2015-16 LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE
* Your written responses will not shared with members of the public or media. Our endorsement process employs the highest level of confidentiality and is only reviewed by principal members of our staff. Should you have clarifying questions related to the content of the questionnaire, feel free to contact CCSAA’s political director, Carlos Marquez at email@example.com Your final responses should also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCSA Advocates is the political and advocacy companion organization to the California Charter Schools Association. Advocates is committed to building and sustaining a favorable political environment for charter school authorization and operation in California.
Our work is anchored in a dual mission - elect public officials who support charter schools as essential and legitimate partners in California public education and catalyze California’s vibrant charter sector of parents, teachers and students to hold elected leaders accountable.
We strive to enhance public discourse about charter schools in California and increase awareness about the contributions of the charter school movement through collective action, storytelling, parent and community organizing, leadership development and candidate training. We work to protect equitable access to a quality public education for all California students by protecting charter schools as a viable option.
BY THE NUMBERS
California has the highest number of charter schools of any state in the country with 1,184 schools operating throughout the state;
Approximately 550,000 students are enrolled in California public charter schools, representing 9% of the 6.2 million students attending public schools in California;
An estimated 158,000 students are on waiting lists to attend charter schools in California WHAT ARE CHARTERS?
Charter schools are public schools of choice that serve all students;
Charter schools have open enrollment, are tuition-free, and facilitate public lotteries for
Charter schools are created and managed by local educators, parents and
They operate independently from the traditional district governance structure, but are
held accountable through local and state oversight of operations and academic
Charter schools are authorized for five years, at which time they are renewed for
continued operation or shut down;
California approved the Charter Schools Act in 1992, the second state in the nation
For over 20 years, California's charter schools have been reinventing public education
and are viewed as a common sense option for students and families.
1009 N. Pacific Ave #4451
Candidate & Campaign Information
State ZIP Code
twitter: @laurafriedman43 Soc. facebook:
Med https://www.facebook.com/VoteLauraFriedman20 ia 13
Are you an incumbent?
Please list the names and occupations of other candidates seeking this office:
Dennis Bullock - teacher
Andrew Blumenfeld - teacher
Rajiv Dalal - non-profit director
Ardashes Kassakhian - Glendale City Clerk Mark MacCarley - attorney
Is your jurisdiction subject to contribution YES NO limits?
If so, please list the amount of your limit:
and/or bio) ISSUES
$4,200 per individual
CORE ISSUE AREAS
PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE
Charter public schools offer quality and choice in the public education system. We believe strongly that every family should have the option to choose where their child is educated no matter where they live, including low-income families, English-language learners, students of color, and students with disabilities who but for a charter school may have no other option but to send their student to a chronically underperforming district school. Other public education models of choice include pilot schools, magnets, small learning communities, and theme based academies.
Did you support public school choice for parents, and would you advocate for the protection of charter public schools as a viable option?
N YES O
I believe that public education should offer options to serve children with differing interests and learning styles. I also believe that public schools benefit from allowing carefully monitored and assessed innovation. In addition, many Charter schools have shown great success in motivating parents to become engaged in their children's schools, which is a huge benefit. Charter schools are one of the important options.
The California Charter Schools Law, approved in 1992, opened the door to education reform and school choice in California, allowing charter schools to operate with autonomy and flexibility in exchange for increased accountability. Charter schools must meet all state academic standards and participate in all state and federally required testing and accountability systems. If a charter school does not show improved academic outcomes for its pupils, it may be revoked or not renewed by its authorizer. CCSA has taken the lead in holding chronically underperforming charter schools accountable by calling for their non- renewal. To learn more, review CCSA’s Accountability Framework and Call for Non-Renewal.
Do you support the policy framework of granting charter school operators greater flexibility and autonomy over curriculum, budget and staffing decisions in exchange for proven, higher or comparable academic outcomes?
