Michael is not accepting corporate money. We cannot expect any politician that takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from a large company or corporate interest group to put the community’s interests ahead of those big money donors. Keep reading to see Michael’s specific policy commitments.


Energy & the Environment

Invest in Clean Energy

California is poised to lead the nation in becoming the first state to be 100 percent dependent on clean, renewable forms of energy. I pledge that I will use every tool available to put California on a path to achieve this goal. It is not enough to just say that climate change is the biggest existential threat we face. We must take aggressive action to address climate change, and lead the way in creating a new economy based around clean forms of energy.

 

I will work with climate scientists and local municipalities to develop a plan for California to become 100 percent dependent on clean, renewable energy. I will pursue common sense regulations for corporations, and strong investments in solar power and battery storage. I will also staunchly support Community Choice Energy programs, which allow municipalities to band together and purchase renewable energy directly from the producers.

 

Breaking Up with Big Oil & Gas

Aside from investing in clean forms of energy, we must end the free passes to giant oil and gas companies that threaten our air and water. As a corporate free candidate, I signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge refusing to take oil money for my campaigns. Further, as Governor, I will be an ardent supporter of the state divesting from energy companies such as Chevron, Exxon and Energy Transfer Partners. The retirement of hard working teachers and other state employees should not be dependent on harming people and the environment.

 

I pledge to ban all current and future fracking in the state of California. Fracking is a direct threat to our sacred water supply that must be rigorously protected. I will also support stronger boundaries between oil drilling operations and homes, schools and businesses. The health and safety of California families must come first, not the profits of big oil and gas companies. California has enough capacity and potential to operate through clean renewable technologies, we don’t need to continue to overbuild the grid just so big energy companies can profit.

Education

California spends more money on our prison system than we do on higher education. That is a travesty. We should be investing in our children’s future, not making it more difficult for them to reach their greatest potential. We must aggressively invest in early learning programs, our public school system, and make college tuition free for every Californian who wants to attend.

 

Pushing Back Against the Privatization of Public Schools

There is a huge push across the state to further privatize California’s education system. This is absolutely the wrong direction. We have seen what happened with the privatization of prisons. When profit is the motivating factor behind decisions, the community suffers. Privately managed charters should have no place in our public school system. Privately managed charters pick and choose which students they accept, they do not use union teachers, and they do not have to answer to the community. It would be one of my top priorities to take on privately managed charters that are unaccountable to local school districts.

 

Allowing individuals, groups, and business entities with profit motivations to continue segregating and diluting our public education system is not the answer that parents seek when they advocate for quality schools, access and opportunity. We must dedicate resources to fix our public schools, not create a separate (and often not equal) system of charter schools.

 

Closing the Funding Gap

We need to close the existing funding gap between school districts, and invest more in the schools that have been operating with far fewer resources for too long. We have a de facto private school system because school districts rely primarily on property tax revenue. Wealthy neighborhoods have more resources for schools than low-income neighborhoods. No matter where a child lives, they deserve access to a quality public school that has the resources to prepare them for college and a future career. As Governor, I will fight for an increase in funding for communities that have been historically under-resourced. Meritocracy cannot exist as long as systematic and institutional inequity persists.

 

Invest in Early Learning

Research has shown that one of the most cost-effective ways for students to get ahead is through Early Learning programs. Early Learning helps children prepare for school, and excel once they begin the first grade. Early Learning programs also give parents more flexibility when managing their workload and parental responsibilities. It will be especially helpful for families with single working parents who have to juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meet.

 

College for Every Californian

Not that long ago, Californians did not have to pay obscene amounts of money just so they could attend college. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that tuition, as we know it today, started increasing to become a primary funding source for the UC budget. We need to abolish tuition so that every Californian has the opportunity to attend college – whether that is a California State University, community college, or a UC.

 

Student Loan Forgiveness

College should help our children prepare for the future, not saddle them with mountains of student loan debt. Aside from making college tuition-free for all prospective students, I will also strengthen funding for current student loan forgiveness programs. I will also adamantly oppose the Trump Administration’s attacks on federal student loan forgiveness, including its attempts to revoke protections for students that have been misled by for-profit institutions.

 

Art & Music

Too often, art and music are the first programs to be cut from school budgets. Yet study after study shows that music and art stimulate and improve student performance. We need to ensure that rural communities and inner-city schools have the same access to the arts as wealthy suburbs.

