Jackie Thomas | 3 Critical Issues in Congressional Race

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

With the most critical election of our lifetimes less than one month away, it is incumbent on 25th Congressional District voters to choose a congressional representative who has proven to be an effective advocate for the community, and whose legislative priorities are commensurate with these unprecedented times. Christy Smith not only possesses these qualities, but also has the best record, agenda and intentions for the livelihood and future of our community. Below are three critical issues imperative to note when voting on Nov. 3.

Issue 1, health care: Access to affordable health care and prescription drugs is critical for my family. I am relieved that it is one of Christy Smith’s top priorities. This is a personal fight for her — Smith’s mother died too early because of a broken health care system. She’s channeled her experiences from this tragedy into fierce advocacy for expanded access to health care, so no one else has to experience what she’s experienced. Christy also prioritizes lowering the cost of prescription drugs — a cost that has become untenable for many families. Alternatively, Rep. Mike Garcia fecklessly voted against a measure to reduce prescription drug prices. 

Additionally, Christy Smith recognizes reproductive care as an inalienable aspect of health care. I appreciate that she has been transparent about complications she experienced while pregnant with her first daughter and has a personal appreciation for access to reproductive care. She is nationally recognized as a warrior for reproductive justice and is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. 

Christy Smith’s commitment to expanded affordable health care has only intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains paramount in her legislative priorities, especially as the future of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain during the recent shakeup with this Supreme Court vacancy. 

Issue 2, education: The future of education is perhaps the most widely discussed and debated topic in the country. Christy Smith believes in the power of public education to produce enriched and more equitable future generations; even prior to COVID-19, education was one of Smith’s top priorities. As a product of Santa Clarita public schools, a former two-term Newhall School District board member, a former U.S. Department of Education analyst and a prolific state legislator who has worked on issues of public education, Smith is uniquely positioned to both gracefully navigate the logistical uncertainties schools face, but also shrewdly advocate for safety measures and financial support in Washington, D.C.

Issue 3, Social Security and Medicare; Social Security and Medicare are America’s most effective anti-poverty programs that allow seniors to retire with dignity on their earned benefits. Since Donald Trump took office, the future of Social Security and Medicare has been under attack, rather than being fortified as it should be. Most recently, Trump has stated he would defund Social Security if he is reelected. Instead of actively pursuing methods to send our country’s seniors and the funds they’re entitled to, Mike Garcia believes everyone should be able to “fend for themselves.” 

My husband and I worked more than 40 years each and contributed to the Social Security fund with each paycheck. There were no 401ks when we began saving. Catching up with a private plan is not easy for everyone. Now that we are nearly ready for full retirement, we are counting on being able to draw from what has been a lifelong investment in our retirement. 

We need compassionate leaders who understand the necessity of Social Security and Medicare — and how desperately we need to expand these essential programs, which Christy is determined to do when elected.

Jackie Thomas


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