By The Signal Editorial Board
Voters face many important choices on the November ballot, from who will oversee our schools, to who will sit on our City Council, and represent us in the state Legislature and in Washington, D.C. We will be offering endorsements in selected races where we recommend those candidates and positions that we think will best serve the Santa Clarita Valley. This week, we begin with our endorsements for the four state Legislature seats that represent our community: The 21st and 27th Senate districts, and the 36th and 38th Assembly districts.
21st Senate District
The 21st Senate District covers most of the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as the Antelope and Victor valleys. The voters of the 21st are represented very well by Sen. Scott Wilk, a Santa Clarita resident and longtime member of our community. We are endorsing Wilk for re-election.
Perhaps Wilk’s strongest characteristic as a legislator is his ability to get things done while working across the aisle. He is an effective, smart legislator who, as one of the few Republicans in the state capitol, has adeptly worked with his Democratic colleagues to accomplish positive changes for his constituents and the state as a whole.
We could use more common-sense legislators like him, who are willing to work in a bipartisan manner to accomplish good works on behalf of all Californians. It’s especially important for Wilk, as a Republican, because he’s in Sacramento with a Democratic supermajority.
We’ve pointed out Wilk’s accomplishments before, including the legislation that created the SCV Water agency, and his advocacy on issues like affordable health care, gender equality and the impacts of power shutoffs on fire safety in rural communities. He coauthored Senate Bill 801, seeking to help medically vulnerable Californians weather some of the worst side effects of mandatory public safety power shutoffs.
In recent months, Wilk has worked diligently to help individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. He has pushed the administration in Sacramento to improve the service provided to the unemployed by the state Employment Development Department, which stumbled out of the gate — and then some — when unemployment claims started flowing in due to the COVID-19 crisis. He has also advocated for more local control over decisions on the safe reopening of economies stung by pandemic-driven shutdowns.
Wilk has worked hard to bring jobs to our district — before the pandemic and during — and to protect our children and keep our neighborhoods safe. He is one of the most effective representatives the SCV has had in the state Legislature, and he deserves your vote for re-election in November.
27th Senate District
Sen. Henry Stern represents the 27th District, which is primarily in Ventura County and the western San Fernando Valley, but also covers significant portions of the SCV, including Westridge, Stevenson Ranch, and slices of Newhall and Valencia. We are endorsing Stern for re-election.
Stern, a Democrat, also has focused attention on wildfire safety and has introduced legislation to help protect communities from the impacts of power shutoffs.
Stern and Wilk have worked together on bipartisan efforts in the past, notably their work to help prevent Cemex from developing a massive sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon and to address issues related to leaks from the SoCal Gas storage field near Porter Ranch.
38th Assembly District
The 38th Assembly District, currently represented by Assemblywoman Christy Smith, will have a new representative after the Nov. 3 election because Smith, D-Santa Clarita, is running for Congress. In a rather unusual wrinkle, after the March primary the top two candidates who emerged to run in the November general election were both from the same party: Republicans Suzette Martinez Valladares and Lucie Lapointe Volotzky.
We are endorsing Valladares for the 38th District, which includes most of the SCV as well as portions of the northern San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley.
Valladares is an accomplished business professional who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, the daughter of a farm worker who toiled in vineyards alongside Cesar Chavez. Today, she’s a working mom who advocates for the principles of limited government and self-reliance. She formerly served as a district representative for then-Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon before becoming executive director of Southern California Autism Speaks. Since 2018, she has served as CEO of Little Steps of Faith, a faith-based nonprofit preschool based in Sylmar.
36th Assembly District
Tom Lackey gets an A+ rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. In the tax-happy land known as Sacramento, we need legislators like Lackey who are on the lookout to protect your pocketbook from further invasion. We endorse him for re-election to the state Assembly.
Lackey, R-Palmdale, serves a district that primarily covers the Antelope Valley but also includes a portion of the SCV, mostly on the northeastern side of our valley. He’s a former California Highway Patrol officer who served three terms on the Palmdale City Council. In Sacramento, he is a strong advocate for education, law enforcement and business.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lackey has worked alongside Wilk to push for improvements in the state EDD’s handling of unemployment claims, and also urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to give local and regional governments more autonomy in developing their reopening plans. He’s an advocate for crime victims, having authored bills seeking to end the backlog of rape kit processing and to toughen penalties for revenge porn in California.