There are three candidates on the June 7 ballot for the newly drawn state Assembly District 79, which includes east San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and part of El Cajon. The candidates are retired broker John Moore and project manager Corbin Sabol, both Republicans, and Assemblymember/doctor Akilah Weber, a Democrat. The top two vote-getters will advance to a Nov. 8 runoff election. The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board sent each a 13-question survey and is publishing their responses here.
If you have comments or questions about the election or any of the candidates after reading this interview, please email Editorial and Opinion Director Matthew T. Hall at email@example.com.
Below are Corbin Sabol’s responses and a link to other responses.
Q: From wildfires to sea level rise, the climate emergency is increasingly affecting California. What immediate steps should California lawmakers be taking to address it?
A: Very few people deny that the climate of the Earth is changing. It has been changing since recorded history. The debate is over how fast the climate is changing, and if humans are responsible for the changes. In the early 2000s, it was predicted that polar bears would be extinct by the year 2012, because of climate change. It is now 2022 and the polar bear population has increased.
With that being said, it is one thing to have a desire to be a good steward of the Earth, as we all should be, and another thing to be a climate alarmist and have a desire for government to excessively tax the people in order to solve this problem. We must pursue commonsense solutions in good faith to allow all people the means, ability and access to be a good stewards of the Earth.
For wildfires, it must be understood that not only will we never be able to stop wildfires from ever occurring, naturally occurring wildfires provide some benefits. As National Geographic reported in 2019, “[N]aturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. By burning dead or decaying matter, they can return otherwise trapped nutrients to the soil. They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from an ecosystem.”
However, there are measures we can put in place to reduce the likelihood of wildfires from occurring: allowing for and expanding clean-up services of dead brush in our forests and unincorporated areas; controlled, prescribed burns, and increased funding to the current chipping program for unincorporated areas. Furthermore, planting drought-resistant trees and plants can help with the climate crisis by capturing carbon and produce more oxygen.
I would also like to see a creation of education services in conjunction with the forestry department for migrant camps. We must focus on helping migrants understand the dangers of unattended camp fires as we all want immigrants to be safe in our country.
Finally, I would encourage and support localities to pursue community gardening. It makes no sense why we can have a liquor store on every corner in each neighborhood but few to no community gardens, which would give each community healthy sources of nutritious foods and bring people together to help heal our political divide as a nation.
Q: The governor’s pleas to reduce water use have been widely met with indifference. What, if anything, should state lawmakers be doing to address drought conditions?
A: It is time for California lawmakers to stop punishing the people for using water, a basic human right, and start finding real solutions to our water shortages.
Californians have done a tremendous job of reducing their water consumption over the years — so much so that water districts and municipalities have been increasing their water rates significantly over the last decade to cover their costs. Many cities have initiated a water recycling program, toilet to tap, to redistribute used water for irrigation purposes. It is time for California to repair and build the dams and reservoirs they have already voted and reserved the funding for. It is time to build more water storage facilities. It is time to invest in desalination plants.
I would also make capturing rain water by Californians for future use to water lawns, plants and trees, and legalize again and encourage and/or incentivize the installment and use of low-flow faucet aerators in government facilities. Finally, I would look to research responsible and ethical uses of cloud seeding that do not harm the environment or the public with potentially harmful additives.
Q: What would you do to address the surging gas prices in California?
A: I would first support Assembly Bill 1638, suspension of the gas tax which would save drivers 51-cents-per gallon of gas. Second, I would then look into what other taxes or fees can be eliminated or suspended. Third, I would look into what regulations that are in place making it difficult for the gas companies to supply gasoline to the people of California and see what regulations can be suspended or altered to make gas cheaper. Fourth, I would look to suspend the addition of unnecessary additives to gas in California, which increases the price. Fifth, I would look to the gas companies themselves to ensure they are not artificially inflating the price of gasoline for extra profit. Finally, I would look for ways on how we can produce more gas to increase the supply which would lower costs.
Q: How do you strike a balance between reducing the state’s dependency on fossil fuels and addressing energy affordability issues, including the high cost of gasoline?
A: Transitioning to zero-emission sources of energy is a noble goal, but it must be based in common sense and good faith and not impede the independence of the people.
I am not sure if we will ever be able to do away with the need for fossil fuels completely, but it could very likely happen organically over time. By incentivizing companies to invest more in alternative sources and forms of energy, such as nuclear, geothermal and hydroelectric, Californians would reduce our over-dependence on fossil fuels.
Furthermore, as more alternatives to petroleum products are available, the demand for those products will decrease naturally over time as will our dependence.
Q: How would you bring down the high cost of housing, both for homeowners and renters?
A: Home prices are skyrocketing, making it difficult to live in our amazing state.
