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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 72

Photo of Bijan Mohseni

Bijan Mohseni

Civil Rights Advocate
18,668 votes (15.9%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve Education
  • Protect Our Coast & Air
  • Solve Our State's Poverty & Homelessness

Experience

Experience

Profession:Civil Rights Advocate
Associate, Latham & Watkins (not availa–not availa)
Judicial Extern, Judge Josephine L. Staton, United States District Court for the Central District of California (not availa–not availa)
Judicial Extern, Justice Brian M. Hoffstadt, California Court of Appeal for the Second District (not availa–not availa)

Education

UCLA School of Law Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law; emphasizing in constitutional law & the 2nd Amendment
Chapman University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), political science; minor in philosophy
Los Alamitos High School High School Diploma

Biography

I’m Bijan Mohseni, a progressive Democrat campaigning for California State Assembly – District 72.

I grew up here and I’m running because our District deserves better. I’m the son of a Mexican-American mother who’s worked for the Los Alamitos Unified School District for 20 years and an Iranian-immigrant father who was a small business entrepreneur. I attended Los Alamitos public schools from pre-school to high school (Go Griffins!) and became the first college graduate in my family (B.A., Chapman University; J.D., UCLA). I joined a global law firm and advocated for human trafficking victims, asylum seekers, and the LGBTQ+ community, which I’m a proud member of. I even fought Donald Trump alongside transgender soldiers unconstitutionally banned from serving their country.

I’m fighting to foster good jobs with good wages and to tear down economic barriers for women and families; it’s time for guaranteed paid leave, affordable childcare, family tax credits, and equal pay!

I’m fighting to end our District’s high child poverty rate. I have a plan for universal pre-school, and a plan to invest in our students and support our teachers. It’s time for California to lead the nation in education again.

I’m fighting to act boldly on climate change, for clean air and water, and to protect our coast from Big Oil. I’m fighting to close gun loopholes and to expand Medicare to all Californians.

It’s time to elect a homegrown leader with political courage. I fearlessly fought Trump head-on in the United States Supreme Court, and I’ll fight for you in Sacramento. Together, we can build a brighter California!

www.BijanForAssembly.com

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Youtube

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 Bijan Mohseni:

See position paper Solving Homelessness & Poverty

Water Question

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

No answer provided.
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.
Answer from Bijan Mohseni:

See position paper Protecting Our Coast & Air

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 Bijan Mohseni:
Building Trust

We must work towards greater community policing, where police officers and the community work together as partners. This means that policies of de-escalation must be adopted. Police officers cannot be allowed to resort to physical restraint, violence, or the threat of arrest or violence when faced with a verbal disagreement, non-violent resistance, or the assertion of one’s civil rights.

I support the universal use of body cams and dashboard cams, and the creation of local civilian oversight boards for all police departments. Our communities should be  given the authority to reign in abuses of power and to ensure that our police officers continue to uphold their duties.

End Parking Ticket Abuse

Community policing requires trust. We can begin rebuilding it from the ground up by ensuring that Cities work to keep us safe, rather than being out to take residents’ hard-earned money. It’s one thing to uphold the law, it quite another to prey law abiding citizens. I will work to pass legislation to lower the cost of parking tickets and towing fees which continue to fill city council coffers at the disproportionate expense of low-income families. 

Reforming Grand Juries

Grand Juries play a key role in the criminal justice system. They keep our politicians honest, but they also indict individuals whom prosecutors accuse of crimes. Over the years, the Grand Jury in Orange County has consistently failed to diversify in age, income, and race. This is because, unlike other counties in the state, the Orange County Grand Jury is a full-time job that pays $6.25 an hour. The structure and appointment process of the Orange County Grand Jury prevents it from adequately representing a better sampling of our vibrant community. I will work to pass legislation that restructures the Grand Jury system statewide to ensure equity in indictments, greater accountability, and the equal application of the law.