Charter schools should be held to the same standards of accountability as all public schools. Ultimately, my bottom line will always be student achievement. If a program works, I will support it. From my perspective the best academic research on the subject (Stanford University 2013 CREDO Study) seems to indicate that some charters do better than traditional public schools, some do about the same and some do worse. The impact seemed to be greater in urban environments and with historically disadvantaged students. I am certainly interested in looking at more empirical studies of charter performance.
Many charters are forced to spend a disproportionate amount of their budgets to rent facilities, even though they are public schools. This is money better spent in the classroom. Proposition 39, passed by voters in 2000 requires school districts to make "reasonably equivalent" facilities available to charter schools upon request and lowers the threshold for state or local school districts to pass a facilities bond from two-thirds to fifty-five percent. The principle behind Prop 39 is one of equity and fairness for all public school students, irrespective of whether they attend public district schools or public charter schools in their communities. To learn more, review CCSA’s Prop 39 Fact Sheet.
Do you support the principle under Prop 39 that all public school students, whether they attend a charter public school or traditional public school, should be afforded equitable access to district facilities?
I am not sure what “equitable” means in every context, but I believe that school districts should accommodate charters to the extent possible. I support allowing small innovative schools to use non- traditional spaces for school sites.
The threshold for passage under state bonds only requires a simple majority of voter support. Do you support the current simple majority threshold of voter support required for the passage of state bonds?
In July 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), one of the most significant reforms of our public education system in a generation. LCFF is intended to create a fairer and more rational system for funding all of California’s public schools, including charter schools, and to direct increased resources to support the learning of the highest need students. For charter schools, the LCFF has been even more consequential in its impact. Charter school students will now mostly be funded in the same way that students in traditional public schools are funded; a significant step in addressing the historic operational
funding disparity that has characterized charter school financing for the past 20 years. To learn more, review our analysis of LCFF.
Do you support charter public schools receiving equivalent funding to their traditional public school counterparts?
I strongly support Governor Brown’s LCFF because it begins to allocate educational dollars where they are most needed. I am particularly concerned that special needs children are adequately served by both charters and traditional schools. I also believe that teacher salaries in charters and traditional schools should be comparable, paying enough to attract and retain highly qualified and experienced teachers is one of the most important routes to a successful educational environment.
Pursuant to California’s Education Code, petitioners seeking to open a new charter school before approval is granted must meet sixteen elements. The petition is reviewed by the prospective authorizing school board and under the law, should be evaluated for approval or denial based exclusively on the 16 petition elements prescribed in the education code. Many school districts throughout the state however, have made it a practice to deny charter petitions based on political factors or factors external to the 16 elements. Some school districts deny charters with little or no explanation about their rationale, while others openly admit ideological hostility to charter schools. You can review the sixteen elements here.
Please describe whether or not you believe prospective authorizing school boards should evaluate charter petitions based exclusively on the sixteen elements prescribed in statute, or whether you believe other factors should be considered. If you believe additional factors should be considered, please describe those as well.
The 16 factors seem reasonable. Other concerns I might have include whether or not a for-profit entity could create a charter, insuring that state law concerning the collective bargaining rights of all employees are protected, and a clear delineation as to whether and in what instances a school district could approve a charter outside of its jurisdiction. I don’t want the Bakerfield School District authorizing charters in Glendale. Charters should not be ideologically driven; there have been controversies over Scientology affiliated charters in Florida, Arizona and California.
GOVERNANCE & TRANSPARENCY
California's diverse and dynamic charter school sector is comprised of a broad range of charter school types, organizational and programmatic models, and governance and funding structures. State and Federal laws and regulations that allow for that diversity can also lead to some lack of clarity, especially as charter schools are concurrently governed by not for profit laws and are public entities under Government and Education Codes. CCSA is committed to clarifying these statues and we believe it’s critical for all charter schools to fully understand
and commit to the responsibilities, transparency and stewardship required to operate public schools, to receive and administer public monies, and to prove themselves deserving of the public trust. CCSA is not opposed to conflict of interest requirements and strongly advocates for transparency in governance. However, we reject wholesale efforts to uniformly apply the same requirements intended for traditional school districts on charter schools as they threaten the core premise of the California Charter Schools Act of 1992, which provides charter schools with more governance flexibility. Charter schools for example, rely on all stakeholders, including teachers to serve on their boards and at times rely on board members for temporary loans. Both options would cease to exist under a sweeping and wholesale application of the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Public Records Act, Political Reform Act, and Government Code 1090.
