In addition to her full time job as a mother, Holly Mitchell is also the CEO of Crystal Stairs, the largest childcare development non-profit organization in California, and sits as a member of the board of directors of the Liberty Hill Foundation, Verbum Dei High School in Watts, and the national advisory council of Breast Cancer Action.

Mitchell has dedicated her life to helping working families in California and hopes to do more of that as the 47th District Assembly representative. Following are her views on key issues in the state.

On education:
“I have a growing concern about the children and families in L.A. County. So, the issues that impact them, especially education, will be a priority. I’m the parent of a school-aged kid attending public schools in L.A., so I really want to be involved in the emerging dialogue about the state of public education. I think I have the experience and perspective to bring to that argument.”

Mitchell noted that, at this point, she does not have specifics on how she will handle the issues that effect public education but will be an advocate for closing the achievement gap impacting minority students.

“I am clear that as a first-time legislator, it’s going to be my job to listen and gather facts. We have lots of think tanks and special interest groups that can identify the problems, and statistics show us the problems in terms of high school drop-out rates, the STAR test results, and how Black and Brown children start to develop disparities in the third grade. We have a number of districts across the state that are working on pilots that are working for some populations. So, at this stage in the game, I am reaching out and going on listening tours educating myself on the solutions that are out there that are working currently, that we can perhaps bring to life in the 47th AD.

“Its unacceptable to me that the state’s investment in public education is now ranking in the lower tenth of the nation. And we need to take specific steps to change that.”

On health care:
“Health policy is really my background. I worked for the United States Senate on the Health and Human Services Committee. And I am looking at the incredible opportunity that we have before us with the health plan that the president and Congress have made available. I’m looking to expand critical health services for families and children.

“I’ve spent a great deal of my professional career working in health policy. When I worked for Western Center on Law and Poverty, it was during the time when the SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) became available on a federal level. My specific work focused on implementation at the state level doing everything from making the application to apply for Healthy Families to making sure that they were appropriate community resources to eliminate any barrier families would face, while applying to the program.”

“I am very excited about the opportunities the federal health care reform will bring to California although the current bill doesn’t include coverage for some pregnancy prevention and reproductive health services. I am a pro-choice women’s health advocate, so I want to make sure that women have access to necessary health care services across the board.

“Undocumented people also do not qualify for the current federal plan, but when you look at the demographics of California, those with the greatest need, those who dominate our uninsured population … we’ve got to really look at what is best in keeping all Californians healthy.”

On job development:
“I have a deep commitment to poverty elimination. We need to focus on supporting small business. Successful education and health care reform cannot happen, if the economy continues to suffer. I am willing to do whatever we need to do to create long-term sustainable economic growth in the state, especially in relation to green jobs and supporting small businesses which are the driving force in our states economy. So (a priority will be) making sure the state doesn’t create undue barriers to success of small business. “I want to stem the flow of business going out of California as well as continue to create new business opportunities in the state.”

On Black incarceration:
“I plan to continue to partner with Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas in his request for federal help in looking at our current juvenile justice system. I think prevention is the answer. We need community-based alternative programs that are funded over time. I am also very concerned about the care and treatment of those who are incarcerated, so I am supporting programs that lead to rehabilitation rather than being purely punitive. That way these people don’t go right back to prison because of a lack of opportunities and resources.”

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