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Public Statements

Issue Position: Jobs and the Economy

Issue Position

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Toni Atkins will work to create jobs and get our local economy back on track.

Toni Atkins has the experience as an innovative policy maker, housing expert and businesswoman to help improve San Diego's economy. She understands our community and will fight for the resources we know are necessary for them to thrive.

Toni will work to support a growing biotech and high-tech employment base in the region, cut red tape for small businesses, expand job training and help working families get through this recession. That's one reason why Toni is supported by the California Small Business Association.

Housing and Economic Development

Toni understands how closely our economic well-being is tied to housing. She believes that quality, affordable homes should not be out of reach for the families in our community -- including teachers, firefighters and small business owners, as well as minimum wage workers.

And Toni's record on housing is one of leadership. Long before the housing and mortgage crisis, Toni foresaw problems in the housing market and led the effort to declare a housing emergency in 2001. She became an expert on affordable housing and economic development. In addition to leading San Diego to adopt innovative policies to promote affordable housing and pass housing bonds, Toni led the effort to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

In North Park, Toni was instrumental in the reopening of the historic North Park Theatre in 2005, and a newly built 388-car parking structure opened across the street from the theater in 2006. Two mixed-use, residential/commercial projects were also built: the North Park Renaissance project at El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street, which includes senior housing, affordable multi-family units, market-rate town homes, retail space and a community center; and La Boheme, which offers 224 for-sale condominiums (45 of which are affordable), approximately 15,800 square feet of ground level commercial space and a minimum of 371 parking spaces.

In City Heights, Toni worked to open the state-of-the-art Regional Transportation Center at 40th Street and El Cajon Boulevard in 2003, and to complete the Metro Center job-training facility and Metro Villas affordable housing complex at 39th Street and University Avenue in 2004. Two housing projects--Hollywood Palms and Urban Village Townhomes--have added much-needed affordable rental units for families in Mid-City; and the Talmadge Senior Village project will add 90 units of affordable senior housing to the mix in early 2006.

Toni also fought to keep jobs in San Diego. When the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure Commission was evaluating whether to close the Navy Broadway Complex, Toni, as Acting Mayor, worked with local business leaders in the successful effort to keep it open. Closure would have cost millions to the local economy. After completing her service on the San Diego City Council, Toni has put her expertise to good use as an affordable housing consultant, providing jobs, housing and economic opportunities and continuing her focus on one of our regions' most difficult issues.

Biotechnology and High Technology

California is the worldwide leader in life sciences and is home to 2,700 biotech companies which employ 260,000 people. San Diego has the highest concentration of industry jobs in the state. Those companies are expected to invest $50 billion in the near future as they research, develop and market hundreds of therapies and treatments for the people who need them. However, many other regions throughout the country and the world have their sights set on recruiting biotechnology companies away from California. If we are to maintain San Diego's status as the world's premier biotechnology region, California must remain competitive. Toni Atkins will work with small and large businesses and academic research institutions to help expand the job base in San Diego. And she will seek a position on the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology, so she can protect our interests in this vital sector of the economy.

Supporting Small Businesses

Small business is the heart of our local economy and the fastest growing area for jobs. More than 98 percent of the businesses operating in California have fewer than 100 employees. A small businesswoman herself, Toni believes that small business must be supported by cutting red tape at state agencies, while maintaining health, environmental and safety standards. She will also work to make sure that small businesses -- and not just giant corporations -- have access to state economic stimulus projects.


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