Who can afford to rent a room for $1,300? That is a real asking price for a room to rent in the 79th District that I am campaigning to represent. This is outrageous, but why is this so?
The reasons are that the demand for homes far exceeds the supply, investment firms out-bid first time homebuyers and it is difficult to build homes.
First, we must cut regulations, red tape, taxes and fees as much as we can to make it easier, cheaper and quicker for people to build new homes. Home prices are skyrocketing because the demand exceeds the supply. Reducing regulations, eliminating or reducing taxes and fees and streamlining the process will make it easier to build more homes. Permitting fees can be very expensive for new construction homes and can be slashed, just to name one example.
Second, we must investigate investment firms buying homes. They oftentimes out-bid the average person, therefore making it near impossible for anyone to buy a home. Therefore, I would look to level the playing field between the people and the investment firms with deep pockets.
Third, we could provide tax credits for first-time homebuyers and incentivize high-paying jobs to come to California instead of instituting high tax and high regulation policies which drive them away.
Q: Homelessness is growing dramatically across the state. How would you address it?
A: We must do more than get homeless off the streets. We must ensure they have the care they need.
We cannot approach this crisis without understanding there are three major categories of homeless: those who do not want to be homeless, those who choose to be homeless and those who chose to be homeless because of mental illness.
Second, we must ensure that local governments, not the state of California, are leading the charge to address this crisis. Although the state of California can assist local governments as needed, such as providing funding or resources that may be obtained from the federal government and not available to local municipalities, it is the local governments that understand the needs of their community better than Sacramento politicians and the state of California.
With that being said, there are many faith-based organizations that are doing a wonderful job of helping the homeless population that does not want to be homeless. I would like to see more partnerships like these grow and expand.
The other homeless populations are those who choose to be homeless. Addressing this issue takes a multi-faceted approach. For starters, we must fund more rehabilitation programs to help addicts get clean, off the streets and their lives back. Second, we must consult with mental health experts who understand best how to address the mental health needs of a large portion of the homeless population. Third, we must provide more housing to our disabled veterans. These people served our country and now they need us to serve them. Fourth, we must do everything we can to get illicit and highly addictive drugs off the streets and impose heavy fines and punishments for those who would deal these drugs to the people.
Finally, many illicit drugs flow into our country from Mexico and other countries. Our federal government has neglected its duty to secure our southern border, therefore I will call on the state of California to secure what part of the border we can to protect our communities from those who would traffic illegal, harmful and illicit drugs into our country that destroy our communities.
Q: What, if anything, should the state do to make mass transit a viable option for commuters?
A: It is unrealistic to use mass transit in this state.
The state of California is not like New York or Washington, D.C., where the population is condensed and centralized. Mass transit is not a viable option for many of California’s residents, and the people of California love their independence and ability to drive their own car. Commute times vary widely for the people of San Diego and commute times would only drastically increase for most, if not all San Diegans, if we were to switch to public transportation. Richard Bailey, the mayor of Coronado, recently conducted his own study and published it to his Facebook page on April 26 where he compared the round-trip transit times from Coronado to the border, between a car and public transportation. He calculated 52 minutes round trip by car, and 2 hours and 42 minutes round trip by public transportation.
There is little incentive to use mass transit for most Californians. At this time, building mass transit in California is an egregious waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
Q: How will you balance public health with economic and educational concerns going forward in this pandemic or the next one? What specific steps and strategies, from lockdowns to mask mandates, would you recommend or rule out if there is a new surge in deaths and hospitalizations?
A: Having a healthy public is crucial if we are to face another pandemic.
Lockdowns did little to nothing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 during the pandemic. It was also hypocritical for our politicians to shut down our beaches and parks and force small businesses to lock down while allowing for the “big box” stores to remain open.
Furthermore, it is ridiculous for politicians to continuously tout that a vaccine is the best and only option to slow the spread of COVID-19 or prevent hospitalizations or deaths from COVID-19, or any other disease, when there are clearly other solutions and preventative measures. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right. Despite well-intentioned pleas to serve the greater good, the government’s coercion to inject a drug into any human is repugnant and laying the pathway to a dystopian future no American wants to live in.
The mishandling and lack of basic compassion from our elected leaders during this pandemic is unacceptable. We have been focusing too much on pursuing public health, and not giving enough focus to having a healthy public.
We must promote the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and healthy immune system in our culture. Education is key in fighting comorbidities which accounted fo some of the deaths in conjunction with COVID-19. We must use funds for more public service announcements promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles. Our society has shifted from a labor intensive work force to a more sedentary work force of high tech and service jobs performed behind desks. As society shifts so must our educational standards.
Going forward, the best preparation for the inevitable pandemics to come is understanding the importance of being healthy and physically fit. According to the CDC, about 78% of people who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator or died from COVID-19 have been overweight or obese.
