Bustamonte Makes Case For His Assembly Candidacy

(April 30) Chaffey Union High School District Board Member Art Bustamonte said he hopes to parlay the commitment and passion he has for the community into a berth in the California Assembly representing the 40th District.
Bustamonte, a Democrat, is joined by sister Democrats Melissa O’Donnell and Katie Henry and Republican Marc Steinorth in this year’s race to represent the 40th, which stretches from Rancho Cucamonga in the west and across the San Bernardino Mountains to cover portions of San Bernardino as well as Highland, Redlands, Loma Linda and Grand Terrace.
“I am running to make a difference,” Bustamonte said. “I want to make a difference. I want  progressive policies to promoted the  middle class because the middle class has been neglected. I want to be able to bring jobs to the district, help single parents, especially single women who have children,  with day care so they can work and I want to be able to provide jobs with higher wages. I want to be more connected to the community and I feel this is the best way  for me to do that.”
The major challenge facing the district is “finding jobs for the people who live here,” Bustmonte said. “I see the main issue in San Bernardino County is rejuvenating our economy. San Bernardino County has the highest unemployment rate in the state. We need to attract companies manufacturing companies to the Inland Empire because we have all the necessary infrastructure to connect three airports, our  railroad stations and highways. We have something Los Angeles doesn’t have – space to provide manufacturing companies to come over here and set up shop here. That is not necessarily going to happen until we get our house in order. We need to improve our schools. We need to have a more stable political arena. To stabilize our politics, we need to end corruption in government because companies will not come here or relocate here unless we have good schools and the politics are stable. No company is going to want to come into an area where we have unsafe streets and neighborhoods. We need  good law enforcement and political stability and an educated workforce. Without those three things, companies will not come here. The first thing they look at is will  they have employees who are trained or who they can easily train, and is their police protection and  political stability that allows government to function and be fair. We need to work on those things.”
Bustamonte said a  more coordinated effort among the various political and governmental entities and jurisdictions is needed.
“The counties and cities have their own economic development departments to lure business into their respective cities or into the county,” he said. “We are not working together in unison. It is important that we get everyone working together to bring manufacturing jobs to the county. We have good infrastructure to make that possible. We are not working in unison.  We need to bring jobs to the county.”
As a 17-year member of the Chaffey Union High School Board of Trustees. Bustamonte gravitated toward the subject of improving the education system.
“We need to improve our schools,” he said. “The high school dropout rate in the county is very disappointing. We need more resources from the state to turn that around. The state has cut back on school budgets and that has resulted in class sizes being increased and teachers are not being adequately compensated. We have quality  teachers going elsewhere. I want to  bring resources from the state to the Inland Empire, mores school funds, more money for schools.”
Bustamonte said he is a different kind of Democrat who understands the damage overregulation of business is having on the economy and the well being of everyday citizens.
“I believe I can help create a consensus and work with cities to lure more business to this area through tax incentives if those businesses commit to hiring a certain number of employees,” he said. “We’re  losing manufacturing companies. More are going out to other states are than are coming in. California has twelve percent of the nation’s population. We should have twelve percent of the manufacturing activity. We need to stop the migration of jobs to other states and overseas.  The state needs to look at the reality that  businesses are needed to create jobs. The  most important challenge to the state is to  stop businesses from leaving. By being a part of the majority party – because I am a Democrat – I should  be able to do something about that. My goal as part of the majority is to have a voice in getting things done versus if I were in another party. We have the governor of Texas coming to California offering business owners tax incentives and painting a picture of Texas as a state with lower taxes and actively soliciting companies to leave here.  We should be over there, bringing companies here. It appears at this time we need to put together a fact finding committee to see why our companies are leaving and how can we keep them here.”
Bustamonte said that the state needs to keep large corporations interested in maintaining an operation presence in the Golden State.
“Small businesses are great  but they are not going to employ everyone in California,” he said. “We need manufacturing jobs, good paying manufacturing jobs that will stop the decline in the middle class. We need higher wages  the middle class is in the decline. At the same time, I would like to see tax incentives for small businesses. I want to assist   those who start a small business and want to employ people.”
The government should work to see that its citizens are not gouged, Bustamonte said.
“Look at the gas prices in the Inland Empire,” he said.. We seem to be paying more for gas than surrounding counties. I’d like to know why.”
And state government should vector its resources to assist local governments that are struggling, Bustamonte said.
“I know the city of San Bernardino is having severe problems with their finances,” Bustamonte said. “It has lost a lot of police officers. They need more police officers but they can’t hire them because they don’t have the money. I would  like to get together with San Bernardino officials and the police chief  and go to the state for help. Until the city can get its financials back in order, I would ask the state to loan  CHP officers to  the city of San Bernardino to help them in their law enforcement, to  help them protect the citizens of the city.”
Bustamonte said he offers the voters in the 40th District the best choice “because I have been serving my community all my life. I served my community as a police officer. I am still serving my community as a member of the board of trustees of the high school district. My background, my experience, I think, coupled with my education, far exceeds my competition. I am the only candidate that supported and endorsed a bond measure for the Chaffey High School District that was passed by 60 percent of the voters  a $848 million school bond. That is something no other candidate has done  The bond will build the infrastructure for the school district and increase the technology in the  schools. this is a seven-year project and is going to bring money back into the Inland Empire.”
Bustmonte continued. “I am connected to the community,” he said. “As a member of the school board for 17 years, I have handed out hundreds if not thousands of diplomas to kids. I talk to people in the community  every day. I know what they feel. I know they are not happy with the way things are as far as job wages and having a better life. I can’t say the other candidates are as connected to the community as I am. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I am who I am. This is me. I have passion. I  have had a passion all my life, working for the middle class. I am in it for the duration. I want to fight for the middle class.    I will do what I said I am going to do. I will not hold back.”
Bustamonte graduated from Garfield High School in Los Angeles and obtained a degree from Cal State Fullerton in criminal justice. He served with the Marine Corps for three years on active duty and four more in the reserves. He was a police officer with the city of Huntington Park and retired from that agency after he was felled by a work related injury. He is now an investigator with the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office. Divorced, he has three children.

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