This week, voters began to receive sample ballots in the mail for the June 6 primary election. The top two vote-getters in the primary will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.
To provide Tracy and Mountain House voters with information about the candidates for the 9th Congressional District races, the Tracy Press sent questionnaires to the candidates. They were asked 11 questions on topics that include transportation, health care, immigration, business and agriculture issues. They were also asked about their qualifications for office.
Marla Livengood's responses are printed unedited below. Get more information about her campaign at www.marlalivengood.com.
Why do you believe you will best represent the 9th California Congressional District?
God has blessed me with the knowledge, skills and experiences essential to serving the people of the 9th Congressional District. I am a wife, mother and district native. I grew up in a farming family, attended Lincoln Unified schools, and have nearly 20 years-experience advancing projects and policies important to the district. I know what the 9th CD has to offer. I know that our challenges are greater than ever due to a multitude of poor policies, regulations, and restrictions imposed by a government which has failed to be guided by sound science, common sense, and a true understanding of our local needs. I intend to change that. I will proudly serve, represent and fight for the 9th CD’s values of strong faith, family devotion and hard work.
Why did you decide to run for Congress?
Early in my career, I learned not only how to listen to people’s needs, but how to respond to those needs. I know how to shape and move legislation to make a positive impact on those of us living in the 9th CD. Our current Representative has been in office for over a decade. Over the same period, we have seen infrastructure crumble, health care costs skyrocket, the value of our dollar degraded. I am running to represent California's 9th Congressional District because it is time to take our district back! I am running for Congress to ensure we have a voice in Washington, DC.
What is your prior experience in elected office and what do you count as your two most important accomplishments?
I have built a career both advising and advocating before elected representatives. While this is my first time seeking elected office, my ties to the district, my in-depth understanding of federal policy and desire to make the 9th district represented again will enable me to actively start working for the constituents of the 9th district on day one -should I be given the honor of representing the district.
My family is my most important accomplishment. Together with my husband, we are raising our three children to be kind, caring and respectful members of our community. My family has taught me so much about life, devotion and love. They are my greatest accomplishment.
My most important career accomplishment was my role staffing former Congressman Richard Pombo on the Firefighter Pay Equity Act (P.L. 106-558). I learned many important lessons while advancing this bill -I learned how work with constituents to identify and address their needs; how to maneuver a bill through the legislative process; understanding of Congress’ relationship with federal departments and agencies; and how legislation can make a positive difference in the lives of Americans. I am grateful Congressman Pombo afforded me the opportunity to work on this bill.
Commuting and the ease and frequency of mass transportation is an important issue throughout the district. How will your policies address transportation needs?
I have served as a Legislative Assistant on federal transportation issues, the Legislative Affairs Manager for the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), and I am currently an appointed Member to the San Joaquin County Aviation Advisory Committee (CAAC). These roles have allowed me to become deeply involved with various modes of transportation and have given me a first-hand look at some of the challenges to our transportation network.
I recognize the importance of uncongested freeways, rail and busses; I support a network that allows commuters the ability to seamlessly commute from residential areas to employment centers.
In addition to investing in our transportation network, we must reform policies which impede our ability to maintain and, when necessary, expand our transportation network. I support common sense measures which will allow our tax dollars to go further -this includes mandating use of fair and competitive bidding on public works projects. I also support policies which would allow organizations like the San Joaquin Council of Governments the ability to update their Regional Transportation Plans on a ten-year basis. This change is expected to result in better data for the federal government and could potentially save tens of millions of dollars each year.
The district is comprised of a variety of areas that derive their economy from different sources. What economic policies do you favor for agriculture-based businesses?
Our multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry feeds the nation and the world. As with other industries, it is important that our economic policies allow farmers and ranchers the ability to keep their hard-earned income. Access to credit is also important for both agricultural operations -and the broader industry jobs that these operations support. That said, the best economic policies in the world will be useless if the government continues to restrict access to water, labor and crop protection tools. I understand this point and I will fight to ensure our farmers and ranchers have the tools and policies they need to be successful.
What economic policies do you favor for logistics businesses?
I support policies which enable investment in transportation infrastructure at our ports, airports, freeways and railways. I also support investments in warehousing infrastructure and employee training programs to ensure our residents have the skills needed to attract and keep business in the 9th CD.
What economic policies do you support for small businesses?
I support policies which reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on all businesses so that they can focus on what it is that they do or make. I support efforts to analyze existing regulations that have accumulated for decades to determine if streamlining or elimination can be accomplished.
What can the federal government do to attract business to the 9th Congressional District?
First, we must support local law enforcement to eradicate drugs and violent crime. Second, we need to invest in our residents to give them the skills they need to success. Third, we need to support the businesses that are already here as well as work to attract new businesses by offering economic incentives such as tax breaks.
What groups or individuals have endorsed your candidacy?
San Joaquin County Republican Party, Sacramento County Republican Party, Contra Costa County Republican Party, Conservative Republicans of San Joaquin County, San Joaquin County Republican Assembly, Former Rep. Richard Pombo, Supervisor Chuck Winn, Former Supervisor Ken Vogel, Manteca City Councilman Rich Silverman, Stockton City Councilman Jesus Andrade, San Joaquin County Republican Party Chair Kevin Lincoln.
What is your position on DACA / immigration?
As Californians, we all know at least one of the millions of undocumented immigrants that call California home. Not a single Californian, myself included, is not touched by immigration. Under current law, millions are subject to deportation. Unfortunately, California has prioritized the protection of criminals over real solutions. Ignoring the law does nothing to improve it. The time has come to mend our broken immigration system once and for all. We need comprehensive reform to secure our border, ensure interior enforcement, and provide a solution to those already living, working and contributing to our communities.
How should Congress address heath care access for people in the 9th Congressional District?
Americans work harder and longer each year to keep up with skyrocketing healthcare costs. We need quality healthcare at an affordable cost. Americans were forced to take part in the failed ACA experiment for long enough, it is time for Congress to move away from prescribing misguided policies and instead enact real solutions. I support reform to reduce the rapidly rising costs of healthcare and favor policies which are patient focused and market-based. Veteran’s should also be afforded healthcare options, outside the VA network, that are both patient focused and market-based.