Saturday, March 11, 2017

Democratic Candidates Need To Talk More About Delivering On The Promise Of Public Education-- A Guest Post By Katie Hill


After losing all that weight during chemo, I'm gaining it back-- and then some-- again. I blame it on the 2018 congressional midterms. I keep going out for dinners with candidates! A couple of nights ago a mutual friend introduced me to Katie Hill, a young woman from Agua Dulce, halfway between Santa Clarita and Palmdale, the two main towns in CA-25. Right now Katie is the only candidate running against conservative backbencher Steve Knight in a district with a Democratic Party voter registration advantage which Hillary won 50.3% to 43.6%. That was a nice margin. Unfortunately, the DCCC interfered with the district and imported their own version of a rich "moderate" from Orange County who had nothing to do with the district at all-- some guy named Brian Caforio-- who lost to Knight by an even bigger margin than Hillary won by! Thanks to the DCCC, Knight was reelected 112,768 (54.2%) to 95,296 (45.8%). Conservatives inside the DCCC are, of course, encouraging him run again. It's what they do. It's all they do. But as Javier Panzar explained to L.A. Times readers on Wednesday, "Hill grew up in Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley and currently lives in the 25th Congressional District on a farm in Agua Dulce with her husband and several rescue animals." She's the executive director and deputy CEO of People Assisting the Homeless, or PATH, a statewide organization that provides homeless services and develops housing. This is her announcement video:

She was very impressive at dinner and on subsequent phone conversations and I asked her if she'd be willing to introduce herself to DWT readers. Below is her guest post. If you like her approach, please consider contributing to her campaign through ActBlue here.

The Path to the American Dream
-by Katie Hill, congressional candidate

The American Dream has become harder and harder to reach. Income inequality is worse than it’s ever been, and we need to bring back opportunities for people not born into privilege to work their way into a comfortable middle class life. I firmly believe that this starts by making a good education accessible to every American. Education can lift our families out of poverty. It can put folks to work in industries facing critical shortages, and it can prepare the American workforce for the 21st century economy. For proof of this, I look no further than my family.

Both sides of my family came from dirt poor beginnings.

My paternal great-grandfather barely made ends meet as a farmer in Idaho. Growing up, my grandfather knew his only way out of poverty was through a good education. He went to the University of Washington on a U.S. Navy ROTC scholarship. He couldn't commission upon graduation for medical reasons, so he secured a job with Boeing and began a long career in aerospace. He helped our country explore space by working on the Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. Even in retirement, he continues to serve our country by teaching aerospace mechanical engineering at a public university.

Watching his own father do low-wage, backbreaking work for the railroad, my maternal grandfather was determined to get an education and the Army was his best option to pay for it. After serving in the Army, he went for his undergraduate degree on the GI Bill at Oklahoma University, and got a full ride to Princeton for his doctorate. The family moved to Southern California when my grandfather got hired as a Political Science professor at UCLA.

Aerospace and higher education are both great, middle class careers, but both families wanted more for their kids. My grandmothers (both just as brilliant as my grandfathers) ended up going to nursing school, while raising young children, to supplement the family income. At the time, nursing school cost practically nothing at the local community college, and it allowed them both to pursue excellent careers of their own. My grandmothers met working in the operating room together and, ultimately, that is how my parents met.

My family would never have made it to the middle class if not for education, and the opportunity to get a good education simply would not have been possible without the ROTC scholarship or GI Bill. My grandmothers couldn't have become registered nurses if local community colleges didn't provide affordable, accessible training. Those opportunities set the stage for the successes of my parents and, in turn, for me.

The opportunity for a good education should be accessible to anyone ready to serve their country in some capacity, whether that be through the military or here at home filling a role in many of the industries facing critical shortages. Not only will that service in and of itself make our country stronger, but the education that is earned through it will qualify more workers for better jobs and offer upward mobility to more families.

Our country is facing critical shortages of health care professionals and skilled tradespeople. Here in California, we have a massive shortage of teachers that is only going to get worse as more baby boomers retire. In my work with PATH serving our State’s homeless individuals and families, I know how desperately we are trying to find skilled social workers, a profession that is going to become more and more in demand if we enact criminal justice reform, or tackle major issues such as substance abuse, mental health, homelessness, and more. If we invest properly in renewable energy, we will need people who are ready for those jobs as well.

Without affordable, accessible education, however, we will not have people to fill these jobs now or in the future if our students do not have the opportunity to train for them today.

We don't need to bring back old manufacturing jobs that don't offer families upward mobility and are rapidly becoming obsolete due to advancements in technology. We have tons of jobs here in America that cannot be exported or automated-- we just need well-trained candidates to fill them.

If we pay for student's education, contingent on them working in a high demand field for a certain amount of time, we can provide the same upward mobility that was afforded to my family. We can address some of the major economic challenges facing our country as we adapt to the 21st century and our workforce will be ready for whatever comes after. Education is the key-- we just need to put it within reach.

That’s what I’ll fight for in Congress, but I can’t do it alone. I need real people, members of my community, backing me up. We can make this change happen if we work together. Please visit my website to sign up to volunteer, make a donation, and help us spread the word about my campaign! We can do better, together.

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At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Good for you! I wish you all of the luck in the world. Republicans clearly dislike education and love the uninformed, who make up much of their base. Truth, knowledge and critical thinking are their enemies. The basics of science are learned in school, and they don't want that either. The path to a great democracy is education and they want to destroy both to serve their donors' needs for further enrichment and power.

Let's say goodbye to Steve Knight, a nightmare all on his own.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly you aren't a republican. But do you claim affiliation to the democraps? you don't say one way or the other.

I'm not in CA, so I can't vote for or against you. But I'd feel better if you were not a democrap.

Also, every single ill you list is a consequence of our corruption... of both sects of the money party.

If you expect to be able to affect change from outside the money party, you are delusional. If you expect to affect change from within one sect of the money party, you are delusional.

The culture of corruption, deeply rooted, ubiquitous and affirmed by voters every cycle needs to die. It needs to be killed at a public execution, immolated and melted in acid before being buried with the nuclear waste in that mountain in NV.

Until this happens, no one (or 301) person(s) can possibly affect any change.

At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No mention of climate change? How has she not noticed the multi-year drought affecting the 25th district? I'm all for education but it won't help if we can't grow food anymore.


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