Connolly is the best choice when it comes to strong assembly

With Marc Levine giving up his seat to run for insurance commissioner, North Bay voters will choose someone new to represent them in the state assembly.

Four candidates, all Democrats, are running in the newly renumbered but moderately redistributed 12th Assembly District, which includes all of Marin and southern Sonoma County. The top two finishers in the June 7 primary will qualify for the November general election.

The nominees are Sara Aminzadeh, a California Coast Commissioner from Kentfield; Damon Connolly, a Marin County Supervisor; Steve Schwartz, organic farmer and nonprofit executive from Sebastopol; and Ida Times-Green, a member of the Marin City School Board.

All four are knowledgeable and experienced, and their views on climate change, affordable housing, homeless shelters and singles

health care payers largely align with the progressive electorate in a district where just 1 in 7 voters is a registered Republican. Any of them could launch in Sacramento, but voters can only choose one. In our opinion, Connolly is the best choice to represent this Democratic stronghold of North Bay.

Connolly brings a wealth of experience on topics important to North Bay voters, including transportation, fire prevention, open spaces and energy. Its base is in Marin, but it has ties to organizations in Sonoma County – working, for example, with the Climate Center on microgrids and other technologies to mitigate the security impact of power outages. public. As co-founding director of Marin Clean Energy, he helped found Sonoma Clean Power.

Connolly also has extensive local and state government experience unmatched by his opponents, having served on a school board, city council, and as an assistant state attorney general in addition to his two terms as county supervisor. of Marin. He is also a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Aminzadeh, a lawyer specializing in environmental issues, has helped draft legislation on climate-related topics as an advocate for organizations such as the California Coastkeeper Alliance, whose members include Russian Riverkeeper. As a member of the Coastal Commission, she helps make decisions about land use and public access along 1,100 miles of California’s coastline. Aminzadeh’s environmental credentials are impressive, but we are troubled by his support for another tax hike when the state has a surplus approaching $100 billion.

Schwartz was chief of staff to former Congresswoman Virginia Strom-Martin for Duncans Mills and another lawmaker before settling on a farm outside Sevastopol. Since then, he has founded two nonprofit groups, California Farm Link and Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative. He also served on the Gravestein School Board. Schwartz’s food and farming background and familiarity with Sonoma County are real attributes, but he was unprepared for our questions about Highway 37, a major piece of infrastructure. of the 12th District which could be flooded by rising sea levels – a looming challenge for the next Member Assembly.

Times-Green, a kind-hearted social worker who grew up in Marin County and attended local schools during desegregation, helps reinstate them as a school board member. She has the least government experience of the four candidates, but she brings a passion for the welfare of children and the tenacity of a boxer – one of her hobbies – to the campaign.

While there is an abundance of potential in this area, we believe Connolly’s breadth of experience and depth of knowledge gives him an edge. The Press Democrat recommends Damon Connolly for the 12th Assembly District.

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Denise W. Whigham