I first met Katie Hill about one year ago for a meet and greet, which turned into a two hour Q&A debate over Katie’s stance on issues ranging from healthcare to campaign finance reform. Just to be clear, I didn’t intend to try and grill her, but that’s what it basically was — I wanted to be sure that I would be backing the right candidate to take on Rep. Steve Knight. Since that afternoon, I’ve volunteered for Katie in reaching out to high school and college students, getting signatures for petitions to get Katie on the ballot, and canvassed my heart out for her. Why am I sure that Katie is the right candidate? For the same reason that I knew it back in March of 2017; Katie is the real deal. She announced before any other candidate, which showed me that she had guts to go for the seat over a year in advance, and she has stuck to her word since that first day on every single issue. Katie has run a grassroots campaign that is completely people-powered — not by Washington insiders — she has stuck to her roots and embraced the people of her hometown district, liberal leaning and conservative leaning, and has shown that she is willing to work her heart out for each and every person that she represents — not just wealthy donors and corporations, but ordinary people. I’ve spoken to SCV residents who range all over the political spectrum — fellow COC students to staunch business leaders — and the one thing that I keep hearing is that we need real change to occur in Washington. For my family and I, knowing that our congressman voted to drastically increase the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans, while at the same time giving gigantic ax breaks to the one percentile of people that need it the least — whose kids can easily get by college and grad school without any student debt — that enraged me to my core. Katie knows that her fellow millennials and young people are suffering from crushing student debt, and she knows that baby-boomers’ Social Security and Medicare are at risk. She knows all of this, and she has real coherent solutions to these problems, not just political jargon and a desire to seek office. Katie’s experience at PATH in writing and helping to pass Measure H and Prop HHH, as well as her work on the California Medicaid expansion, shows that she knows the legislative game and knows what it takes to successfully pass and implement an enormous government program — something no other candidate has experience with. Katie Hill is the real deal. If you don’t believe me, just see her speak. And come the June 5th primary, you’ll know she is the one that can create real change. Lucas Holtz is a Valencia resident.