Commentary - Why California needs Elizabeth Warren as president

By Lorena Gonzalez and Phil Ting, Special to CalMatters |  

Three years with Donald Trump in the White House have been as horrific as we imagined they could be. 

Trump’s petty, vindictive behavior has shredded America’s standing on the world stage, and that has hurt Californians whose jobs and livelihoods are tied to trade. In the starkest moral terms, the shame Trump has brought on all of us for his barbaric and inhumane border cages will haunt us for generations.

With so many brutal assaults on decency, it’s easy to overlook the impact Trump’s administration has had on California’s ability to govern. We see the impact clearly in the communities and people we represent, who Trump has consistently singled out and targeted for his abuse

To us, the choice is absolutely clear. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be the best president for our country, and she would be an outstanding partner for California. That’s why we urge Californians to vote for her in the March 3 primary.

We Californians have made enormous strides, despite the Trump Administration’s constant efforts to hold us back. 

With Elizabeth Warren in the White House, California’s ability for bold and progressive action will be amplified in ways that will make a real and meaningful difference for Californians and the rest of the country.

We see the contrast through the vantage point of our service in the Assembly, where we chair the two committees that manage the state’s purse strings, the Assembly Appropriations and Budget committees. 

From that perspective, we have watched as Donald Trump has done everything possible to hold us back and make life harder for Californians.

Health care is one of the most pressing examples. Since Obamacare became law, nearly 4 million Californians have obtained health care coverage, the biggest increase of any state in the union. 

We are a clear success, but rather than allowing us to continue our progress toward universal coverage, the Trump Administration has been unrelenting in sabotaging our progress, as evidenced by the administration’s recent ruling that could potentially cost the state billions of dollars in federal health care funding.

Or consider how our efforts on climate change and the environment have been similarly threatened. California has put forth the country’s most aggressive and forward-thinking effort to fight climate change. 

That’s made us the number one target for the radical, climate change deniers Trump has appointed to key positions at the EPA and the Department of the Interior.

The Trump Administration’s lawsuits challenging California’s clean air laws—laws that simply seek to protect our children from pollution and keep our skies free from choking smog—do nothing but satisfy the polluting corporations that line Trump’s campaign coffers.

California must protect the progress we’ve made. And we have many issues that need urgent action like affordable housing and income inequality. We need a real partner in the White House. And that means the person we vote for in our presidential primary takes on even greater importance.

The only way to solve some of our most difficult and pressing issues facing California— homelessness, income inequality, or the unsustainable rise in child care costs— is through enthusiastic cooperation between state and federal policy planners. 

When it comes to those issues, Sen. Warren has made it absolutely clear: she’ll take on the corruption of powerful interests gridlocking our federal government, and pave the way for states to make the progressive reforms that our constituents demand.

For California, a state that has proudly seized the role of a progressive alternative to the chaos and madness of the Trump White House, President Elizabeth Warren would be a match made in heaven.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is a Democrat who represents the 80th Assembly District in San Diego, info@VoteLorena. Assemblyman Phil Ting is a Democrat who represents the 19th Assembly District in San Francisco, They wrote this commentary for CalMatters, a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California's Capitol works and why it matters.

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