Four San Franciscans are throwing their hats into the ring in hopes of winning the open seat in the California Assembly’s 19th District.
From budgetary issues to being a voice of the working class, the candidates say they have what it takes to represent The City in Sacramento.
Michael Breyer comes from a long line of public servants — his great-grandfather was a city supervisor and his grandfather served on the school board. The Public Library Commission member said he is not a politician and therefore would bring fresh ideas to the capital.
“I believe we need someone who can be independent, honest and effective, and not go from election to election, but really focus on what they’re doing and do a good job,” the 37-year-old said.
Breyer said he would work to help small businesses stay in California by encouraging innovation and being honest and transparent about what is going on at the state level.
James Pan, 55, also is not a career politician, he said. Pan, a real property appraiser, said he would go to Sacramento to represent minorities and the working class. He said he would focus on shifting funds back to education and away from prisons.
Pan said the amount of money spent on three-strikes cases or to hold death penalty inmates who are not being executed is far more than the amount spent on students.
“I’m just an ordinary guy, a nobody, wanting to represent everybody,” Pan said. “I’m accessible and I’m real. No one tells me what to say; this is strictly from my mind.”
Phil Ting, San Francisco’s current assessor-recorder, also is aiming for state office. Ting said education is one of his biggest issues.
“We’re doing a poor job of telling the public what education cuts mean,” Ting said. “Cuts mean larger class sizes, which affect our children.”
Ting said his experience in an elected, managerial position gives him an understanding of how to budget, look at cost-saving measures and make tough decisions.
Matthew Del Carlo, 35, said his work as a staff member for former Assemblyman Guy Houston gives him the advantage of understanding the state budget and how to work with the Legislature.
“Sacramento has failed us,” he said. “The economy, state of affairs and the budget all need to be addressed.”
Del Carlo hopes to bring all parties together to work on the budget and the California tax code to make revisions. He said raising taxes alone won’t solve the problems and that a long-term budget could provide a better way to run the state.
The 19th Assembly District was created last year during the statewide redistricting. It includes the western half of San Francisco, South San Francisco and Daly City.