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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

California State AssemblyCandidate for District 14

Photo of Tim Grayson

Tim Grayson

Democratic
Councilmember/Police Chaplain
107,653 votes (61.5%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Creating jobs and strengthening our economy will always be my first priority. I will work to advocate for middle class families and ensure our small businesses can continue to grow, create jobs.and compete in the innovation economy.
  • As Mayor of Concord I always worked to manage city finances responsibly, balancing a $90 million budget and leaving 30% in reserve for emergencies. I will fight for a responsible budget that provides for our needs and secures a strong economic future
  • I am deeply concerned about reports of troubling policies and actions in the UC system. I will support efforts to ensure qualified California students are accepted at an appropriate rate and ensure greater accountability with taxpayer dollars.

Experience

Experience

Profession:City Councilman/Police Chaplin
Councilmember, Concord City Council — Elected position (2010–current)
Mayor, Concord City Council — Elected position (2014–2015)

Community Activities

Police Chaplin, Concord Police Department (2007–current)

Biography

I learned common-sense values from my family. I was raised by my father (a Teamster), and my mother (a public transit worker). I was the first in my family to earn a college degree. The East Bay has been my home for 16 years, where my wife, Tammy, and I are raising our two children.

As the City of Concord’s police chaplain, I work with survivors of violent crimes, with first responders and their families, and co-founded our region’s Family Justice Center to support victims of domestic violence, child and elderly abuse, and human trafficking.

As a Concord Councilmember and former Mayor, I’ve put taxpayers first by balancing our city’s $90 million budget, leaving 30% in reserve for emergencies while keeping taxes low. I’m proud to have created over 1,700 new living wage jobs in Concord. With your vote, I’ll bring the same common sense and out-of-the-box thinking to Sacramento.

Our State Capitol is a mess. Too many ‘leaders’ view raising taxes as a first solution, not a last resort. I am opposed to any increase in the gas tax and won’t give BART a new way to grab taxpayer money until they get their finances under control–and start operating efficiently.

I am a proud, common-sense Democrat who will put our residents and our taxpayers first. With your vote in November, I’ll put those values to work for you.

 

Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (6)

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 
Answer from Tim Grayson:

As Californians we enjoy living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Yet our state and region continue to suffer from the severe impact of climate change, wildfires, drought, and floods.

During my time on City Council, Concord has instituted a first-of-its-kind special financing program for homeowners interested in energy savings renovations and drought-resistant landscaping A similar state-wide program is worthy of consideration.

We must work with partners in agriculture to ensure the strong innovation we have seen in recent years continues and that the industry is responding to increasing limitations and changes by the state with new technology and renewed strategies to managing more limited water supply. We also need greater accountability by state agencies that are responsible for tracking water usage and ensuring that partners who have rights to water usage are following the law.

In addition to continuing conservation efforts, we must seek long-term solutions to stalling the impact of climate change. We must further the proliferation of electric vehicles to improve air quality and combat climate change. I support measures to incent further use of this emerging technology.

I am proud of the changes I have seen in my community and we need to continue to encourage residents to change their lifestyles to save water every day through education and public service programs.

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?
Answer from Tim Grayson:

 

We’ve come a long way in the last few years but we’re still facing serious issues. Without question addressing the issue of nearly $400 billion in unfunded liabilities has to be a top fiscal priority. It’s going to take a lot of work, but with responsible budgeting we can start to pay down these liabilities while still fulfilling our responsibilities. I balanced Concord’s $90 million budget every year with a 30% reserve for emergencies and spearheaded the Fiscal Sustainability Ordinance which mandated using all extra one-time funds to pay down our unfunded liabilities at the city level, so I know how hard it is, but I also know it can be done.

We also need to be responsible with spending and make sure that there actually is a balance between the state’s income and its spending. The 2014-15 budget was technically balanced but California still ended that fiscal year $175 billion in the red. We can’t continue to spend wildly and recklessly today and continue to literally pass the bill to future generations.