If for some reason one is unable to incorporate a healthy diet due to financial hardship or lack of access, government can assist and look for pathways to ensure all people have access to healthy food, gym memberships, and public parks.
One of the main problems for our unhealthy culture is that unhealthy foods are easy to access and inexpensive, and the healthy foods are expensive and harder to access. This is a problem. Therefore, I would seek to incentivize privately owned companies to offer ethically produced, clean, healthy and nutritious food with tax credits. I would also look at current regulations that make it cost prohibitive for companies to provide such products. I would also expand the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — better known as the WIC program — to serve more families and increase the farmers market vouchers to help struggling families obtain more healthy food choices directly from small sustainable farms.
Q: California has the strictest gun laws in the nation yet has had some of the nation’s worst mass shootings this year. What more, if anything, should be done to reduce gun violence in California?
A: Gun violence is a sensitive topic, but we must be careful what measures we put in place to solve this issue.
Reducing gun violence is a two-pronged approach; first, we need adopt a “tough on crime” mentality, and second, empower the law-abiding people to assert their authority and their ability to defend themselves.
As an elected representative of the people, I will swear an oath to uphold and defend our Constitution, which clearly states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” These are inalienable rights protected by the highest law of the land, and if I am to take my oath seriously, I will ensure the Second Amendment remains protected.
Gun laws do little to nothing to deter or stop crime; a criminal by definition does not abide by the law. We need not go after the law-abiding citizen or the firearm, but rather, adopt a tough on crime mentality by making it very difficult for someone to justify committing crime, and at the same time, find ways for law-abiding citizens to assert their power, their authority and their ability to defend themselves.
I would support efforts to find ways to allow law-abiding citizens to safely carry firearms for the defense of their inalienable rights from those who would attempt to infringe on them. I would also advocate to make gun safety classes and training more accessible to all income levels.
We must bring balance to the discussion when talking about gun violence.
Q: California has adopted a number of criminal justice reforms in recent years. What would you change and why to ensure justice is equitable and effective?
A: State government can ensure counties and cities are adhering to basic, minimum standards, but criminal justice reform is an issue for local governments to address. The people in each community are empowered when the government closest to them (local government) addresses the needs of their communities.
Local governments must address the needs of their communities. Each community has its own concerns, demographics and needs. Local governments understand the need of their communities better than distant politicians in Sacramento.
However, the state government should and can provide assistance, such as funding, resources, guidelines and coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to address any local criminal justice concerns, reforms or policies.
Q: What single change would you make to improve California’s K-12 public school systems?
A: Parents in Los Angles were part of a lawsuit against the school district because their children were not being given an equitable education. The judge ruled that the tenure system is equivalent to Jim Crow laws of the South, keeping minority children in underperforming schools.
Allowing parents the power to hold schools and school districts accountable for low performance is key to bringing equity back to California’s education. Currently California’s education is poor compared to the rest of the nation. That is deplorable. Many of the “rich” politicians send their children to higher performing private schools while claiming to be champions of public school. As a representative of the people, I will work to allow parents the right to send their children to the educational institution of their choice, whether that is public or private. We need to show basic compassion for our neighbors and not force anyone to stay locked into a failing school or a school district because of finances. The recent flood of parents at school board meetings is evidence of California parents’ feeling of being powerless to make an effective and positive change for their child’s education. We must also hold the state Department of Education to account for curriculum choices and making social engineering a priority over teaching children basic reading writing and arithmetic. A graduation rate of 84% seems high, but we can do much better. Finally, we must give alternatives to college pathways. Not all children have the desire to attend college right out of high school. California must make vocational courses a priority again.
Q: Should taxes in California be increased? If so, which ones?
Q: What is the most important issue we have not raised and why?
A: AB 1993 — Should government have the power to decide what medical injections are forced upon the people?
AB 2098 — Should government have the power to determine what speech is acceptable or not?
AB 1797 — Should government infringe on the medical privacy of the people and have a statewide mandated immunization registry? Or should medical information remain private between the people and their health care provider?
AB 1638 — Should government suspend the gas tax?
SB 1464 — Should California Department of Public Health issue orders to law enforcement who must adhere to their orders or else lose funding?
What does “power to the people” mean to you?
What should the role of Sacramento/centralized government be? Should local governments be able to make decisions for their community over Sacramento?
Should elected politicians reduce their pay to more accurately reflect the earnings of the people they serve and represent?
What is the primary duty of government? Is government fulfilling that duty?
Should elected officials, upon leaving office, be barred from having a position/role/job within the government? If yes, why?
How can we come together as a nation and heal our political divide?
Should government be audited for waste, fraud and abuse of the taxpayers’ dollars?
Should government be more transparent with the people?
How can government encourage more citizen involvement and participation?