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Candidates for Assembly Square Off in Brentwood

Betsy Butler photographed by Yolanda PulakisBetsy Butler and Richard Bloom are both Democratic candidates running for the newly formed 50th district of California.

Butler has served in the California State Assembly for the 53rd District since 2010. Richard Bloom currently serves in his 3rd term as Mayor of the City of Santa Monica.
On October 8, the Brentwood News hosted a “meet the candidate†forum at Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, on Bundy. Jeff Hall, publisher of the Brentwood News, moderated.

In terms of priorities, Butler said she wanted to push for “justice and equality, ensuring that everyone has a voice.†Butler illustrated her commitment by describing her bill, AB972, to ensure that farm workers receive adequate water and shade. She also mentioned AB2149 that removes gag orders resulting from a settlement in any caRichard Bloom photographed by Yolanda Pulakisse with a nursing home.

Bloom said “the number one issue is jobs and the economy,†stating that restoration of the economy is essential to preserving or in many cases, restoring, services for the environment, education, seniors and persons with disabilities. He talked about his record as mayor of Santa Monica, creating jobs, budgeting and providing for the most vulnerable.

Butler said the state has already cut $56 billion since she took office, stating that they’ve had to make hard decisions, including cuts in in-home health care, education and human services. She said that there is no fat left and that we should look at changing Proposition 13. She talked about a carbon market tax and a tax on oil extraction to raise revenues.

Bloom agreed that there is no surplus money. “Revenue comes from successful businesses,†he said. Bloom would like to rebuild California’s economy to raise revenues. He said that California is considered one of the worst places in America to do business and jobs are leaving the state.
Butler said she was in favor of Prop. 30, a measure to generate money for the state; Bloom said he’d vote for both Prop 30 and Prop 38.

Butler noted this is a Democratic district. Republicans in this district are aligned with environmentalists, they believe in fairness and equality and they want job growth and film tax credits, green technology and educating people for the future. Butler said she was involved in the STEM initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools and that she wants to add art so that local schools will be educating students to fill jobs in the area.

Bloom said he supports public education, environmental causes, social services and homeless relief. But he also said he’s in favor of promoting a successful business climate. It is possible to have a strong business climate with strong environmental policies in place. He talked about Santa Monica becoming “Silicon Beach†because it is desirable to both do business and to live there.

When asked to summarize why citizens should vote for them, Butler cited her record of accomplishment in the legislature and her work with community leaders throughout the district and the state.

Bloom said he had lived in West Los Angeles for 45 years and that he has a breadth of experience working on the Santa Monica City Council, being a family law attorney and dealing with conflict resolution, an important skill set.

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