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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 9

Photo of Tracie Stafford

Tracie Stafford

Small Businesswoman
27,974 votes (24.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Prioritizing Economic Growth that Uplifts All Residents - Tracie will work to improve our local economy and combat homelessness by ensuring access to livable wage jobs, affordable housing , quality public education, healthcare and human service.
  • Fighting For Quality Public Education in All Communities - Tracie Will work to ensure that local schools receive their fair and equitable share of funding to prepare all students for 21st Century careers.
  • Working to Keep our Homes and Streets Safe - Tracie will work to protect our communities by addressing crime in and outside of our homes with an emphasis on prevention and criminal justice reform.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Small Businesswoman
Communcations Chair, Democratic Party of Sacramento County — Elected position (2019–current)
Northern Regional Director, California Democratic Party African American Caucus — Appointed position (2019–current)
Board Member, California Small Business Board — Appointed position (2007–2014)
Chair, Sacramento Small Business Board — Appointed position (2006–2008)
President, National Association of Women Business Owners, Sacramento Valley — Elected position (2004–2007)

Education

UCLA MDE Certification, Anderson School of Management (2006)
University of Phoenix Bachelor's of Science, Business Management (1997)

Biography

Tracie began her career in data entry working her way up to Senior Manager in high tech before opening her first consulting firm. She became a community leader, a governor appointee, chair of the city of Sacramento’s small business board, an elected assembly district delegate and championed local, state and national legislation.

Tracie’s early life was a challenge. She was born to a single mother and orphaned at the age of 12. She survived poverty, discrimination, child abuse, sexual assault and is a 3rd generation domestic violence survivor. Although she began her life on public assistance she was determined to stand on her own and became the first in her family to earn a college degree.

Tracie is a small businesswoman and public advocate working with organizations such as the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, The National Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence, City Departments, Correctional Facilities, Corporations and Social Change Groups.

She and Bryan, her husband of 23 years raised 4 children in this community, the eldest of whom is a photojournalist in the U.S. Navy.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?
Answer from Tracie Stafford:

As I addressed affordable housing in a prior response, I will focus on homelessness.

First and foremost, we must stop criminalizing the way unhoused people survive. Immediately, we must stop arresting, confiscating the survival gear of, and ticketing people who have no choice but to sleep outside. Safe ground is the first step. We can provide sanitation infrastructure and services to people where they are it. Outreach to people experiencing homelessness should be done by health workers and social workers, not the police.

We should create a very high vacancy tax. There should not be one vacant home while so many sleep outside. I’m inspired by the commitment and power of #Moms4Housing in Oakland!

We need strong tenant protection and emergency assistance programs to keep people in their homes. We need more domestic violence, mental health and substance abuse funding, including wrap-around supportive services for people who are struggling. We need the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes so we can build the social housing and create the services we need to help our communities thrive.

I believe that housing is a human right and that we should create a legally enforceable mandate that would force municipalities and the state to house people, comparable to the laws in California on providing for education.

We must treat homelessness like the crisis it is and fund solutions accordingly. There is no one solution to homelessness. Every solution to homelessness should come from a place of empathy.

Water Question

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?

No answer provided.
Carbon Neutrality Question

To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.

No answer provided.
According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?
Answer from Tracie Stafford:

My plans are to:

Protect and expand upon current reform legislation

In 2016 and 2018, after three decades of ‘tough on crime’ policies that led to over-incarceration and devastated marginalized communities, California voters passed Proposition 47 and Proposition 57 by wide margins. Both ballot initiatives served as a referendum on California’s failed approach to public safety. Proposition 47 reclassified certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 57 created opportunities to earn parole consideration for people serving prison sentences for nonviolent offenses. It also incentivizes participation in rehabilitation and education programs by creating a credit earning system for inmates who reach certain milestones, like earning an academic degree or graduating from a substance abuse course.

A ballot initiative that aims to roll back much of the progress made by Propositions 47 and 57 will appear on the November 2020 ballot. The Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2020 is premised on the falsehood that crime is on the rise in California, and that recent criminal justice reforms are to blame. In fact, according to the Public Policy Institute of California overall crime rates are at near historic lows.

