California Assembly District 8

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  • Candidate picture

    Melinda Avey
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Ken Cooley
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

Health care: Do you support a “single-payer” health care system? Explain.

Housing: Do you agree with rent control? Explain. What should government do to solve the housing shortage?

Gas tax: Do you support the gasoline tax and other transportation fee increases to fix roads? If not, how should the state pay for road repairs?

High-speed rail: What should the state do next with the program?

Climate: Explain what efforts, if any, the state should make to combat global warming.

Criminal justice: Explain why you agree or disagree with changes California has made to lower the prison population by setting different sentences for some crimes and changing parole rules.

Birthplace (city) Spokane, Wash.
Residence (city) Fair Oaks
Campaign telephone (916) 860-7041
Campaign email melinda@melindaavey.com
Education Studied at Gonzaga University.
Experience Small-business owner, 1990-2018; chair, Human Services Coordinating Council; chair, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board; secretary, Assistance League of Sacramento; board member, CA Council on Alcohol Policy; past board member, League of Women Voters.
One-size-fits-all programs like single-payer may expand access, but they do so at quality’s expense. Proven safety-net services like community clinics should be expanded to complement a competitive private insurance market.
I agree with the majority of economists who state that rent control will only make the housing crisis worse. To solve the crisis, we need to make it easier to build homes and incentivize local neighborhoods to welcome them.
I cannot support a $5 billion-per-year tax increase that disproportionally hurts poor and working-class Californians. We paid 30 cents a gallon tax and a hefty vehicle registration fee before the increase; that’s enough for road repairs.
Cancel the high-speed rail project and direct any leftover funding to innovation grants that maximize the use of existing transportation infrastructure. We are the most innovative state in the world; we can do better than 19th-century ideas.
California is the most innovative state in the world and should embrace, not challenge, popular innovations like ride sharing and dockless bikes, which reduce our dependence on personal vehicles and make it easier to live in denser urban centers.
People don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods, and successful diversion programs like drug court have been decimated. We need to restore reasonable sentencing laws that protect public safety while helping people who are ready for a change.
Age 65
Birthplace (city) Berkeley
Residence (city) Rancho Cordova
Campaign telephone (916) 505-3069
Campaign email ken@kencooley.com
Education Law degree, McGeorge School of Law, 1984; bachelor's degree, UC Berkeley, 1977.
Experience Assemblymember, 2012-present, and chair, Rules Committee; founding councilman and two-term mayor, Rancho Cordova, 2002-12.
Making health care less costly is very important, but based on my own study I am concerned about costs and how this proposal would work.
We are working on solutions to create more affordable housing, but this problem was not created in a day and will take time to fix. We have passed an affordable housing bond, but this is just one piece of the puzzle.
Every Californian uses the roads to make their daily life work. I support using current revenue to pay for state and local road upkeep and supported Prop. 69 to safeguard those monies.
I have opposed high-speed rail since I was elected, and the recent audit has identified more problems.
I have been supportive of efforts to continue California’s fight against global warming. Obviously there is more to do, but we are leading on this important issue.
While I agree with efforts to lower our prison population, we cannot have lower-level crimes going unpunished. We need to ensure that these reforms don’t overwhelm our local law enforcement or put communities and businesses at risk.