Melissa Fox, a Democratic Irvine city councilwoman, has announced that she's running for Assembly District 68, which is currently in Republican hands. Naturally, we wish her all the luck in the world. The primary will be held in March 2020.
"With Washington in continuous disarray, it's more important than ever that we ensure California is a beacon of hope, progress and opportunity for the people of our state," she said in a statement.
We spoke to her about all of this and more.
L.A. WEEKLY: Why should you win?
MELISSA FOX: It's vital that California elect new leaders who know how to get things done. In our district, we have not had leadership that can work with other legislators to bring jobs and investment back home to our cities and neighborhoods.
I believe that government can be both progressive and fiscally responsible. We can — and we must — learn to protect both the environment and protect taxpayer funds at the same time. We can — and we must — make our economy both stronger and fairer. That's the pragmatic, common-sense approach I've brought to local government, and it's what I'll bring to the state Assembly — working to build coalitions around key issues like investing in education, more fire protection and quicker emergency response, tackling climate change and growing our middle-class economy by lifting all families, while advocating for government transparency and ensuring fiscal responsibility.
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Why will you win?
I’ll build a wide-ranging and dynamic coalition.
Should you be victorious, what will be your first act in office?
Bringing tax dollars back to our cities, neighborhoods and school is my top priority. Public safety is also a top concern. We need to deal with the new reality of climate change and the endless wildfire season and ensure that firefighters get the resources they need to protect our homes, our lives and our forests. I'll also prioritize infrastructure projects, job creation to help grow our middle-class economy, defending women’s rights and ensuring pay equity.
Republicans haven't been having their own way in Orange County like they used to — what do you put that change down to?
Voters in Orange County have sent a clear message to both Washington and Sacramento that they’re tired of government that doesn’t improve their lives. They want to see real improvements in their roads, their neighborhoods and their schools. They want environmental protection, protection from catastrophic wildfires, health care policies that keep us healthy and treat us when we’re sick, and an economy that works for everyone. At the same time, they want a government that is transparent and fiscally responsible. I have the skills and experience to provide this much-needed leadership for the residents of the 68th Assembly District.
You've talked about "pragmatic, common-sense leadership," which sounds incredibly attractive right now as we live with the current administration. How will you implement that, while chaos rules?
It's all about keeping your focus on what improves people’s lives. I don’t engage in political bickering or ego games. I work to get things done. This is the approach I'll bring to Sacramento.