Addressing California's Housing Crisis

Putting an End to Unjust Evictions

California families are all too often the victims of unjust evictions, unaffordable hikes in rent, and harassment by landlords. When a family is evicted from their home, it is as much emotionally devastating as it is financially. We must ensure that every family has every opportunity to prosper in our beautiful state, and are not unjustly forced from their homes.

 

As Governor, I will pursue statewide rent control to stop the rash of evictions happening across the state. A family’s well-being should not be dictated by greedy real estate investors and speculators. I will put forth Just Cause Eviction requirements – if a tenant is paying their rent and not causing any trouble, they should be able to stay in their home.

 

I will also work with the State Legislature and push for a repeal of the Costa Hawkins Rental Act and the Ellis Act. Both of these bills have paved the way for countless evictions, and left buildings vacant in cities that desperately need housing. Furthermore, I will impose a penalty on those who have vacant property in cities with high housing demand. There are many real estate speculators that have property sitting vacant while families are being displaced from communities that they have lived in for generations.

 

Invest in Affordable Housing

As the cost of living skyrockets in many California cities and towns, we must ensure that families can afford to live here. The lack of affordable housing has also pushed many Californians into homelessness. We must do better. As Governor, I will push that all new developments in California include affordable housing options. I will also work directly with community leaders to ensure that the funds from the new housing bond are adequately addressing the need for new, affordable housing developments.

Criminal Justice Reform

Implementing strategic criminal justice reform will save lives, particularly the lives of unarmed black children, men, and women who disproportionately lose their lives under our current system. Changing the laws and the way we train law enforcement will also positively influence the current working culture and internal practices for those with careers in law enforcement. Los Angeles County paid over $50 million to settle police misconduct cases in 2016 alone.

It is undeniable that we have systemic and structural problems related to law enforcement. The only way to address these issues is to look at the framework that allows this to take place over and over again.

 

De-Escalation Training

Police officers are not required to use the minimum amount of force when effectuating an arrest. The bar is currently set at “unreasonable.” Where we set that bar informs police training. This bar has never been moved. No matter how many unarmed people are killed, no matter how many protests there are, there is never any serious discussion about changing the law that justifies these incidents. Aside from requiring police use the minimum amount of force when effectuating an arrest, we need mandatory de-escalation training for all of our cadets and active law enforcement officers. De-escalation training has proven to be effective in reducing police shootings. Giving police officers more tools to avoid violence keeps both the officers, and the public safe.

 

Aggressively Investigate All Police Shootings

The State needs to aggressively investigate and prosecute police shootings. Currently, the local District Attorney investigates police shootings. This is the same office that the police work with on a daily basis. It is important for people to have confidence that our criminal justice system is treating everyone fairly. The impropriety has eroded community confidence. When State agents use deadly force, we deserve a complete, timely, and impartial investigation – and if warranted, an aggressive prosecution where a civil rights violation is suspected.

 

Ban For-Profit Prisons

For-profit prisons have no place in our criminal justice system. Incentivizing groups of individuals and companies to put and keep people in prison leads to countless misdeeds. The Department of Justice compared for-profit prisons with government run facilities and found that for-profit prisons had higher rates of assaults between inmates and staff. In California, the cost of housing an inmate has doubled to over $75,000 annually since 2005. In other words, for-profit prisons cost taxpayers more, and are managed poorly compared to state run facilities. Taxpayer money should not be lining the pockets of the private prison industry, and instead should be invested in public education and other areas that improve the lives of Californians.

Economy & Jobs

Livable Wage

It is a fact that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Housing and education costs have far outpaced wage increases in the last 30 years. The same opportunities that the Baby Boomer generation had are no longer available. This current generation of young adults is working twice as hard for far less. At the same time, we need a livable wage in California. Young folks who need to pay for books, and room and board, while attending school should not be put in a position where they are working sixty hours a week to make ends meet.

 

The same goes for every Californian that is working multiple jobs just to keep a roof over their head. When folks are working that much, they do not have time to spend with their families; to raise their kids; and to volunteer in their community. If you are a full-time worker, thereby contributing to society, you should not be struggling to afford housing and food.

 

Building a Clean Energy Economy

California has the opportunity to not only lead the country, but the entire world, by spearheading a clean energy economy. As Governor, I will aggressively pursue a goal of making California 100 percent dependent on clean and renewable sources of energy. To achieve that goal, we will need to boost funding for new jobs in solar and wind power, and the advancement of battery storage technology.