Please describe whether you agree with the wholesale approach described above or prefer an approach that balances both the public interest and the flexibility of charter school governance and why.
I generally support maximum accountability and transparency for all public entities, including charter and traditional public schools. I would need more information before deciding whether charters should be exempt from any provisions of the Brown Act.
Most charter schools petition and are authorized by the local school districts in which they intend to operate, with the exception of those who appeal or are directly authorized by a County Office of Education or State Board of Education. Many authorizers foment hostile environments for the charters they authorize and in some cases prefer to possess greater governance and operations authority over the charter schools in their jurisdiction. CCSA has rejected efforts in the recent past to effectively grant authorizing school districts with defacto veto power over who can serve on a charter’s board of directors due to the inherent conflict of interest between charters and school districts, and out of concern that school districts would premise board selection on political motive.
Please describe whether you support or oppose granting school districts with the authority to appoint board members who serve on the not for profit board of a charter school and why.
It makes sense to me that charters should be able to select their own board members, subject to basic standards. Parents, teachers and all other stakeholders should also have a meaningful institutional voice in approving and overseeing the board of a charter. At least in theory, public schools are held accountable, through the school board, to the voters and taxpayers. Charter schools need an accountable governance structure as well.
Do you believe the current framework under which charters are regulated is sufficient? If not, please share how you would evaluate efforts to add additional regulations to charters in the Legislature?
I need more information before giving a broad opinion on the sufficiency of charter regulation. Again, my bottom line criteria will be student achievement – for all students – not just those in charters. Surely a system that siphons off the best and most motivated students while leaving the rest behind in a
second tier system would not be equitable. Charters need to enhance and augment educational opportunities for the district as a whole.
Why are you interested in receiving the endorsement of California Charter Schools Association Advocates (CCSA Advocates)?
Many parents in my community are enthusiastic charter school families. I want to engage with this passionate sector of the community that is working hard to improve educational opportunities. Charter schools are here to stay and all elected officials need to be paying attention.
What role do you believe charter public schools have in the California educational system?
Meeting the needs of students who are not motivated by the offerings of a traditional school. Serving as a laboratory for innovation. Expanding opportunities in areas that have had historically poor educational outcomes. Serving as a yardstick to encourage innovation and excellence throughout the public school system.
Please describe any personal or professional involvement or interaction you’ve had with charter public schools.
I have many friends who have sent their children to Charter schools, with excellent results. In addition, my best friend who is a teacher in LAUSD seriously considered starting a Charter school with some of her colleagues because they believe that the school in which they teach is failing its students.
Have you visited a charter public school? Would you be willing to visit a charter school in your district?
I have not visited a charter school in an official capacity and would appreciate the opportunity to visit one.
What changes, if any, do you believe are needed to improve charter public schools in California?
As I mentioned above, I would like to see a mechanism to ensure that Charters enhance and augment educational opportunities for the district as a whole, and not just for the best and most motivated students.
What are your top priorities/reforms to improve K-12 education?
Funding is the obvious shortfall. We need smaller classes and more days of instruction. We need to train, mentor and retain great teachers. We need less high-stakes testing and to give educators more authority to tailor their schools for their student population. We need full access to Pre-K to make sure all children enter school ready to learn. We need schools that are centers for a wide range of services to address the broader problems that result in inequality of educational opportunities. We need to restore arts and music funding for our schools.
CCSA Advocates places a premium on candidate viability. The following questions are intended to understand your path to victory, and how we may be helpful in achieving your electoral goals should you receive our endorsement.
STAFFING & SUPPORT SERVICES
Please provide the names and discuss the roles and division of labor of your paid staff, principle volunteers and team of consultants in the areas of campaign management, field and voter contact, paid media, polling and research, general consultation, compliance, and fundraising.