We need to make sure that the money the state is spending is being spent wisely and prudently. The State Auditor reported that Caltrans lacked accountability and wasn’t operating efficiently, and in a separate report the State Auditor found the University of California has been passing over academically qualified Californians in favor of out-of-state and foreign students who will pay more in tuition. We’ve also seen two UC Chancellors - with salaries of over $400,000 each - resign after reports of questionable or imprudent use of taxpayer dollars. Taxpayers aren’t a spigot to be turned on at the demand of state agencies for their whimsical desires.

 

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?
Answer from Tim Grayson:

 We can best deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area by promoting job creation, higher wages, and a robust economy. This was the goal of the “Concord First” policy I authored on the Concord City Council. That required certain developers on specific Concord projects to pay a living wage, hire local workers, and purchase a percentages of their building materials from local businesses.

They’re often over shadowed by San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, but there’s no reason why Contra Costa and Solano counties can’t be part of an East Bay economic hub. As Mayor and Councilmember in Concord, I’m proud the city has been able to create more than 1,700 news jobs in our community, and we’ve seen a 7.1 percent increase in jobs from 2012 - 16. Living wage jobs need to be plentiful for our residents, and to make that happen we have to not only keep current businesses in California but attract new ones as well.

 

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Tim Grayson:

As Mayor and Councilmember in Concord I regularly hear from members of my community who are making $10 an hour. They have a difficult and often impossible time paying for housing, transportation, food, and other costs of living. Many have to take second and sometimes even third jobs to help make ends meet.

I am a proponent of raising California’s minimum wage, and during my time on Concord’s City Council I authored a policy that required developers on certain projects pay workers living wages. I believe we can pay responsible living wages while also ensuring a business friendly climate that enables job growth.

 

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Tim Grayson:

I am alarmed by the increasing influence of money in politics and I believe we need to demand greater transparency on all levels, starting with ending the effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. This is a nonpartisan issue that we must take action on in order to restore confidence in our government. We can take steps to tighten the laws surrounding contributions, like we did when I was on the Concord City Council.

I believe that corporations should not be treated like people in the eyes of campaign finance law. We need to secure strong, fair contribution limits, demand greater transparency and make use of live reporting technology and ensure that this information is shared with the public.

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?
Answer from Tim Grayson:

California has the second-highest number of roads in “poor” condition in the entire nation. Parts of BART’s infrastructure, including its main fleet, are 40 years old. We cannot salvage our state’s economic future without improvements to our roads, highways, railways, and other modes of public transportation, but many areas throughout the state haven’t seen infrastructure improvements for over 30 years.

But we can’t just throw money at the problem. That’s a 20th Century “solution” to a 21st Century problem. We need to ensure we are directing appropriate and sufficient assets to the region’s infrastructure while also ensuring we are spending responsibly and efficiently. Caltrans needs to be held accountable for their inefficient spending decisions on road maintenance programs, and we need to rein in administrative costs so more can be spent on actual road and highway repairs and expansion. If there’s going to be a BART bond, it should include a requirement that the money be used for infrastructure upkeep and upgrades, not increases in executive salaries. But before that happens BART should be forced to review and rein in spending and improve the efficiency of services.

Reviewing current practices to find ways to increase efficiencies and better monitoring state spending on transportation should happen before there is any discussion of, let alone actually, increasing the gas tax and other taxes linked to transportation.

 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $767,819

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Garaventa Enterprises and employees
$22,000
2
State Building & Construction Trades Council of California
$17,000
3
IBEW Local 302
$16,600
4
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
$15,000
5
California Association of Realtors
$8,500
5
California State Association of Electrical Workers
$8,500
5
California State Council of Laborers
$8,500

More information about contributions

By State:

California 91.76%
District of Columbia 1.16%
Texas 1.01%
Michigan 0.91%
Other 5.17%
91.76%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.78%)
Small contributions (0.22%)
99.78%

By Type:

From organizations (64.20%)
From individuals (35.80%)
64.20%35.80%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

For more information on my views on important issues, please visit my website, graysonforassembly.com/issues.

I have posted extensive information on my positions and vision for our region.

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