Democrats, donors and dignitaries gathered at a Newhall home Thursday night to kick off Christy Smith’s campaign for the 38th Assembly District at a private fundraising event.
This is the Santa Clarita resident’s second run at the seat, which is currently held by Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita).
Smith, Newhall School Board President, said she knew she would run for office again as of election night in November, wanting to represent California after Donald Trump was elected and saying she knew Democrats felt America run by Trump was “not the country they signed up for.”
“It was a lesson in gratitude and a lesson in patriotism,” Smith said.
She said as a mother, the election results hit her uniquely when she stayed up late talking about concerns with her older daughter and consoled her younger daughter the morning after.
When her younger daughter said she could not bear to go to school in the morning, Smith said she had to stand up for those who would be scared after the presidential election.
“Think of your Muslim friends, your gay friends, your Latino friends and your African American friends,” Smith recalled telling her daughter. “That is the contribution you can make.”
Wanting to make this contribution herself at the state level, Smith said she knew she had to represent these groups and run for Assembly again.
“California will remain a beacon of hope for the entire country,” she said.
Smith said she is committed firstly to education and said if elected, she would ensure she served all students in the public school system.
“Every neighborhood school needs to be a good school,” Smith said.
The candidate also said she is committed to finding a health care system that works and to helping the poor.
Every person of every political viewpoint would aid someone hurt on the side of the road, Smith said, and that same mentality should be applied to the health care system.
“We need to get back to talking about service that is inclusive,” she said. “Service should be available to everyone.”
Speaking further about inclusivity, Smith said she was committed to listening to people of all political viewpoints.
Additionally, she said she wanted to ensure Democrats continued to grow their grassroots campaigns.
Asking for donations of any size to support her campaign, up to the legal limit of $4,400 per person, Smith thanked attendees for their support, friendship and donations.
“We’re going to change the course of history here in this district,” Smith concluded.
Among attendees was California State Controller Betty Yee, who said she was certain the Democrats had a champion in Smith.
“We are so looking forward to welcoming you to the State Assembly,” Yee said to Smith.
Smith is someone who serves with integrity and represents the district well, Yee said. Yee was on the ground in the last campaign making phone calls to constituents and said she was committed to doing the same this time, too.
“We are going to define this campaign right here in this district,” the state controller said.
Guest Kerry Osborne, a College of the Canyons instructor, told The Signal she supported Smith’s efforts to improve education.
“I am very interested in the Assembly race from an education perspective,” Osborne said. “Our working conditions are students’ learning conditions.”
Longtime Santa Clarita resident and organized labor representative Don Easy said he appreciated Smith’s commitment to the working class.
“She looks out for common people,” he said. “She is a breath of hope.”
Former Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger said he believed it was time for a Democrat to represent the Santa Clarita Valley in Sacramento.
“She reflects my values,” Winger said about Smith. “It is time for a change in this valley.”
Darren W. Parker, statewide chair of the African American Caucus and special assistant to Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, expressed his support for Smith’s candidacy.
“I think she is the perfect candidate,” Parker said. “It is about bringing the community together and putting our best foot forward. That is what Christy is.”
Melanie Paulsen, team leader for Hillary for America in the 2016 presidential campaign and executive vice president of Win to Lead, said Smith is a “dynamic leader.”
“California could use some experts, and Christy is an expert,” Paulsen said. “She is capable, competent and experienced.”
California Assembly District 38 Regional Vice Chair Stacy Fortner said Smith is the representative the district needs in Sacramento.
“When it comes to Christy, she looks like us, she talks like us and she represents us well,” Fortner said. “I cannot think of anyone better to send to Sacramento.”
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