2020 Interviews with Assemblymember Muratsuchi
and State Senator Steven Bradford
by Nancy Mahr
In April, a team of LWV members interviewed via conference calls Assemblymember Al Muatsuchi (66th District) and State Senator Steven Bradford (35th District). The calls were part of the LWVCA annual program to interview state legislators across California and solicit their responses to specific questions The information in used in LWVCA"s advocacy on priority bills.
Our interview team consisted of: Janet MacLeod, Nancy Mahr, Allison Phillips, Asha Shahed and Katy Watkins, plus Marilu Guevara from the Los Angeles City League. Both legislators shared their observations and concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic, including testing capacity and more protective equipment. Both commended Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti for their leadership in addressing the crisis. Assemblymember Muratsuchi also stated that measures related to the virus would take priority over other bills when the Legislature returns for duty.
Our first LWV topic was ACA 6 (Assembly Constitutional Amendment), a measure which would expand voting rights for parolees. LWVCA supports this measure. Both legislators support this bill and the concept of expanding voting rights when possible. Senator Bradford is a co-author. He noted that restoring the right to vote is part of the process of reentering society.
Topic two was on the way in which transportation and housing trends impact climate change. Again, both legislators support increasing public transportation. Muratsuchi suggested that multi-family housing should be constructed around key transportation hubs. Bradford stated that it is important to consider the people now living in targeted transit hub areas; they fear displacement. He also noted that today there is a preference for singe-family zoning, rather than a mix of dwellings.
The state's housing shortage was the next topic. LWVCA had supported SB 50, now dead, which would have incentivized the construction of more dense, affordable housing around transit lines and workplaces. Muratsuchi wants a better balance between state housing goals and city autonomy. He voiced concern that SB 50 infringed on city authority in land use, zoning and density. Bradford felt that SB 50 didn't adequately address affordable housing needs. He is hopeful that a new housing bill which is under development will provide a good solution. He thinks the public needs to have a clearer understanding of affordable housing.
- Other Items addressed:
- AB 1064 - Muratsuchi's bill to increase fines for violators of the laws relating to gun sales. He supports gun control measures, but this bill was too expensive and was placed in the suspended file
- Schools land Children First Initiative - Muratsuchi has concerns that property owners will pass through increased cost to renters
- Cannabis - Bradford supports safe testing labs for cannabis that is for medicinal purposes
- Advocacy - Bradford wants to see diverse voices