As a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, I believe that the ‘nonviolent offenses’ category should be expanded, however this measure would also make theft of $250 a felony on the third offense,  and allow law enforcement to collect DNA samples from misdemeanor drug and property ‘suspects’ for future use. The measure is capitalizing on the ‘nonviolent offenses’ category to reintroduce a lesser form of the 3 strikes law and override DNA privacy protections.

Support the reduction of Recidivism through Justice Reinvestment

Justice reinvestment is a two-step data-driven approach to improving public safety and reducing long-term criminal justice spending: First, recalibrate state and local corrections budgets to reflect decreasing prison and jail populations. Second, reinvest the savings from California’s decreasing incarceration into evidence-based strategies that decrease crime and reduce recidivism. When Governor Brown signed AB 109 (Public Safety Realignment) in 2011, he implored that "California must reinvest its criminal justice resources to support community-based corrections programs and evidence-based practices that will achieve improved public safety returns on this state's substantial investment in its criminal justice system."

Support Juvenile Justice Reform

Early interventions for at-risk youth is a national best practice for keeping them from entering the criminal justice system, including trauma-informed mental health support, restorative justice-based accountability, education support, and family therapy. Research also demonstrates that justice-involved youth are best served closer to their homes and communities in small, therapeutic environments. Unfortunately, children in California, especially African American and Latino children, still spend a disproportionate amount of time in detention facilities.

Questions from The Sacramento Bee (3)

2 Property Tax Question

Should California make changes to the property tax system set up in Proposition 13? Why?

No answer provided.
To lower rent costs, should California build more or focus on rent caps and tenants’ rights? Why?
Answer from Tracie Stafford:

Lowering rent costs requires a multifaceted solution. We must focus on rent caps and tenant rights as well as building not only housing, but affordable housing. For the short term, my policy priorities include the construction of affordable housing. However, what is truly needed is social housing - to decomodify housing and make certain that everyone has a comfortable and secure place to call home in their community.

Affordable housing is generally divided into three categories: low (50-80% AMI), very low (30-50% AMI), and extremely low (0-30% AMI) income housing. The more deeply affordable housing becomes, the more expensive it is to build and operate. We should be spending our resources to build for the most vulnerable.

To be clear, market rate housing must also be built. However, planning and zoning for all housing types is important to ensure that housing for low, very low, and extremely low-income people is distributed equitably, including in neighborhoods with high opportunity, good schools, parks, libraries.

1 Prescription Drug Question

Should California enter the prescription drug business to help drive down prices? Why or why not?

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $110,461

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
SEIU California
$9,300
1
SEIU Local 1000
$9,300
1
SEIU Local 2015
$9,300
2
Employees of Heising-Simons Foundation
$4,700
2
Employees of Jordan Real Estate Investments
$4,700
2
Krieger Revocable Trust dtd 2/12/16
$4,700
2
Employees of Meadow Fund
$4,700

More information about contributions

By State:

California 99.49%
Oregon 0.23%
Colorado 0.09%
Missouri 0.09%
Virginia 0.09%
99.49%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.32%)
Small contributions (2.68%)
97.32%

By Type:

From organizations (40.00%)
From individuals (60.00%)
40.00%60.00%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Politics is the business of people. 

I have been a public advocate for most of my adult life. Chairing boards, mentoring youth, working in juvenile prisons, speaking internationally to motivate abuse victims to move beyond ‘survivor’. It was when I became the spokesperson for the California partnership to end domestic violence that my focused changed. I realized that most elected officials did not have the life experiences to connect them to the people that they served. Legislation is often viewed as paperwork rather than peoplework. I spent years sharing my experiences with enough detail to bring them into the story. I finally came to the conclusion that rather than begging legislators to understand, that I needed to be one of the decision makers. I have a unique lens through which to govern that is desperately needed at this time. 

Assembly district 9 is in need of a new lens that focus’ on the community rather than monied interests. It is time for change.

Videos (1)

— February 24, 2020 Frame x Frame Productions

The Tracie Stafford for Assembly Campaign picks up Momentum with funding, major endorsements and community support.

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