Jena Goodman is a Green Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of California. Goodman served over 7,000 students as president of the Associated Students of Napa Valley College from 2012-2013. She is also former chair of the Solano County Green Party. She is currently a student at UC Davis studying biodiversity and ecology.
Serving as president of the Associated Students of Napa Valley College exposed her to the issues faced by students within the California Community College, University of California, and California State University systems. Goodman believes California’s public schools, colleges and universities hold the key to fixing many of the problems facing California.
Duel crises of environmental degradation and economic inequality are simultaneously plaguing California and halting progress. Underlining these crises are poverty, and the erosion of California’s higher education systems.
California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Over six million Californians are living in households below the poverty line. The poverty rate for families with adults that lack a high school diploma is about 36 percent. And, about 23 percent of Latina(o)s and 24 percent of African Americans are living below the poverty line compared to 9 percent of whites.
California has the second largest prison system in the world. 80 percent of the people locked up in prison are Latino(a)s and African Americans, many for non-violent drug related offenses. Nationally, Latino and African American students make up over 70 percent of those arrested or referred to law enforcement at schools.
California has been ranked 49th in education funding. Lack of state funding has pushed our public colleges closer towards privatization. 51 percent of graduates from California’s public and private colleges are in debt. Crippling student debt has essentially turned a generation of students into indentured servants.
California is experiencing serious impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. Coastal communities are developing policies to address the risk of rising sea levels, while California is suffering unprecedented drought conditions. According to the American Lung Association, six out of ten of the cities with deadliest air pollution are in California. Environmental racism is a key problem in many California cities in which oil refineries, busy highways, power plants, waste treatment facilities and other sources of pollution are most often placed in or near poor neighborhoods with large populations of color.
There are solutions to solve these multiple crises.
We can tackle climate change while pulling people out of poverty by investing in tens of thousands of green jobs that pay living wages as we build the sustainable infrastructure that will transition us from fossil fuel dependency to a new green economy. California must found a groundbreaking Green New Deal on the scale of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s and lead the planet toward reversing the climate crisis.
We can keep our youth out of prison and train workers for the future green economy by using our California Community College, University of California, and California State University systems to provide them with the necessary vocational training, research, and technical skills to enter the green workforce.
By returning to the historic policy of providing free public college education to all California students, we can provide everyone with the opportunity to achieve their academic goals, revitalize our economy, and contribute back to society.
We can invest in the future of California by closing corporate tax loopholes in prop 13, taxing oil extraction, and levying other progressive taxes to fully fund public colleges, health and human services, parks, and environmental restoration.
We can reinvest money spent to lock people in prison to instead heal communities through rehabilitation programs and by legalizing marijuana and ending the war on drugs in California.
We can protect our water supplies and atmosphere from pollution by banning fracking, and investing in renewable energy sources and public transit systems in local communities.
This is Jena Goodman’s vision for California.
As Lieutenant Governor of California, Goodman will be positioned to promote this vision as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California, California State University Board of Trustees, Ocean Protection Council, California Emergency Council, State Lands Commission, Chair of the Commission for Economic Development, and President of the California State Senate.
Vote for Jena Goodman for Lieutenant Governor. Envision a Green California.