Jackson: I support the SOAR initiative. We must protect against the cost and blight of urban sprawl while at the same time protecting our agricultural community.
Mitchum: SOAR is well intentioned but bad public policy. I prefer a local program modeled after successful statewide programs like the Williamson Act, which provides landowners with tax incentives for preserving their farmland and open space. I would rather see Ventura County implement a similar plan.
Q: How would you--or would you--reform the state's managed care or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) industry?
Jackson: I am committed to reforming the managed care system, which places more emphasis on cost-cutting than on providing quality medical care. I will be a strong advocate for the patients' "bill of rights." I favor allowing patients recourse if they are denied appropriate health care by their HMOs.
Mitchum: I support creation of a consumer "bill of rights," which would ensure second opinions, a fair and swift appeals process for denied care and a requirement that decisions regarding care be made by licensed physicians and not administrators.
Q: The state's population could climb to 50 million in the next 25 years. What should the Legislature be doing to plan for this predicted population explosion?
Jackson: First, it is important to make sure that all women in California have access to family planning services to avoid unintended pregnancies. In order to deal with the population explosion, we must have regional economic planning. Local control of managed growth is key.
Mitchum: We must encourage a stronger partnership between the state, the counties and cities of our state with regard to urban planning. Housing, infrastructure, water supply and social services are going to be strained beyond capacity if we do not set realistic goals with regard to urban planning. We also must demand that the federal government continue to enforce important immigration laws.
Q: What special qualities would you bring to the legislature as a member of the Assembly?
Jackson: As a former prosecutor, family-law attorney, small-business woman and a working mom, I feel I bring a great deal of experience to the table. As someone who has served on various state commissions, I have the experience and leadership to best represent all people in the district.
Mitchum: I have four children and three grandchildren. I am running for state Assembly because I want my three grandchildren to grow up in the same wonderful California that I was privileged to grow up in. In Sacramento, I will work to ensure our streets are safe, our schools grow stronger, our economy continues to flourish and our environment is protected.