California is definitely going in the wrong direction. The “Golden State” was once the land of opportunity. Now, it is tragically turning into the land of the super-rich and poor who depend on government handouts. What’s being lost are families like mine – our middle class. Families are leaving California for states with more responsive leadership and a better quality of life. Sure, California boasts the world’s fifth largest economy but the state also has some of the nation’s highest poverty rates, highest housing costs and is bankrupt when you compare assets to liabilities.

We deserve better. Sacramento is incapable of reforming itself.

I have lived in California since my husband and I got married 13 years ago. We love California. All my children were born here. I have four children – ages 8, 6 and 4-year-old twins. 

This fall, all my kids will be enrolled in California’s public-school system, so the effectiveness of K-12 educational programs impacts my family. We can’t afford pricey private schools but don’t qualify for need-based help. As a mother, I am discouraged that California schools consistently rank at the bottom when compared to other states. What’s really scary is our state’s poor education performance is not due to a lack of funding. K-12 education accounts for more than 28% of California 2017-18 state budget, an increase of more than $3 billion from last year. California spends lots of money on education; however, that money is not making it into the classroom or to the students, where it belongs.

California’s recently approved state budget is nearly $200 billion dollars. Apparently, that’s not enough money to fix our decaying roads and bridges. Instead, last year, Sacramento politicians passed a huge, regressive gas tax that hurts families like mine. This “Sacramento-knows-best” action is another example of gross misrepresentation, which is why voters expressed their opposition and gathered enough signatures to place a gas tax repeal on the November 2018 ballot. California has ample money to fix our roads and bridges. We just need to reallocate and reprioritize the funds and stop wasteful government spending, such as the high-speed rail project.

The status quo is bad and it’s getting worse. In the midst of a record budget, with a multi-billion dollar “rainy day fund,” Sacramento politicians want still more and more taxes, and greater regulation. At the same time, California’s infrastructure is falling apart, our schools are failing and our state leaders are out of touch with our most pressing regional needs.

In two years, my husband will be eligible for early retirement, prompting us to reconsider our family’s future in California. For the last year, we have been actively researching other states where our paychecks and pensions would go a lot farther – with better roads, better public schools and affordable housing. This reality breaks my heart because we love our community. But our voice is being ignored in Sacramento.

We need elected officials willing to forego special interests and instead make decisions that are best for local communities. California is broken. That’s a tough reality to admit, but it’s true. The problems run so deep that electing new “leaders” or passing more legislation in a broken system won’t solve any long-term problems. We need a fresh start. That’s what Cal 3 is all about.

Cal 3, Proposition 9 on the November 2018 ballot, offers new hope to millions of families like mine, a chance to reach for a piece of the California dream.