Laguna Beach is a key city within the 74th Assembly District. As a candidate to represent this city, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and talk about the issues that I feel are important in the upcoming election.
As an eight-year council member and two-term mayor of Newport Beach, I have been privileged to work over the years with several members of the Laguna Beach council on matters of join interest. I am so proud to have the endorsement of Mayor Elizabeth Pearson in this Assembly election.
I am a fiscal conservative, and I will fight hard to be sure that the temporary sales and income tax increases in Proposition 30, giving us the highest sales and income taxes in the nation, are allowed to expire when scheduled. We must also protect Proposition 13, against those who would weaken its protections, such as the so-called “split-roll” increase on commercial property. This $6 billion tax increase would be devastating for small shops and galleries along Coast Highway and Forest Avenue, forcing up rents and raising prices for all. We must also find a way to put more Californians back to work and get our economy moving again.
For more than 20 years, Pamela and I have enjoyed the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and have supported it as members of the Festival. I am a strong believer in the value of arts, which not only define the community of Laguna Beach, they are critical to its economic well being.
The same is true of parks and open space. As a member and past president of the Orange County Parks Commission, I helped oversee the donation of more than 20,000 acres to the county for perpetual open space and parks.
In the legislature, I will work to see that our parks, open space and coastline are protected for future generations, and we foster support for arts and arts education in our state.
Laguna and Newport share a passion for clean water and the reduction in urban runoff that threatens marine life and the safety of swimmers at our beaches. We also share a risk for natural disasters such as wildfires, mudslides and sea level rise. I will work to see that our communities have the tools they need to effectively address these issues before disaster strikes.
I believe that elected city councils should make the decisions on issues such as fire rings, group homes and toll roads, not state bureaucrats.
Finally, I understand that protecting the high quality of life that we enjoy in Laguna-Newport requires a partnership between the federal, state and local governments. I pledge to make sure the state lives up to its responsibilities of this partnership. Thanks for listening.
Keith Curry is a Newport Beach council member and candidate for the 74th Assembly District.