Providing Zealous Advocates

Prosecutors and Public Defenders are integral to our system of fairness. Prosecutors have the power to determine what charges to bring. Public Defenders are tasked with the Constitutional role of providing legal representation to anyone facing jail time that can’t afford an attorney. Even though, this role is protected by the 6th Amendment, Public Defenders are understaffed, overworked, and outmatched by district attorneys’ offices that have larger staffs and more resources to prosecute cases. This leads to less effective representation of the accused who are often unable to afford an expensive criminal defense attorney. In a system of “innocent until proven guilty” this should not be the norm. I will work to level the playing field to ensure that justice can always be found in a courtroom, regardless of income. California has the largest judicial system in the world, if we are to be a model for every state and nation, we must ensure that our accused receive quality counsel as required by our Constitution.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $9,092

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

1
Employees of Latham & Watkins
$6,000
2
Employees of Beeya Inc.
$250
2
Employees of Chapman University
$250
2
Freethought Equality Fund
$250
2
Employees of Smith Currie Hancock
$250
2
Employees of Willdan Engineering
$250

More information about contributions

By State:

California 89.79%
District of Columbia 3.97%
D. 2.84%
Illinois 1.13%
Louisiana 1.13%
Texas 1.13%
89.79%

By Size:

Large contributions (96.95%)
Small contributions (3.05%)
96.95%

By Type:

From organizations (2.84%)
From individuals (97.16%)
97.16%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Improving Education

Summary

It's time we prioritize our kids. Bijan is the only candidate with a plan to improve education and invest our childrens' futures.

Universal Preschool

Currently, only 1 in 3 three-year-olds are enrolled in a pre-k program and our state’s programs fall short of covering those in most need. Universal pre-school for three- and four-year-olds will help alleviate financial strains for working families with young children and ensure that our kids are prepared for kindergarten and beyond. In fact, for every $1 we invest, our state would receive as much as 4x that amount in benefit! Pre-school remains one of the most cost-effective ways of eliminating child poverty and improving child learning outcomes.

Pre-school is good for kids and good for working families which is why I promise to bring legislation to ensure that every three- and four-year-old is covered and has the opportunity to attend a quality public pre-school program.

Kids are our future. It’s time our state prioritizes them.

College & Trade Schools

From its founding until 50 years ago, the University of California system was free to all Californians. Today, tuition at the University of California costs as much as some private schools, despite the fact that our state continues to be more prosperous than it was decades back. I believe that education is a right and is good for our democracy and economy. I will introduce legislation that invests in our future and ensures that a public college or trade school education is free to any California resident, including our workforce displaced by automation.

Investing in Schools & Teachers

Teachers are among the most underpaid and overstaffed workforce in California. If we want to increase the quality of our students’ education, we must reduce classroom sizes, raise teacher pay, and hire more qualified teachers at higher and more competitive salaries. I will work to provide our educators with opportunities for professional growth and networking, and make interdistrict reciprocity and movement accessible. I will also pass legislation to invest more money in facilities, tools, and resources so that our teachers are better equipped to provide our students with the best education possible. 

Guns Off Our Streets

In 2011, our community was rocked when eight of our sisters and brothers were senselessly killed in Seal Beach with an ordinary handgun. These beautiful lives were lost in a tragic attack by an evil man who should have never been in possession of a gun. But we know that these attacks are not uncommon. Tragedy continues to strike our state and country on an almost regular basis.

The prevalence of guns on our streets is a public health and education emergency. Every day we don’t act is another day closer to tragedy. Mass shootings will continue unless our politicians find solutions. During my time at UCLA School of Law, I worked independently with professors to study the Second Amendment and the Constitutional Law surrounding it. The answers exist if we are bold enough to act on them. 

Bottom line is: I know that we can do better. 

We need to continue to lead the nation with our strong gun laws and work to completely take these weapons off our streets. I will pass laws to end gun shows and the sale of DIY gun assembly kits. I will increase funding for gun violence intervention programs. I will also work to form gun-control pacts with our neighboring states to prevent people from obtaining guns across state lines and bringing them to California. The right to own a gun does not trump the right to live. I will work tirelessly to remove guns and weapons of war from our communities.

Our children deserve better. Enough is enough.

 

Protecting Our Coast & Air

Summary

Climate change will devastate our coastal district. Bijan is the only candidate with a plan to address it.

Climate Change

There’s no avoiding it, climate change is the biggest issue facing Orange County. From our rising sea levels, to our increasing air pollution, to the wildfires ravaging our homes, climate change poses a threat to every one of us. We need to see a robust response to this existential crisis in Sacramento, and I am the only candidate in the race for California Assembly District 72 prepared to do that.

The time to act is now.  I will write legislation to combat climate change, prioritizing communities at risk of wildfires and coastal flooding (like Orange County). I will increase funding for preventative land management and resources for firefighters, first responders, and disaster relief. I will also create a statewide Catastrophic Extreme Weather Insurance program to ensure community stability in the aftermath of disaster.

Our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. I will work to refresh our roads and bridges and invest in green energy and public transportation. We’ll bring more jobs to Orange County and increase accessibility to clean transportation.

