PD Editorial: Aguiar-Curry stands out in 4th Assembly District

Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, A centrist Democrat, has proven to be a capable legislator, rising to become chairwoman of the Assembly Local Government Committee during her second term in Sacramento.|

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry represents a district that stretches from Rohnert Park to Lake Pillsbury and almost all the way to the state Capitol in Sacramento. There are midsized cities and rural areas, affluent neighborhoods and some of California's poorest communities.

Issues in the sprawling 4th Assembly District run the gamut from student housing at Sonoma State University and UC Davis to homelessness in Napa and Woodland, from wildfire recovery in Lake County to the threat that rising sea levels will swamp Highway 37, and the future of PG&E and the Sonoma Developmental Center.

Aguiar-Curry, a walnut farmer and former mayor of Winters, is well-versed in all of them, making her a clear-cut choice for 4th District voters in the March 3 primary.

A centrist Democrat with a record of supporting business and protecting the safety net, she has proven to be a capable legislator, rising to become chairwoman of the Assembly Local Government Committee during her second term in Sacramento.

In her first term, she co- authored a measure that provided $300 million in state funding for broadband internet service in rural areas, and followed up with legislation to expand access to health care through telemedicine and telepharmacy services in underserved areas. She's now working to expand the system to improve access to pediatric health care.

This year, she has introduced legislation expanding on the open-meeting law governing state agencies and commissions, which would be required to provide staff reports and other backup material on all agenda items at least 10 days in advance - an easy and inexpensive way to ensure greater transparency in state government.

She also introduced a bill requiring that products labeled as California olive oil actually contain California olives, as already is required for wine, and another to promote early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

Aguiar-Curry has devoted considerable time to Lake County, which has been devastated by multiple wildfires in the past decade and experienced some of the most widespread effects of PG&E's preemptive power outages. She echoes Gov. Gavin Newsom's call for more California residents on PG&E's board, and says the utility needs to replicate some of the preventive measures developed by San Diego Gas & Electric after major wildfires in the early 2000s.

Aguiar-Curry has two challengers in the primary: fellow Democrat Sophia Racke, a senior at UC Davis; and Republican Matthew Nelson, a disaster relief organizer from Lower Lake. The top two finishers will advance to the general election.

On her campaign website, Racke promises to protect Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water, increase funding for emergency services and support funding for victims of sexual abuse. Nelson promises to fight overtaxation and keep Californians “healthy, housed, working, and cared for.” Neither Nelson nor Racke responded to our invitations to meet with the editorial board.

Aguiar-Curry has been no stranger to Sonoma County since her first election in 2016. She is an experienced public official, with a background in a family business, and has worked closely with local government officials as well as fellow North Coast lawmakers. The Press Democrat recommends Cecilia Aguiar-Curry in the 4th Assembly District.

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