2020 election: Q&A with Linda Blankenship, candidate for California Senate District 39
Sep. 24, 2020
The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board recently emailed a series of questions to Republican Linda Blankenship, who is running for state Senate District 39. Here are the questions and her responses.
What more can be done to limit the financial and environmental damage of climate change and wildfires especially?
The escalation in the damage done by wildfires in the last decades can be directly attributed to two things. Yes, the climate is changing as it always has, resulting in increased lightning strikes and other environmental conditions. More impactful, though, have been the policy changes imposed on forest management either by legislation and/or regulation. Because there is more environmental volatility, we MUST be allowed to clear vulnerable properties of naturally occurring “kindling.”
Has the pandemic and so many people working from home made you rethink housing and transportation policies? If so, how?
It has. I expect more business will transition to more permanent working from home. More access to reliable bandwidth should be explored. With less commuting, it would be appropriate to reevaluate the planned expansion of public transportation. I also expect there will be interesting economic fallout for commercial and office real estate.
What specific policy changes do you support after months of racial justice protests to improve law enforcement practices or racial equity?
Genuine protest is a foundational right of free speech, and has had a positive influence to impact culture. Exploitation of protests by trained anarchists devalues us all. I support any and all criminal punishment for these violators. Civil damages to victims should be a priority. An accurate look at our history reveals we are increasingly tolerant of racial differences. There are more stringent laws and policies to address infractions. Less media coverage of violence and more coverage of positive aspects of race relations would have a tremendous impact.
What more should the state be doing to improve student distance learning and public education overall?
The most effective improvement to a child’s circumstances comes through equal access to quality education. The leadership of the California Teachers Association has the effective delivery of public education in its clinched fist. Parents are rediscovering the benefits of education alternatives because of our current lockdown. School choice is essential to meet the variety of needs for every student.
Should taxes in California be increased? If so, which ones?
NO! We have the largest state economy and pay the highest state taxes. We have all the resources we need to be a thriving California again. They just need to be in the hands of grownups with the political determination to serve their citizens rather than use them.
What is the most important issue we have not raised and why?
I’d love a discussion of the purpose of government. The Preamble says it all: establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty.