Susan Collins California Senate, District 27
Susan Collins for CA State Senate 2024
I am honored to have called California my home for over 35 years. I raised my family here and enjoyed a career in managing surgical practices, specializing in risk management. As my parent’s need for care grew, I transitioned into real estate.
I’m currently a board member on Neighborhood Council, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and a member of the Community Police Advisory Board. In addition, I have been an active member of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association for many years. I attend and participate in community meetings and events throughout the city because I know that what happens across town, will happen in my community. Helping to empower people through information is one of reasons I started the Sherman Oaks Community Bulletin Facebook page. Informed community members create safe, thriving communities.
I am proud to be the child of immigrants who came to this country with the assistance and generosity of strangers. My parents had no material wealth when they arrived in the U.S., but they had values and a strong belief in the American Dream. I was raised to value integrity, hard work, and to treat people with respect. My parents made sure I understood that material successes do not alter the value of a person. This is why I am passionate about bringing forward plans to create positive, systemic changes that invest in people, not corporate and state profit.
I was one of the first to bring attention actively and relentlessly to our city and state’s need to address our ongoing mental illness and addiction crisis. I’ve never wavered when others continued to push the false narrative that the crisis we’re witnessing was due almost entirely to a lack of affordable housing. I’ve continued to advocate making long term, inpatient treatment available, providing pathways to independence, as well as providing permanent supportive housing for those in need of assistance. I have consulted with, and studied many non-profit organizations, providing me with a well-rounded knowledge of what is beneficial and why so many are failing us.
California is facing some challenges ahead. There are solutions that provide housing without destroying the character of our current neighborhoods. We can create jobs, support local businesses, and make California an attractive state to do business in. We can preserve our environment with realistic, sustainable planning. We can unite parents, teachers, and school administrators, so our children acquire the skills they need to be confident, successful adults.
I will bring knowledge, experience, integrity, and respect for every member of our community into the legislative process, providing solutions that empower communities to thrive and enhance the quality of life for everyone.
I hope you will give me the honor of serving you by voting for me as your State Senator for District 27 on March 5, 2024.
On The Issues:
Effective and Sustainable solutions, means addressing addiction,
mental illness, and poverty.
The first step forward in curing the crisis we see on our streets is to call it what it is. We are experiencing an addiction and mental health crisis which results in people living in unimaginable conditions on our streets. This will not be solved by providing free housing. The “Housing First” policy is failing all of us and it’s killing people in alarming numbers daily.
We’ve never spent more, housed more people, or provided more services and the problem has never been worse. It’s worse because we’ve created an environment that nurtures the illness, not the person.
We must withdraw from the Federal “Housing First” Policy and fund supervised, supportive housing and inpatient treatment centers using city, and state funds combined with private donations.
Create affordable housing while protecting the diversity and culture of our neighborhoods:
We need to change the way we think of affordable housing by creating policies on subsidies and assistance that enriches the entire community. Currently people think affordable housing is the same as project housing. Understandably, they assume all the problems associated with project housing will occur in affordable housing. In addition, to qualify for rental assistance or subsidized housing, a person’s income must remain at or near poverty level.
We need to expand our subsidy programs to include a much
broader scope of incomes and provide a system that encourages personal financial growth instead of penalizing it. For example, many teachers cannot afford to live close to the schools where they teach. They usually earn too much to qualify for housing assistance. By providing assistance on a need based scale, we can get more people into housing in a way that supports the entire community.
Housing providers should be incentivized to accept vouchers by giving them the tools needed to ensure residents who receive assistance will be good neighbors and viewed as valued members of the community. Providing rental subsidies should also be used to help reduce our carbon footprint by providing additional rental assistance to people who agree to live close enough to their daily activities that they agree not to own a car.
Protecting Parental Rights:
The bond between parents and their children is sacred and needs to be treated as such. Right now, there’s a lot of talk about a parent’s rights to know what’s happening with their children at school. School staff must partner with students and parents, not alienate them. Staff should act only within the authorization and scope of their credential or license. If there is reason to believe there is abuse in the home, it should be reported as is currently mandated.
Increase LAPD & LAFD resources to keep our Cities and State Safe:
City and State representatives made the rash, ill-informed decision to reduce funding and resources for law enforcement and we’ve failed to fund our fire departments in a way that provides the responses our communities deserve.
We need to reinvest in our law enforcement as well as preventative programs. Crime prevention begins with investments in quality education, mentorship programs and job and life skills training, as well as other programs that instill self-esteem and independence.
We have allowed our resources within the Fire Departments to dwindle to hazardously low levels. On most days, many fire departments do not have ambulance vehicles available or the medical supplies they need. When seconds count these shortages can be deadly. We know what the shortages are, now we need to fix them.
Promote Local Business and Keep Good Paying Jobs in California:
It’s no secret, businesses are leaving California for other states because our legislators are failing to support an infrastructure that promotes their success.
Our tax structure, combined with the high costs of business operations and the failure of our legislators to enforce penalties for crime make it almost impossible for businesses to thrive.
Shutting Down Aliso Canyon:
California must adopt a state set back law mandating gas storage facilities to maintain a set back from any structure intended for use by people or animals are a minimum of 2500 ft away.
There are many ways to reduce the traffic congestion and frustration many of us feel when we’re stuck in traffic. No one knows your area like you do. Chances are, you’re one of the experts who should be consulted with for practical solutions.
By partnering with YOU, ride share programs, telecommuting incentives, mapping apps and the dept. of transportation, we can reduce gridlock even in the most heavily trafficked areas.