General consultant: Parke Skelton, SG&A Campaigns Manager: Adam Berkowitz
Finance: AMB Consulting
Please describe the general outlines of your budget. If your election is being held in a traditional election year and will fall under California’s Jungle Primary system in accordance with Proposition 14, please provide a budget amount that includes both the Primary and General. If you are running in a special election and a run-off is likely, your description should contemplate both. If you anticipate any Independent Expenditures in support or opposition of your candidacy, please include in your description. Your answer should consider the following: fundraising costs; consultants; operational expenses and staffing; voter contact and paid media; polling and research. Finally, if you have the capacity to self-finance or loan your campaign funds please disclose.
I am budgeting the primary at approximately $500,000. 70% will go towards voter contact. The General will, of course, depend on whether or not it is a Dem/Dem runoff or a Dem/Rep runoff, which would be substantially cheaper in this base Democratic seat.
Please describe the methods you are employing to raise your budget and fully fund a winning operation. Your answer should reflect how much you’ve raised, your current cash on hand, the number of donors you have, and any major goals tied to upcoming financial reporting deadlines. Please consider the following: do you have a finance committee or commitment
from major donors? Are you incorporating call-time into your day-to-day activities and what percentage of your budget do you anticipate will come from call-time? Do you anticipate receiving support from any Leadership, Ideological, Labor or Business PACs? Does your finance plan incorp\orate events, grassroots, and online fundraising? How do you plan to expand your donor base if your list reaches saturation?
As of 6/30/15 I had raised $206,000 with $179,000 cash on hand. At this point I am over $300,000 with perhaps another $30,000 expected before the end of the year. The funds are being raised by me, being on the phone for hours, calling through every list and contact I can dream of. At least 75% of my funds are coming from call-time. The rest is being raised in low-cost events throughout District, although even those require some call time from me as well.
My financial base includes the Glendale community (residents and businesses) who have supported me in past elections. I also have strong ties into the women’s, Jewish, and environmental communities.
My service on the MWD Board has also given me an entrée into the world of water policy. I am also tapping the donor networks of other elected officials who are supporting me, particularly Carol Liu, Richard Bloom, L.A. Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell and Burbank city leaders.
I have received support from labor, particularly the building trades and expect more as endorsements start to be made.
FIELD & VOTER CONTACT
Describe your field program in the context of the district’s historic partisan and demographic electoral performance in comparable elections. Are there other issues or candidates on the ballot, which could serve to mobilize turnout generally or from certain blocs of voters? Consider the following components in your answer: win number; voter identification benchmarks; bases of support; volunteer capacity; voter contact methods; and data management. Also, if you plan to contact voters through a paid media program, please describe generally the outlines of your paid media strategy.
I see my base as:
Glendale, which represents 38% of the District, by far the largest geographic chunk of voters
Burbank, where I have strong endorsements from many of the elected officials and community leaders and there is no elected Burbank candidate running.
Women. I am the only woman running for this seat out of 5 Democrats and I have a strong history of feminist leadership.
Environmentalists and Progressives in the L.A. City portions of the District (Silver Lake and Los Feliz). I have been endorsed by the popular L.A. Council member for Silver Lake, Mitch O’Farrell.
Voter contact in this District will be focused on direct mail and a strong field operation. If you need more information, please call my consultant, Parke Skelton at (626) 535-9616.
Which endorsements have you received from educational organizations or educational leaders? Please also list any other endorsements of note, which you believe speak to your viability.
