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  Cares, Thomas Jefferson "Tom"
<-  2018-01-01  
NameThomas Jefferson "Tom" Cares
Address375 Redondo
Long Beach, California , United States
Born September 23, 1988 (33 years)
ContributorSummer Intern
Last ModifedRBH
Feb 08, 2019 02:27pm
InfoAt two months shy of turning 21, I'm less than half the age of all the other candidates. I haven't spent a decade on city councils or water boards - regrettably, I haven't even spent 6 years in this State - but, I have had the extraordinary opportunity of wearing a lot of Californians' shoes. At age 15, with my parents having just separated, and perhaps being overly-eager to embrace an early adulthood, I dropped out of the best high school in New York City (Stuyvesant) and ran off to LA. Back then, the job market here was so strong (57% the unemployment rate of today), that despite being in a worse job-hunting position than an undocumented immigrant (hiring a minor, under 16, with no school-issued work permit, carries far greater fines and liabilities), I was almost-immediately hired to load rented furniture onto a truck for a party supply store on Washington & Crenshaw - just two blocks from the home I had found on Roommates.com. Within a few months, I had the opportunity to take the California High School Proficiency Exam. Having passed on my first try, I was able to lawfully work unlimited hours per week and spent a year balancing a minimum-wage union job, as a parking lot attendant at Universal Studios, against various 2nd jobs, often working over 70 hours/week, with the enormous pain of managing long commutes depending on our inadequate public transit. At the time, it was important to me to get a court order declaring me an 'emancipated minor', to have rights such as signing contracts, so I was largely concerned with being able to prove, to the Court, that I could reliably support myself. In late 2005, I was granted that court order, and decided to move down to Gardena, where I attended El Camino College, majoring in political science, and actively participating on their debate team, while earning money by making databases for small businesses and working as a legal secretary at a firm near Century City. In late 2006, I started driving, and, frankly, found it addictive. Throughout 2007, I travelled (drove) over 60,000 miles, inside of California. In addition to taking some time to visit, and appreciate, all 58 counties in the State, I spent most weekdays at the State Capitol, in Sacramento, where I went to over 100 committee hearings. On weekends (late Thurs - Sun), I drove around San Francisco with signs on my car stating that I would give anyone a ride and they could offer compensation of anything they want or nothing at all; in the process, I transported almost ten thousand total passengers and subsidized transportation for at least several dozen individuals who would have otherwise drove, while intoxicated (policies promoting such activity might actually provide a very nice supplement to public transit). During late 2007, having become outraged at some fellow Democrats' efforts to force the passage of a State Constitutional Amendment to extend term limits, through blatant dishonesty, I spent hundreds of hours preparing litigation, as a plaintiff in State and Federal Court, seeking an injunction to amend the Attorney General's Official Ballot Summary so that it would not continue to deliberately trick voters (I could support increasing term limits, but the dishonesty used in the State's official summary, misleadingly authored by a partisan official, needed to be challenged - I strongly believe that when party leaders pursue desired policy changes through such dishonest tactics, it will always result in a net loss of power for the party. Further, the way Prop 93 would have extended term limits, in my view, was unwise policy - it would have replaced the respective 8 and 6-year separate term limits in the Senate and Assembly with a 12 year limit on total service - keeping the limits separate enables the most-effective/popular legislators to serve longer terms than the more-mediocre legislators and enables 'new talent' to replace such legislators more frequently; combining the limit, on the other hand, results in better legislators serving less time, as everyone would have been able to serve 12 years and only the ones who could have moved to more-desirable positions (to them) like Congress or Statewide office would have served less; It's also worth noting that Prop 93's passage would have ultimately been bad for Democrats, as Democrats ended up picking up several seats held by Republican incumbents, whom Prop 93 would've kept from being termed out). Both Courts granted emergency hearings, on the merits, but I was ultimately defeated by the Attorney General's goliath-like legal team (I think I saw about 8 attorneys on their side, at the federal hearing). Over the few months that I worked on the case, the 'No on 93' campaign went from being outraised/outspent 100-1 to only 3-1, and was able to educate enough voters to defeat the Proposition. Since (and before) then, I have largely focused on spending as much time as possible independently studying and analyzing California Public Policy - since 2006, I have spent at least 6,000 hours on this task. In addition to the time I spent living in Gardena, I have lived in Lawndale for the last year, and lived in Inglewood for part of 2008. While not quite grossing 3 years here, this 51st Assembly District, whose seat was recently vacated by now-Senator Curren Price, is where I have spent more time than any other district in the State. I truly love our South Bay communities, and there's no one I'd rather be fighting for, than my neighbors in AD 51.



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