat and the unnecessary pain it causes for families and friends. These members of our community contribute to the social fabric and economy in critical ways and should provide a path to citizenship. Until that change can be enacted at the national level, I will work to advance protections for immigrant communities, expand funding for education initiatives that make college possible, ease access to government programs, and prevent local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE and federal agencies seeking to terrorize our families and community.

Climate Crisis & Sustainability

The climate crisis poses a serious threat to California and our district. Water scarcity from droughts will make the district less affordable and increase wealth inequality. We face more devastating natural disasters like storms and fires, which damage infrastructure and threaten the safety of our community. But the solutions to this problem offer us opportunity. Green technology can create jobs while halting the extraction and use of fossil fuels, which are not long-term sustainable options. I will support funding for alternative energy, research and development of new energy storage technologies, as well as tax breaks for companies that help our communities’ transition to a green economy that will provide a safer and cleaner environment for us today and for generations to come. 

Housing & Homelessness

The 30th Senate District, Los Angeles, and California as a whole face two related crises: homelessness and housing affordability. The number of people on the streets is unacceptable in a place as prosperous as California, and we have solutions for how to solve this particular problem. Not only do programs that provide social services need to be expanded but ultimately, housing is needed for those who do not currently have it. Providing housing for the homeless is ultimately far more cost effective than keeping people on the streets and repeatedly trying to provide temporary shelter and send out social services. But it is not just housing for the homeless that needs to be constructed. Affordable housing and just more housing generally is needed to alleviate the housing crisis facing our state. I will push for zoning laws that facilitate new construction of smart, environmentally friendly housing that will grow our communities and ease the burden on new homebuyers and renters, without hurting the housing values of those who are happy in their current properties. 

Criminal Justice

The rule of law is a foundational component of our country and a democratic society but we should always consider the consequence of present laws and how they are enforced. California’s prisons are overcrowded and disproportionately imprison Black and Latinx Californians. I will continue to push for more reforms to California’s criminal justice system that addresses the factors that contribute to crime in our community rather than unjustly punishing at risk groups at the cost of taxpayers. Focusing on providing social services, effective rehabilitation programs, and community support measures will allow us to reduce crime while building resilient bonds among Californians. Helping those incarcerated transition back to their communities must start before their sentence ends. By providing programs that recognize their humanity and potential to hold important roles in their community, we can ensure individuals can obtain and hold jobs, return to their families, and not return to jail. 

Government & Technology

We must connect citizens with government programs in the most effective and efficient ways, and this requires utilizing technology. It should be easy to file paperwork, apply for government licensing, and follow what is being done by your representatives. I will push for an overhaul of California’s government websites and services to put citizens first. We must make it easier for people to find and use the services intended for them, while also making it simpler to advocate for the changes people want to see. For too long, representatives have done their work behind closed doors, publishing minutes of hearings and agendas in hard to find places on websites that look designed for a past era. I will help streamline how information is shared with the public, getting these details to you quickly and accurately and facilitating your comments on the work we do for you. Transparency and simplicity must be at the core of the government’s use of technology in service of the people .

Mental Health

Treating mental health is important for ensuring a safe, prosperous California. Mental health is central to many of the pressing issues we face today, from homelessness to gun violence. More funding is needed for social services that provide mental health treatment and facilities that are able to help individuals before they find themselves on the streets or in jail. I will advocate for mental health, recognizing that it should be considered an integral part of healthcare. Whether in the workplace, schools, or social settings, mental health tools and treatments need to be made accessible for everyone.