Fran Pavley, State Senator
Hannah-Beth Jackson, State Senator
Carol Liu, State Senator
Holly Mitchell, State Senator
Richard Bloom, State Assembly Member
Cristina Garcia, State Assembly Member
Autumn Burke, State Assembly Member
Nora Campos, State Assembly Member
Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Supervisor
Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Supervisor
Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles Council Member
Mitch Englander, Los Angeles Council Member
Paul Koretz, Los Angeles Council Member
Emily Gabel-Luddy, Burbank Council Member
Will Rogers, Burbank Council Member
David A. Spence, La Canada Flintridge Mayor
Jonathan C. Curtis, La Canada Flintridge Mayor Pro Tem
Robbyn Battles, Crescenta Valley Town Council President
Dr. Young Suh, Crescenta Valley Town Council Member
Cheryl Davis, Crescenta Valley Town Council Member
Desiree P. Rabinov, Crescenta Valley Town Council Member
Lindsey Horvath, West Hollywood Mayor
Dr. Julian Gold, Beverly Hills Mayor
Margaret McAustin, Pasadena Council Member
Diana Mahmud, South Pasadena Mayor Pro Tem
Nancy Pearlman, Member Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees Richard D. Schneider, M.D., South Pasadena Council Member
Michael A. Cacciotti, South Pasadena Council Member
Kristen Murray, Anaheim Council Member Micheal O' Leary, Culver City Mayor
Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Council Member Jason Pu, San Gabriel Mayor
Chin Ho Liao, San Gabriel Council Member Ralph L. Franklin, Inglewood Council Member Peter Chan, Monterey Park Mayor Pro Tem Mitchell Ing, Monterey Park Council Member
Bill Brand, Redondo Beach Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Romero, Montebello City Council Member Sylvia Ballin, San Fernando Council Member Laura Z. Rosenthal, Mayor Pro Tem, Malibu
Lou La Monte, Malibu City Council Member
Former Elected Officials
Betsy Butler, Former Assembly Member
Richard Katz, Former Assembly Member
Tom LaBonge, Former Los Angeles Council Member
Michael K. Woo, Former Los Angeles Council Member
Joy Picus, Former Los Angeles Council Member
Eileen Givens, Former Glendale Mayor
Marsha Ramos, Former Burbank Mayor
Dave Golonski, Former Burbank Mayor
Anja Reinke, Former Burbank Mayor
Bill Wiggins, Former Burbank Mayor
Bill Bogaard, Former Pasadena Mayor
Mona Field, Former Member Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees Georgia Mercer, Former Member Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees Kelly Candaele, Former Member Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees Joylene Wagner, Former Board Member, Glendale Unified School District
Mary Boger, Former Board Member, Glendale Unified School District
Juventino “J” Gomez, Former El Monte Mayor
Barry Buckner, Former Beverly Hills Mayor
Joe Santoro, Former Glendora Mayor
Ronald Borucki, Former Glendale Treasurer
Other Notable Endorsements
Ed Begley Jr., Environmental Activist
Nancy Stephens, Environmental Leader
Chief Ron De Pompa, Glendale Police Department (retired)
Jim Starbird, Glendale City Manager (retired)
Cynthia Kurtz, President & CEO, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
Madelyn Glickfeld, Director. Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Billie Greer, President, Southern California Leadership Council
Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Founding President, Jewish World Watch
Lynn White-Shelby, Former Executive Director, Member, Burbank Senior Citizen Board Jennifer Pinkerton, Glendale Coordinating Council, Vice President
Laurie C. Collins, Chief Staff Counsel Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, retired Greg Grammer, President, Glendale Historical Society
Arlene Vidor, President, Associates of Brand Library & Art Center Elaine Wilkerson, Former Glendale Planning Director
Barbara Lazar, Family Promise of the Verdugos Board Member Natalie Profant Komuro, Ascencia Executive Director
Sam Engel, Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale Chair
Rick Dinger, Past President, Crescenta Valley Sheriff Support Group
Joan Zierhut, Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale Past President
Steve Pierce, Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce Past President
Don Brown, Member Burbank Airport Authority
Sue Jekarl, Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation Board Member
Joanne Hedge, Glendale Rancho Neighborhood Association President
Rondi Warner, Adams Hill Neighborhood Association President
Teri Deaver, Glendale Arts & Culture Commissioner
Gregory, Lawrence & Vincent Zarian, Sons of former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian Rick Lemmo, Glendale Chamber of Commerce Past President
Harry Hull, Glendale Chamber of Commerce Past President
Pat Longo, Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce Past President
Joylene Taylor, Pelanconi Estates Past President
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277
Communication Workers of America, Southern California Council Plumbers Local 761
Roofers Union Local 36
Glendale City Employees’ Association
California League of Conservation Voters
California Women’s List
Democratic Legislative Women's Caucus
Women's Political Committee
National Women's Political Caucus of California
National Women's Political Caucus of the Greater Pasadena Area
**Titles and affiliations listed are used for identification purposes only; organization endorsement not implied.
Laura Friedman: A history of effective leadership.
