Candidates vie for 23rd state Senate District seat

Special election will be held March 25

3/20/2014, midnight
Located directly east of Los Angeles, the Inland Empire is a formidable metropolitan area in its own right, boasting a ...
Ameenah Fuller

Education reform is where Fuller has invested much of her political acumen. “As state senator, I will protect education by introducing legislation to promote a quality education for all Californians,” she said. “I will introduce legislation to promote preventative healthcare and nutrition programs, which reduce the overall cost of healthcare. Our children and teachers will suffer if we allow our representatives to cut education funding.” Fuller wants to boost worker education in healthcare fields to allow more people to train for occupational therapy positions and other health care-related jobs.

An ardent supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Fuller says more healthcare workers are needed in a field that will “increase tremendously” if programs and policies are enacted and enforced to expand so-called “distant learning education” in high schools and colleges. “It would be cost effective,” she said, “and more jobs will be made available in the healthcare field. This is where more young people can carve out enriching careers and provide a valuable service to their respective community. We have 16 percent unemployment in San Bernardino and that must stop. We have to train a new generation of healthcare workers not only for the present day, but for the future of California.”

At a candidate’s forum last week in Calimesa, Fuller said if more Inland Empire residents—particularly in San Bernardino—can be retrained and earn certificates in the healthcare industry, the result would be an increase in the marketability of workers. “We have the city of San Bernardino that is in crisis; unemployment figures are double the national average. San Bernardino is in crisis because of poor leadership. We must select good leaders that bring results and action for Senate District 23. Without it, we will fall into the worst ranking in the nation.”

Fuller advocates more proposals for construction projects in the 23rd district, and also believes the nearby mountain communities (Big Bear, Running Springs, Wrightwood) need more tourism.

Crystal Ruiz Republican

Crystal Ruiz

Crystal Ruiz

Married with four children, current San Jacinto councilwoman and Mayor Pro-Tem Crystal Ruiz presents herself as “the working class alternative” to fellow Republican and State Assemblyman Mike Morrell, with whom she is vying for the 23rd State Senate seat. She backs up her view of Morrell as an out of touch elitist, by pointing to his doing nothing to reach out to the masses before he implemented a hotline at the tail end of 2013, right before the coming election. This lack of grassroots relatability, she said, ultimately hurts the working class which comprises the bulk of the voting public.

“We need to get back to our roots and take back our American pride,” she states flatly.

Tracing her lineage on both sides of her family back to the Revolutionary War, she is an unabashed patriot who remembers her own political awakening back to then President Jimmy Carter’s signing away the Panama Canal when she was seven. Her father encouraged her to channel her anger by writing a letter to the commander in chief, starting a precedent of correspondence with each succeeding chief executive ever since.