Building a Strong California Republican Party
By: Jessica Millan Patterson
California is at its best when there is a two-party system of government. Laws are the result of public debate and consensus, and voters hold politicians accountable through our election process. One need only consider Gov. Gavin Newsom’s disregard for the will of the voters by declaring a moratorium on the death penalty. Seeking votes, Newsom said he’d respect the will of the people and enforce the law. As governor, however, he broke trust with the voters and is doing the exact opposite.
Republicans have both an opportunity and a responsibility to stand up and offer a viable alternative to the Democrats and give voters a real choice. Our path to success comes through a California Republican Party that is focused on building a strong foundation that helps candidates wage smart campaigns, connect with voters and earn their confidence.
The work is not glamorous, but it is critical to California’s future. We will raise money, communicate and build a statewide grassroots team of volunteers from Crescent City to El Cajon that will compete for statewide offices, congressional and state legislative seats. It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight, but building a strong Republican party is possible.
We are going to be fiercely positive.
Republicans believe in the promise of California and the spirit that makes it the best state in America. I grew up in East Los Angeles County and as a young girl, dreamed of building a great life in the state with so much to offer. But even with all of our resources and advantages, California’s promise has faded for too many of its residents. The middle class is struggling to keep up. Nearly 20 percent of our population lives in poverty. Taxes are driving jobs away and our schools are struggling to make ends meet. That’s not how things are supposed to be in California. We can do better.
Our candidates will look like California.
Regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status or where you live, Republicans are going to field candidates who reflect their district’s values and can best represent their constituents. California’s strength comes from its diversity, and we have 175 congressional and state legislative representatives. We are going to recruit women and men from all of these areas who have roots, passion and a commitment to public service.
We are going to prioritize people, not government.
Republicans do not oppose government, but we believe that it should be smart, strategic and focused on creating opportunities so that all residents can achieve their goals. By contrast, Democrats prioritize government and policies that stifle innovation, limit competition and ultimately hurt middle-class families.
We are going to challenge the status quo on issues that matter and take the fight to Democrats.
California has a housing supply and affordability crisis, and there are communities that don’t have access to clean drinking water. Our tax burden is among the highest in America and a majority of residents are looking to leave the state in search of greater affordability and opportunity. One-party rule has caused and intensified these problems.
Remember, California thrived for more than a century under a competitive two-party system. Things were never perfect, but they always improved. California faces major challenges that require real solutions, but is the state’s current leadership capable of delivering those results? It’s clear after a decade of having a monopoly on state government, Democrats in Sacramento don’t have the political courage to stand up and fix the system. Their approach is higher taxes, more regulation and excessive spending. We disagree and believe that real solutions come from a recognition that all Californians matter. As my parents taught me, talk is cheap, actions matter. That’s what our Republican Party is about.
Jessica Millan Patterson is chair of the California Republican Party.