Laura Friedman is running to succeed Mike Gatto in the California State Assembly, District 43. Laura has an extraordinary record of leadership as a local elected leader, a community volunteer and in the private sector.
Elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, re-elected in 2013 Mayor of Glendale, 2011-2012
Board of Directors, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Immediate Past-President, Independent Cities Association
Board member, Southern California Association of Governments, Energy and Environment Committee
Served for five years on the Glendale Design Review Board
Active with the Society of Architectural Historians and the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee
Extensive experience as a producer and head of development in the entertainment industry where she worked on numerous successful films and TV projects. Taught producing at UCLA and Chapman College
Since 2001 she has owned and run a small business specializing in vintage jewelry and fine and decorative arts
Recipient: Environmental Champion Award, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters; Woman of the Year, Glendale Chamber of Commerce; Flame of Hope Award, Glendale Adventist Medical Center
Laura lives in Glendale with her husband Guillaume Lemoine, a landscape designer, and their daughter Rachel.
Graduated with a B.A. from the University of Rochester, New York.
I certify that I am seeking the endorsement of CCSA Advocates and that my answers are true and complete to the best of my knowledge.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD QUESTIONNAIRE
Name of Campaign Committee Fundraising Address Candidate ID #
Incumbent? Yes No
One of the boxes below must be checked for the questionnaire to be valid:
Candidate Questionnaire 2016
Candidate for Website
Cash on Hand
Choose One or More
Yes, I want the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County endorsement if I qualify.
No, I do not want the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County endorsement.
Note: endorsements are for the current election cycle only.
Information about the issues raised in the following questions can be found at www.PPActionCA.org
Candidate Questionnaire 2016
To be considered for an endorsement by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County, you must complete the following questions. Please feel free to attach additional information that may help explain your position on any of the questions.
1. Every Woman’s Right to Safe, Legal Abortion
Every woman should have access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including access to safe and legal abortion. Access to abortion is legal, constitutionally protected, and consistently supported by a majority of Americans. Do you support every woman’s right to safe, legal abortion under the terms set out in the Roe vs. Wade decision?
I strongly believe in every woman's right to terminate a pregnancy for any reason, regardless of whether that termination is necessary to preserve her life or health. I would fight for this because every woman should have the right to decide whether or not she wants to carry a child or give birth. Nothing is more fundamental to human rights than the right to control what happens to one's own body.
When I was a child, my mother co-founded the first chapter of NOW in Broward County Florida. I grew up canvassing for abortion rights, and have marched in rallies in Florida and Washington DC from childhood into my adult life. I have a lifelong track record of supporting Planned Parenthood and its mission. I am uncompromising on issues of reproductive choice and funding for reproductive health care.
2. Public Funding for Abortion
The right to safe, legal abortion is meaningless without affordable access to services. The California Supreme Court has ruled in Committee to Defend Reproductive Rights vs. Myers (1981) that budget restrictions on Medi-Cal abortion funding are unconstitutional because they violate privacy and equal protection provisions in the State Constitution. Under the equal protection provision if some reproductive health services are publicly funded then all must be publicly funded, including abortion. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County believes that this reasoning is valid when applied to federal funding of reproductive health services as well. Do you support public funding (at all levels of government: federal, state and local) of abortion services for low-income women?
Reproductive health care, including abortion, is a fundamental right and that care should be fully covered by in all health insurance plans, inclduing those plans which include public funding. I strongly believe that low-income women should have access to publicly funded reproductive health services, including abortion.
