presents
Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
KQED’s 2018 Voter Guide@KQEDnews
June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election

California State SenateCandidate for District 38

Photo of Jeff Griffith

Jeff Griffith

Democratic
Fire Captain/Paramedic
79,862 votes (40%)Winning
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Enhance fire protection for all communities in San Diego County.
  • Ensuring quality and affordable health care.
  • Reduce student debt and increase trades education.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Fire Captain/Paramedic
Fire Captain/Paramedic, Cal Fire (1988–current)
Director, Palomar Health Board of Directors — Elected position (2016–current)
Distaster Service Worker, San Diego County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) — Appointed position (2016–current)
Vice Chair/Director, Palomar Health Board of Directors. — Elected position (2012–2016)
 San Diego County Board of Supervisors representative, District 3, San Diego County Health Services Advisory Board (HSAB) — Appointed position (2012–2016)

Education

Best on Board, LLC Certificate, Essentials of Healthcare Governace. (2014)
California State Fire Marshal Certificate, Fire Officer (2008)
Butte College Associate of Arts, Social and Behavioral Science/Paramedic (1995)

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (5)

What do you think the State should do to encourage affordable housing for all Californians?
Answer from Jeff Griffith:

Last year, the California legislature passed a series of laws to address the state’s affordable housing crisis. They included: adding a recording fee on certain real estate transactions to be be targeted for affordable housing, sponsoring a $3 billion bond proposition to support affordable housing, and streamlining the planning review process in local governments. These changes are a good beginning.

At the national level, a recent Wall Street Journal report stated that Freddie Mac will offer cheaper loans “to landlords who agree to rent the majority of building units to tenants making 80% or less of an area’s median income, a range that will typically include nurses, teachers, and police officers.” Real estate owners must agree that units will remain affordable for the term of the loan. This provides another workable proposal.

At the local level, cities are required to provide affordable housing; here there is much diversity and creativity. In San Diego, the city is currently buying properties to transform them into affordable housing. Other cities, like Carlsbad, use mandatory inclusionary housing programs that require developers to build dedicated low-income housing. In San Marcos, an entire housing project dedicated for those who earn less than 60% of the area median income was rented on the very first day. I support all of these approaches.

According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Jeff Griffith:

In such fractious times, I think it is exceptionally important to model civility, that is, to incorporate respect and courtesy as part of my demeanor and actions. I hope to foster bipartisan interactions, engage in collaboration, and work to build a climate of trust. Civility requires recognizing that hot button issues often bring high emotions, and legislators need to have a collection of statements and actions that will serve to de-escalate a situation.

Individually, I want to develop working relationships with legislators who do not share my party affiliations. Conversations, I hope, will lead to district visits and other opportunities to expand my knowledge of California’s diverse people and culture.

At the institutional level, the California Senate could contract with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to facilitate a series of workshops lead by a bipartisan team of state legislators who can share perspectives and experiences. The University of Arizona created the institute after a gunman killed 6 people and severely wounded Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Climate changes, and the shifting between very wet weather and drought, worry Californians. What strategies would allow your district to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Jeff Griffith:

San Diego County currently leads in developing creative programs that address issues of water availability and climate variability. Regarding water, the region has invested in a public-private partnership that resulted in Poseidon, a seawater desalting facility that currently provides 50 million gallons of water per day to the SD County Water Authority.

Additionally, the SD Water Authority has reached an agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District (and the Met) to transfer up to 200,000 acre feet of conserved water, in part by lining sections of the Coachella and All-American canals. Further, the Authority is also involved in searching for groundwater supplies, reclaiming water, limiting storm water runoff, and increasing storage capacities in part by raising the San Vicente Dam in East County.

SD City’s Climate Action Plan addresses the issues of greenhouse gases (GHG), clean energy supplies, LEED building certification, and development of an urban forestry program. The city has met current GHG reduction targets, among others. Locally, CALFIRE provides grants to remove brush in East County and plans for rapid response when wildfires occur; though, potential policies remain unfunded.

What programs or strategies would you suggest to meet the educational needs of young, low-income Californians?
Answer from Jeff Griffith:

To be successful in school, children in low-income families need stability in their everyday lives, stability provided by a parent having a living-wage salary and stability provided by affordable housing, experts report. I support policies that address these goals.

Moreover, schools need adequate funding, increased mentorships, and curriculum changes that ensure a greater chance that more will become high school graduates. I support debt-free, publically sponsored community college education. Additionally, I support the creation of public-private organizations like Encuentros that mentor young Latinos and help them envision a college education and a career path.

Currently there isn't enough money in the state retirement system to pay for all the benefits promised to government workers. What would you do as Senator to address the state’s unfunded pension liability?
Answer from Jeff Griffith:

At present, there are several pension cases, focusing on retirement sustainability, awaiting a review and decision at the California Supreme Court. These case outcomes will chart the future of the state’s major pension funds. They are: 1) a clarification of the “California rule,” now interpreted to mean that changes to pension benefits for employees, already working, are prohibited; 2) an opinion as to what constitutes a “reasonable” pension; a ruling that could affect benefits in times of economic hardship; and 3) a potential decision regarding the opportunity to purchase extra years of service or to rollover of unused sick leave or unused vacation time into final pension compensation.

There is little doubt that pension changes will be needed, especially if the state and nation experience a recession that will jeopardize fund investments. I believe, along with the California League of Cities, that public pension programs “should be sustainable, fair to taxpayers and employees, and provide long-term financial stability.” The principle of fairness is exceptionally important regarding police and firefighters whose lives are often on the line when keeping communities safe. Contributions of nurses and teachers also need to be recognized.

Other actions that the state and its cities can take to cope with rising pension costs are that cities can: pay down their unfunded actuarial liability during good economic times; create a pension rate stabilization program; change levels of service; and bargain for increases in employee contributions and cost sharing.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $21,600

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
California Professional Firefighters
$8,800
1
Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers
$8,800
2
California Nurses Association
$2,000
3
California School Employees Association
$1,000

More information about contributions

By State:

California 100.00%
100.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (100.00%)
Small contributions (0.00%)
100.00%

By Type:

From organizations (95.37%)
From individuals (4.63%)
95.37%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Candidate Contact Info

Campaign Name: Jeff Griffith for State Senate 2018
Phone: 760-884-3479

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION