Marla Sousa Livengood believes she has the perspective and working knowledge in Congress to effectively help address the unique dynamics of the Northern San Joaquin where some of the world’s most productive farmland combined with one of California’s fastest growing regions can be found.
Livengood — who is seeking election to the 10th Congressional District in the March 3 election — grew up working on a farm near Collegeville just 10 miles northeast of Manteca, is a full-time working mother, and served as former Congressman Richard Pombo’s legislative director to advance federal projects and policies that positively impacted the San Joaquin Valley.
“We need to protect ag jobs while growing good paying jobs here as well,” Livengood said.
She understands the challenges of living in the 10th District where many — in order to afford housing, medical care, and other basics — have to commute 45 minutes to an hour one-way to obtain decent paying jobs.
That’s because she has spent five years doing just that commuting from her family’s San Joaquin County home to a job in Sacramento.
And with three children ages 6, 9 and 11 she is raising with her husband Ray she understands firsthand the need for good schools, reasonably priced higher education, affordable health care as well as the need for the growth of good paying jobs on this side of the Altamont Pass so young people aren’t forced to move away to raise families.
Among her objectives if she is elected to serve in Congress
*making sure families have options to make the best choice for their children by taking “their hard earned tax dollars” and choosing the school that best fits their child’s needs whether it is public, private, charter or home based.
*reforming federal college lending practices to stop what she sees as constantly rising tuition costs that “primarily line the pickets of chancellors and professors that make six- or seven figure salaries” while saddling students with crippling debt.
*creating an effective guest worker program that is beneficial to both the farm worker and growers to keep the state’s key $6 billion agricultural industry viable.
*working to make sure federal regulations don’t make more crops unfeasible to grow in the Central Valley which in turns forces the United States to rely on other countries for more of its food needs.
*supporting post-secondary vocational institutions to teach students a trade to provide for themselves and their family by keeping good paying jobs in the Central Valley.
*making sure people have the ability to purchase affordable health care that fits their needs instead of being forced into one-size fits all solutions that she said would force people into high-priced comprehensive plans. She wants health care options that are both patient-focused and market-based.
*working to make sure local water rights — and by extension water supplies — are protected while at the same time building more water storage.
*opposing high speed rail meaning as a member of Congress she will work against any more federal funds being committed to the California project.
Livengood said given she has worked on a farm doing everything from menial labor to driving a tractor and the fact she has used her California State University at Fresno Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Economics to work in various positions focusing on agricultural, economic development and job creation both in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., she is well versed to represent the needs of the 10th District.
“You need to know first what people are up against to be effective (in Washington, D.C.),” Livengood said
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