3. Restrictions on Abortion Access
Legislation and budget amendments are oftentimes proposed that would impose special restrictions, regulations, and obstacles to abortion access on both women and providers. In the case of women, these restrictions include such things as mandated waiting periods, coercive and humiliating forced speech (so-called “informed consent”) limits on public funding of abortion services and limits on access to abortion guaranteed by the Roe vs. Wade decision. Restrictions aimed at abortion providers (sometimes referred to as “Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers” or TRAP laws) include regulations that single out providers, facilities and drugs related to abortion services as a tactic to create barriers to abortion access. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County believes that abortion should be regulated no differently than other comparable procedures. Do you oppose these targeted restrictions on abortion access?
Targeted restrictions are intended to restrict a woman's right to choose, and should not be permitted in any circumstances. Rather than protect women's health, they endanger it by restricting safe access to reproductive health services. I consider these restrictions to be unconstitutional and will pledge to fight against them.
4. Confidential Access to Safe, Legal Abortion for Teens
Most teens involve their parents in important decisions such as whether to continue or terminate an unintended pregnancy. Some teens choose not to, or simply cannot involve their parents in such decisions for good reasons: such as fear of violence or being kicked out of the home. Teens that choose not to, or cannot involve their parents in their abortion decision, must have confidential access to safe, legal abortion services. Californians have voted three times in the last decade to uphold the ability of California teens to confidentially access safe, legal abortion. Do you support California teens’ ability to confidentially access safe, legal abortion?
Yes. "Informed consent" laws are intended to dissuade teens from seeking abortion and other reproductive health. They discourage what is a very vulnerable population from seeking health care, and put the lives of young women in danger.
5. Family Planning and the Family PACT Program
The Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment program (Family PACT) has been providing cost-effective, preventive family planning and reproductive health services to low-income men and women throughout California since 1997. These services receive a 9:1 federal match and for each dollar spent, the state saves an estimated $9.25 by preventing unintended pregnancies. Services offered through Family PACT include breast and cervical cancer screenings; annual exams; contraceptive services; family planning counseling; screening for anemia, diabetes, and high blood pressure; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; safer sex counseling; basic infertility screening; and referrals for specialized health care. While there will be a significant increase in the number of low-income individuals with access to comprehensive health care coverage under the ACA, including reproductive services, Family PACT will continue to be an important program in meeting the reproductive health needs of teens, the remaining uninsured and individuals who will not have access to comprehensive health care coverage such as undocumented immigrants. Do you support funding for family planning for all Californians who need it by supporting the Family PACT program as long as it is needed?
Protecting the health and safety of individuals is one of the most important roles of government. I support public funding to make sure that the medical needs of Americans are met, and that includes funding for Family PACT.
6. Increase Medi-Cal Reimbursement Rates
California ranks 48th in the nation in Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care services provided to the more than seven million low-income Californians and undocumented immigrants who depend on Medi-Cal and receive their medical care from providers such as Planned Parenthood health centers. As a result of these extremely low rates, every year, fewer providers can afford to accept Medi-Cal patients and Planned Parenthood health centers can provide care to fewer Californians. Without an increase to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to a sustainable level, the number of Medi-Cal providers will continue to decline and patient access will decrease. Do you support increasing current reimbursement rates for Medi-Cal providers to sustainable levels?
Yes. As I wrote above, protecting the health and safety of individuals is one of the most important roles of government. I support public funding to make sure that the medical needs of Americans are met, and that includes funding for the services offered through Medi-Cal and provided by Planned Parenthood.
7. Ability of Planned Parenthood Health Centers to Effectively Provide Services Under the ACA
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County believes that the Affordable Care Act, as implemented in California through both the health insurance exchange Covered California and the state Medi-Cal program, must ensure that Planned Parenthood health centers can meaningfully participate as an essential community provider. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County believes that because of a legacy of laws and policies that single out Planned Parenthood health center services, particular attention must be paid to the ability of Planned Parenthood health centers to deliver service under new policies in general, and especially related to the Affordable Care Act. Patients must have timely access to reproductive health care, including physical exams, contraception and abortion; patients must be able to continue accessing confidential services when needed; and individuals not included in insurance expansion efforts must maintain access to reproductive health care. Do you support the meaningful participation of Planned Parenthood health centers in the Affordable Care Act, and recognize the special attention Planned Parenthood health centers merit so that patients have continued access to confidential services and reproductive health care?
