Standing Up For California

I'm committed to ensuring California's best days are in front of us. I also know that special interests are taking advantage of hardworking San Diego County families. I will strive every day to help San Diego County's working families get ahead. Let's work together to create the future we want for generations to come. 

Helping Families Get Ahead

The pandemic showed us that no matter our circumstances, we may get sick. One unfortunate outcome of the pandemic is a widened gap between the ultra-wealthy and working people. I grew up without stable health care or childcare because we couldn't afford it. No family should be put in a position to make these choices. In the State Senate, I will focus on delivering on basic needs that help to lift people into the middle class such as increasing access to affordable, quality childcare, improving health care and mental health services, and expanding paid sick leave.

Creating American Jobs

I'm the grandson of a farmworker and a factory worker -- the son of a long-haul truck driver and a grocery worker. I know how hard they worked to provide for my family's needs. Too many working people in San Diego County struggle to make ends meet with one job alone. I will focus on creating jobs that lift families into the middle class, and ensuring that everyone working full time can support themselves and their family. I'll work to bring home the resources needed to improve our community's families' economic well-being.

Providing Housing Solutions

As I travel through San Diego County, I hear the same issue. Families are stretching their budgets to continue living in the community they love. The life that my father provided for me and my siblings on a truck driver’s salary is no longer within reach for many Southern California families. We need commonsense solutions to ensure every family can make their rent and mortgage payments. I will focus on resources that help families remain in their homes, ending discrimination in the housing process, expanding access to first-time homebuyer loans, and investing in smarter community development.

Caring For Our Veterans

After ten years on active duty, as both an enlisted Sailor and a Marine officer, I am all too familiar with the issues facing our veterans. This fight is personal. Too many of my fellow service members are not getting the support they need. We need to do our part as a state to provide transition support for those exiting the military and more access to housing so that we can ensure no veteran is sleeping on the streets.

- Improving health care and mental health services

- Providing free higher education and job training opportunities

- Expanding access to affordable housing

- Fighting to end state taxes on military retirement funds

Investing in Southern California's Infrastructure

We have an opportunity to strengthen our infrastructure and reimagine what that means for our future. The roads we drive on, the bridges we cross, the schools our kids attend, and the hospitals that provide crucial care, especially during this pandemic, should not be political battlegrounds. I will work to deliver the funding and projects that will strengthen our communities and prepare them for the future.

Taking Action on Climate

We are all impacted by a changing climate, from the wildfires that continue to happen with increasing frequency to issues surrounding Southern California’s access to water. We owe taking climate action to our firefighters who are faced with endless deployment cycles to brutal fires, to our seniors who face increasingly deadly summer heatwaves, and to the future of our children. We can protect our environment and grow sustainably. In the State Senate, I will push to find commonsense solutions that will tackle climate change while delivering high-paying and sustainable jobs to our community.

Tackling Gun Reform

As a former Marine and bomb dog handler overseas, I knew the responsibility I had while wearing a badge and carrying a gun. I knew I had a responsibility to serve and protect, and that is why I am in favor of gun reform – because every parent, teacher, church parishioner, and child deserves a community that is free from gun violence.

We need common-sense solutions to tackle this epidemic and lessen the threat that all of us face. Laws like universal background checks and closing legal loopholes that allow ghost gun manufacturers to operate are just the start of basic gun safety to make sure responsible gun ownership is in place.

Protecting Choice

Joseph Rocha is a pro-choice Democrat who knows what it means to stand up for freedom. After being discharged from the Navy for being gay, he went on to be a lead witness in the case that ruled

the discriminatory policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unconstitutional. Joseph went on to earn his law degree to fight injustices and was commissioned in the Marine Corps as a Captain and Judge Advocate, upholding the law and prosecuting violent crimes.

An overwhelming number of Americans are opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade, a historic Supreme Court ruling that protects people’s right to an abortion. Yet, Republicans continue to attack and criminalize this right, punishing women for making medical decisions with their doctors. We have seen this happen in states all over the country: Oklahoma, Arizona, and Texas, just to name a few.

I am proud to be endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Southwest Action Fund and NARAL CA. As the constitutional right to abortion is threatened, California must expand protections and become a beacon of choice to other states. These attacks on individual and religious liberties must be met with resistance.

I'll protect reproductive and equal rights by: 

- Voting "Yes" on Prop 1 - which enshrines Californians' right to access abortion and contraceptives in our State Constitution

- Protecting rights to make personal health decisions

- Keeping the government from punishing women and their doctors, nurses, and health care workers

While Republican elected officials continue to attack this right, I will stand up and continue to focus on protecting choice and addressing the issues that impact our community: inflation, high gas prices, and getting our economy back on track.