Clean Air

Over half of the counties in California, including Orange County, have received “F’s” in air quality from the American Lung Association. Meanwhile, lung disease continues to rise. In Orange County, more than 1 in 5 children will be diagnosed with Asthma before they turn 18. Make no mistake, this is a direct result of the continuing decline in our air quality. We will tackle traffic and congestion by refreshing our roads and bridges and building better more efficient infrastructure. I will ensure that cities like Garden Grove are not doing road work during peak traffic hours. I will also introduce legislation to ensure clean transportation is accessible to every resident of Orange County. 

As your next assemblymember I promise to prioritize the health of you, your family, and our environment. 

Clean Drinking Water

This year, it was reported that water wells across Southern California contained toxic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFAs), a chemical family linked to life threatening illnesses including cancer. Even in small amounts, these chemicals can cause huge damage.  Orange County has more wells with reportable levels of PFAS than Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties combined. This is unacceptable. I will bring about swift legislation to ensure that our water sources are safe, regularly checked and maintained, and will invest in more purification plants to remove all toxic chemicals from our tap water.

Offshore Drilling

Our coast is not only one of the most beautiful in the world, it’s also an economic driving force in our economy. We have seen the damage to our land caused by fracking, and the destruction coastal oil spills cause to the environment, wildlife, and local economies. I will work to protect our coast from polluters and will fight against offshore drilling and fracking.

But it is not enough to end fracking and dangerous oil drilling in our coastal cities without protecting the hardworking people performing those jobs. This is why, I will also introduce legislation to bring jobs in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure to Orange County. As we move towards a greener future, we must ensure our workforce is never left behind.

COMBATTING HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY

Summary

Orange County is in the midst of a homelessness crisis. Bijan is the only candidate with a plan to solve this growing problem.

Combatting Homelessness & Building Affordable Housing

A quarter of the nation’s homeless population lives in California, and almost 30% of the nation’s homeless veterans live in California. The problem is not getting better, in fact, homelessness continues to rise every year, as does the cost of housing. On average half of Californians spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Because California faces a shortage of open rentals, prices are forced to rise. The issue is a national travesty.

I will address California’s homelessness crisis head-on. I will work to ensure mental health and rehabilitative services are accessible. I will also fight to advance education and healthcare, so future generations have the resources they need to be housing independent.

I will also work to make housing more affordable to ensure working families are not forced out because of rising costs. I will pass legislation to build more housing to stabilize the market for low and middle income communities, ease zoning restrictions, and increase tax credits for working people. I’m proud to be pro-housing, pro-tenant, and pro-new neighbors.

I know we can do better, and as your next assemblymember, I will fight every day to ensure that we end this crisis.

Ending Child Poverty

Orange County has the second highest rate of child poverty in the state. Even worse, 1 in every 3 children in our district lives in poverty. This is a moral outrage, but the solution is in our hands. I will work to expand the state Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and pass a targeted Child Tax Credit that will put more cash back into families’ pockets to support the basic necessities of daily living. I will pass legislation to establish universal preschool for all three- and four-year-olds and Medicare for All which will provide quality healthcare to all Californians. Lastly, I will work to expand emergency child care for foster care families, access to housing for youth aging out of foster care, and rental subsidies for homeless families and families living in poverty.

Medicare For All

The Affordable Care Act was a great step in the right direction; it prohibited insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions and allowed children to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26. However, for many, the cost of healthcare is still far too high, and insurance companies continue to gouge patients with skyrocketing co-pays, premiums, and deductibles.

Its time we lead the nation and join the rest of the advanced world in providing our citizens with healthcare.

We can work to improve Medicare and extend it to all Californians. No Californian should have to choose between paying for rent or life-saving treatment, nor should any Californian go broke because of a life-altering diagnosis.

Medicare for All means increased access to care, greater use of prescription drugs and preventive care, and improved financial well-being, including fewer bankruptcies, better credit scores, and reduced debt. It also improves the financial performance of hospitals and lowers the likelihood of hospital closures.

We can ensure that every Californian gets the care they need without having to make life-saving decisions with their wallet in mind.

Videos (2)

— February 25, 2020 Bijan Mohseni for California State Assembly 2020

Let's build a California for All. Vote for Democrat Bijan Mohseni on March 3rd. Find out more at www.bijanforassembly.com.

It's time we prioritize our kids. Bijan is the only candidate with a plan to improve education and invest our childrens' futures. To learn more, visit: www.bijanforassembly.com. Vote March 3, 2020!

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