Yes. Planned Parenthood has proven extremely effective in delivering quality reproductive health care, and their services should be fully funded through the ACA.
8. Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
An overwhelming majority of California parents support the teaching of comprehensive sexual health education in public schools. In 2003, California legislators passed SB 71 (California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/ AIDS Prevention Education Act), which requires that public schools offering sexual health education must ensure that the courses are comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically accurate and inclusive. However, some school districts do not comply and/or openly defy state law by teaching abstinence-only education programs. Do you support the teaching of comprehensive sexual health education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools? And do you support the active monitoring and enforcement of this policy?
Yes. Accurate teaching of sexual health is important for many reasons. Abstinence-only programs are not true "education," but rather indoctrination, and studies have shown that it is woefully inadequate on many fronts. Abstinence-only programs do not reduce teenage sexual activity, and leave young people vulnerable to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases because it does not teach proper prevention. We owe our children the right to be given accurate and scientific education about how their bodies work, and how to stay healthy.
9. Release of Students to Access Confidential Health Services
California law allows students aged 12 and older to be released confidentially from school to obtain confidential services such as reproductive health, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, and mental health services. While parents rightfully want to be involved in their teens’ lives, and Planned Parenthood health centers actively promote family communication, it is also known that some teens will not access the sensitive services they need if they cannot do so confidentially. Do you support confidential access to reproductive health services for minors, including the release of students 12 and older from school to obtain these services?
Yes. It is imperative that young people always have access to reproductive health services, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, and mental health services. Any impediments to them seeking and receiving care, including the fear of parental punishment or shame, must be minimized, and that means that the privacy young people must be maintained. I have seen first hand the horrible results of teenagers being too afraid to seek help for unintended pregnancies, drug addiction, and sexually transmitted diseases. We should encourage, not discourage, young people to reach out for professional help in these situations.
10. Public Partnership with Planned Parenthood Health Centers
Each year Planned Parenthood health centers throughout California provide more than 1.5 million visits. The affordable health services provided at Planned Parenthood health centers include preventive and reproductive health care for women, men, and teens, and in some centers, primary and pediatric care as well. In addition, educators associated with Planned Parenthood health centers provide sexual health education to hundreds of thousands of Californians annually with an emphasis on school-based programs to reduce teen pregnancy and help teens make healthy choices. These programs depend upon the cooperation and partnership of local governments and entities such as school boards and many times rely on financial participation of these local public agencies in the form of grants and contracts. Do you support public agency partnerships with Planned Parenthood health centers?
Yes. Planned Parenthood has a longtime, established track record at providing services, as well as in raising money. As an elected official, I always want to be sure that grants and contracts I support go to organizations best suited to serve the public. Investing public money in entities such as Planned Parenthood is a smart investment by municipalities.
Being a Champion
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County strongly encourages candidates to champion women’s health issues above and beyond maintaining a 100 percent Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California voting record while in office. Below is a list of ways for candidates to champion Planned Parenthood health centers, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County, its patients, and its services.
Please check the boxes below that indicate your commitment to Planned Parenthood health centers and Planned Parenthood Actions Funds:
I will speak out publicly in support of Planned Parenthood health centers or action funds I will speak out publicly in support of publicly-funded family planning programs
I will attend a Planned Parenthood health center or action fund function or event
I will visit and tour a Planned Parenthood health center
I have read the above questionnaire and provided answers to the best of my abilities. I am committed to the mission of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County and Planned Parenthood health centers that promote, directly deliver, and coordinate the provision of comprehensive health care services and direct patient care, including a full range of sexual and reproductive health services through education, advocacy, counseling and clinical services.
Candidate Signature Date