Who am I?
After teaching English in Vietnam, Tom returned to San Francisco in 1969 to become a special education teacher in the Mission district. In 1975, when the Board of Education voted against including sexual orientation in the districts nondiscrimination clause, Tom spoke out on behalf of all gay teachers. Within a year, the Board reversed itself, and San Francisco became one of the first cities in the nation to protect gay teachers from discrimination.
In 1990, Tom was elected to the Board of Educationgarnering the most votes of any candidateand eventually became its president. In 1994, Tom was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In 1998, Tom was re-elected to the Board of Supervisors and was elected President by virtue of receiving the most votes of any candidate. In 2000 with the first district election of members of the Board of Supervisors, Tom was elected President unanimously by his colleagues. In 2008 he was elected to the State Assembly and is seeking re-election 2012.
Tom has had an unmatched record of achievement during his 21 years in public office. He has fought for the environment, sound planning and housing policy, economic and social justice, quality public education.
Why am I running?
I am seeking re-election to the State Assembly because my supporters and I know our job is not finished. We must pass a state budget that puts families first, creates jobs and provides a strong safety net for Californians struggling through tough economic times. We must focus on additional financial revenues to insure Californians get the best health care, quality public education, employment opportunities and critical services.
Universal access to health care: I am proud of authoring and passing San Franciscos Health Care Access legislation which makes San Francisco the first City in the nation to provide universal health care. However, I believe single payer health care is essential for California to provide universal health care access. I am principal co-author of Single Payer Plan .
Quality public schools and colleges: In order to provide quality public schools and colleges, one of my priorities is to bring additional resources to the education system. I am author of legislation to close Proposition 13 loopholes. For over thirty years, Proposition 13 has allowed corporate landowners to benefit from tax loopholes while shifting the real tax burden to individual homeowners and reducing California's tax base. We cannot continue to cut funding from our schools, our parks and our vital human services without addressing the need for new revenue and an equitable tax system. Reforming Proposition 13 will not solve all of the states budget problems but its a crucial step in the right direction. I am author of legislation to close these loopholes. I was also author of Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act which regulates marijuana like alcohol and tobacco by permitting taxed sales to those 21 and older. The Assembly Public Safety Committee approval in 2010 was a beginning of the first formal consideration of marijuana legalization in American history. I am disappointed in the Justice Department's recent actions to disrupt and undermine Californias medical marijuana laws. Public education and action on the issue continues.
Affordable housing: California faces a crisis in the availability and affordability of housing. We must promote housing bond measures, protect rent control, and other actions that will make funds available for more affordable housing. Among the other legislative issues I have focused during my first and second term in the State Assembly are:
Municipal ID program: building on the overwhelmingly successful San Francisco program, legislation allowing every county to implement a similar program
LGBT/Transgender Prisoner Rights Act: add sexual orientation and gender identity as a factor to be considered to safely classify and house prisoners.
Foster Children: establish a 3 year project for preadoption and postadoption services to ensure successful adoption of children who have been in foster care 18 months or more.
BART Police Department: establish independent public oversight
Seth's Law, a landmark anti bullying measure to ensure children are safe at school
Handgun control: legislation banning open carrying of handguns
Protection of immigrants: legislation permitting local governments to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities enforcement program in order to protect the rights of our immigrant community.
Split roll: close loopholes which have permitted businesses to structure their deeds to mask change of ownership so there would not be a property tax update when property is sold.
Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Extends to domestic workers basic rights to labor protections including overtime pay, reporting time pay, a safe and healthy workplace, meal and rest breaks.
My DFA Values
This legacy campaign is missing this information
My Campaign is People Powered!
The signature of my political campaigns has always been grassroots support.
Volunteers have been used in every aspect of my campaign operation.
Phone banks, distributing literature, knocking on doors, raising funds, acting as policy advisers. Because of my reputation as always running a Peoples Campaign, I have never had a problem getting past volunteers and new volunteers to step forward to participate.
My supporters include those most disenfranchised in society, those in fear of displacementrenters, small, independent business owners, nonprofit organizations, health care advocates, artists, members of the LGBT communities, people of color, elders and youth. Throughout my 21 years in public office, I have had the privilege to work with a diverse number of individuals and communities. We have effectively built coalitions to address issues and solve problems. I believe that people support me because my politics and principles have remained consistent with who I am as a person.