Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, announced to The Signal that she will run for re-election in 2022.
“I’m running so that I can continue my work in delivering for our community and specifically making life more affordable for the working and middle class,” Valladares said.
The COVID-19 pandemic, she said, impacted what she wanted to deliver for the district starting the day she took office last December.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, Santa Clarita was the 17th hardest hit city in the entire nation when it came to unemployment,” she said, attributing the hit to the closure of local employers Six Flags Magic Mountain and Princess Cruises.
Shortly after starting in Sacramento, Valladares said she teamed up with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk Silva, D-Fullerton, chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media, where Valladares now serves as vice chair.
“I wasn’t even assigned to the committee yet and I said, ‘We’ve got to get our parks open,’” she said, noting her bill to reopen Magic Mountain and other theme parks. “Six Flags Magic Mountain is an economic engine for tourism, restaurants and hotels in our community.”
Through that committee work, Valladares also worked on new state film tax credit, which will support Santa Clarita Valley’s “booming” production industry, she said.
“This is a huge expansion that’s going to bring money and resources back into our district,” said Valladares.
Valladares said she’s proud to have been a joint author on a bill that made preschool universal in California.
The $2.7 billion investment make transitional kindergarten accessible to all four-year-old children and adds 200,000 spots — to the existing 100,000 — for state-subsidized childcare.
“It’s a huge deal for middle class and working-class families,” said Valladares, a child care advocate for more than a decade.
Public safety and foster youth are also on the Assemblywoman’s priority list. During the current legislative session, she authored a bill to expand access to resources and information for domestic violence victims.
The 2020 election, she said, made it clear in her mind the need for balance in politics.
“I’m a Republican … but I will work with anybody who care about our community and wants to get things done,” Valladares said.
Valladares represents the 38th District, which includes communities in the Santa Clarita, Simi and San Fernando valleys. Democrats Jonathan Ahmedi, Annie Cho, Pilar Schiavo and Artin Sodaify have also announced their candidacy for this Assembly seat.