Republican Marie Waldron, seek a fifth term representing the 75th State Assembly District, says she’s especially focused on seeking bipartisan solutions to California’s problems.
Waldron is married and has a son. She and her husband have owned and operated a small apparel business in Escondido for 25 years. In the assembly, she serves as minority leader.
She sits on standing or joint committees on Health, Rules and the Arts and on a variety of select committees, including Health Care Access in Rural Communities, Infectious Diseases and Incarcerated Women, among others.
She’s authored 143 pieces of legislation, of which 38 are chaptered law — recently, for instance, on placing Native American foster children, reducing required parole periods in certain cases, and updating requirements for local mental health advisory boards. She served 14 years on the Escondido City Council.
“The biggest issues that California faces, i.e., wildfires, healthcare, mental health, homelessness and housing, call out for bipartisan solutions, not political ones,” Waldron told The Coast News. “While political differences are clear, the work on finding solutions has been much more bi-partisan than I realized before coming to the legislature.
As you gain expertise in certain committees or issues, it becomes easier to reach out and work with legislators across the aisle who share that same passion on those issues.”
Federal vs. State/Local Governance
“Certainly, national politics will affect our elections, especially it being a presidential election [year],” she said. “With congressional races spending lots of money, that could affect down-ticket races as well.”
But, “except for border/immigration issues, national defense, interstate commerce and some health/environmental issues (Medicare, FEMA, EPA), I feel most other issues are better handled at the state or local levels,” she said. “Education, healthcare access, transportation, housing, public safety, urban planning and economic incentives are examples of issues better addressed at state or local levels.”
“Most people agree we need more affordable housing,” she said. “We need to reform antiquated mandates and prioritize flexibility. This will reduce costs, speed up development and incentivize more housing.”
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) — “the single biggest impediment to residential housing development” — might be “streamlined” for infill development, she said. “Limiting expensive development fees which add tens of thousands to the cost of a home is also a consideration ….”
On Setting Priorities
“We simply cannot [address all issues] during a tight budget year as we are experiencing due to the COVID crisis and its economic impacts,” she said. “We need to address the most important issues within the budget and especially ones that can actually save dollars through modernization, reforms and better performance” — for instance, “vegetation clearance to prevent wildfires and criminal justice reforms which aim to reduce recidivism.”
“None of this can happen if we don’t get our economy back open and people working again,” she said.