 

Agriculture

California’s agricultural industry is one of the drivers of our state’s economy. California’s agricultural industry produces the most food of any state in the U.S., and employs hundreds of thousands of Californians. California’s agricultural industry has been struggling in recent years with ongoing drought, and an ever-depleting water supply. The problem is only going to get worse. We must plan for future droughts, and that means building more water storage facilities, and pursuing aggressive water recycling programs. We must ensure that our farmers have the resources they need to continue to make California one of the leading exporters in the country.

Healthcare

As the Trump Administration continues to chip away at Obamacare, it is pertinent that we fight for a health care system that serves every Californian. I believe America should move to a single-payer health care system, where insurance companies don’t call the shots on whether someone gets the treatment they need.

 

As Governor of California, I will be a strong advocate for single-payer health care at the state and federal level. Health care should be considered a basic human right. There is no more time to waste on milquetoast health care proposals that allow the private insurance industry to dominate the system. America should move to a single-payer system that is affordable for everyone, and doesn’t discriminate based on someone’s age or current health status.

 

Preventative health care is key to happy, healthy families. A single-payer system would enable every Californian to get regular doctor visits without breaking the bank. Many Californians opt out of getting the treatment they need because they can’t afford the high co-payments and deductibles. We need to strengthen access to preventative care, and ensure that health care is affordable for every Californian.

Immigration

California is one of the most diverse states in the nation, and we are better for it. I was born in Los Angeles and am the proud son of Mexican, Chinese and Native American parents. My wife Doreen is also Mexican-American, and the granddaughter of migrant farm workers from the Central Valley in California. She is a public school teacher and community leader.

 

The current immigration system is a moral catastrophe. Families are being rounded up by federal agents, taken from their homes, and incarcerated with no end in sight. Many times, the system drains the family’s financial resources before ripping a family member away from their loved ones. America is a land of immigrants, and we are stronger for it. I will vigorously defend immigrants from attacks by the Trump Administration, and any policy that aims to prevent immigrants from getting on a pathway to citizenship.

 

Defending Immigrants from the Trump Administration

I will fight the Trump Administration every step of the way as they attempt to build a wall on California soil. I also will support the current lawsuit against the Trump Administration on the issue, and will pursue other avenues to preventing Trump from putting a single stake in the ground. I will rigorously defend the rights of DREAMERS in California, and continue to oppose all efforts to undo DACA. Furthermore, California should not allow federal immigration agents into schools and courthouses. A just society does not make people fear getting an education, or fear going to court.

Women's Rights

Even in 2017, women still earn less than their male counterparts for doing the same work, and spend more on basic necessities like health care. Furthermore, women’s reproductive health care is constantly under-attack by Republicans and under-funded. I am a staunch supporter of a woman’s right to choose, but that is not enough. We must ensure that every Californian has access to reproductive health care services.

 

Protecting Women’s Health Care Services

Planned Parenthood is one of the largest healthcare providers in the state, and serves 850,000 Californians a year. Many families depend on Planned Parenthood because it is the only health care provider they can afford. The Trump Administration and Republicans are making a giant push to defund Planned Parenthood clinics. As governor, I will work with Planned Parenthood and other women’s health care centers that are under threat due to federal budget cuts. It is vital that we keep the doors open to these clinics, as they are providing critical health care services to Californians.

 

Strengthening Protections for Women

In 2017, there have been countless reports of members of the California Legislature sexually harassing and assaulting women. These are not isolated incidents. Every day women and girls of all ages are being sexually harassed, assaulted, abused, stalked and murdered. We must strengthen protections for women in government, fund domestic violence programs, and change current law to give women the ability to fight their accusers in court.

 

Change in the Evidence Code

As a lawyer who has defended victims of sexual harassment, I have seen firsthand how the deck is stacked against the accuser. In many cases of sexual harassment and assault, there are multiple accusers but only one or two get the opportunity to testify in court. Currently judges are empowered to decide who gets to testify and who has to sit on the sidelines. We need a change in the evidence code to require judges to allow accusers to step forward and testify if they so choose. When a defendant has been accused of sexually assaulting or harassing five different women, every single woman should have the right to testify in a court of law.

 

Clean Up the Capitol

In the State Capitol, we are supposed to have a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault in government. It is clearly not working. We need to make structural changes to ensure that we properly investigate all charges of sexual harassment and assault. Women in government and public service should never have to fear going to work. As governor, I would appoint an independent investigator to look into all complaints and pending investigations. There will never be public confidence with internal investigations if those investigating have a financial or personal stake in the matter.  We should also have a system to track all of the complaints waged against lawmakers, not just current investigations, and create one process for both chambers.