Gagnier Touts Her Energy And Ideas In 35th District Campaign

(October 8) Christina Gagnier is a Democrat opposing another Democrat in the November race for Congress in the 35th Congressional District. Gagnier is making her appeal to the voters on the basis of her new ideas, experience as a small business owner, her work in the technology field and her proposals relating to reinvigorating the local economy.
“I am a Chino native,” Said Gagnier. “When I was growing up here, the area was growing. New businesses were moving in. Over the last 20 to 25 years, the economy has stagnated. We have the logistics for many successful businesses. More could be done for economic development that has not been done. A lot of young people are not finding career opportunities in the Inland Empire.  Teenagers and people in their twenties and thirties cannot get jobs. To thrive as a community we need to have jobs for young people in the Inland Empire.”
The same problems that ail the country as a whole plague the 35th District, Gagnier said.
“I think the district is a prime example of things that have happened nationwide,” she said.  “Recently, unemployment has gone down, but if you look at the statistics overall, the unemployment numbers are always a little higher in the Inland Empire. When it comes to attracting industries, we see other areas in California and other states finding their niche. I think we can find a successful niche in the Inland Empire. There has been a lot of technology expansion elsewhere in California. There is no reason that will not work here. We have a lot of land and many talented people who find themselves out of work. This is the perfect place for growth in that sector. With the district’s experience in logistics and our workforce, we are the perfect place to attract businesses with logistics and customer service needs such as Amazon, which has already brought distribution centers here.  The Inland Empire should share in that expansion and become the next success story in terms of economic rejuvenation.”
To attract employers, Gagnier asserted, the government needs to expedite the availability of skilled employees.
“We need to focus on workforce development,” Gagnier said. “We need to begin insisting on a better business system support. We need to retool and enhance workforce development by training our people for the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow. We need to look at what the jobs are going to be over the next ten years.  For the kindergarten through 12th grade level, we should be looking at giving our students a technical education so they can compete globally. This includes courses in science, engineering, math and technology.”
Gagnier said “bipartisan solutions” are called for. “I am not so naïve to think that I can go to Congress and change things overnight,” she said. “But there are things Republicans and Democrats can agree on. One of those things is we need to get the residents of the Inland Empire back to work. Part and parcel of that conversation should revolve around the fields where we need to excel to compete in this economy, which is science and mathematics.  I think computer science is part of what kids should be learning today. Just like in the past, students studied Spanish and French, today the trend should be teaching coding language or computer coding skills.  We should be exploring scholastically for our students the realm that technology companies demand. We have a digital literacy problem in the United States, from knowing how to use a computer to building software programs. If we are going to remain competitive in the world, we must start with basic computer skills for kids.”
Gagnier is running against Norma Torres, the one-time mayor of Pomona who has served in the California Assembly and is now in the California Senate. Despite Torres’ experience in elected office, Gagnier believes her experience in business and background in education technology rendered her a superior candidate for Congress.
“I think what differentiates me from my opponent is my background in technology and first hand knowledge of running a business,” Gagnier said. “We live in the information age. Technology is important. Technology is moving ahead.  It is what is propelling our economy, touching on everything from manufacturing to health care to pharmaceuticals. We do not have political leadership with a technology background. We need to draft laws that protect our privacy and  conserve our rights. We need good laws about technology and the use of the internet that help industry grow but protect those people who are vulnerable to abuse from it. It is very likely that many people will be using technology and innovative changes to keep a roof over their heads.”
Gagnier is an attorney and the co-owner of Gagnier Margossian LLP, a firm that specializes in technology and Internet practice. She has been particularly involved in efforts to bring awareness to online consumer rights, and has worked on initiatives such as the Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights and on issues pertaining to privacy rights and cybersecurity. In her legal practice, Gagnier has several  technology startups and other companies utilizing modern information processing systems as clients.
Gagnier said her energy and new ideas translate into a more innovative approach than that offered by Torres toward representing the district and moving it off top dead center.
“I am from here,” she said. “It has been the same old same old for a while.  People are kind of stuck in a rut. People are accepting the status quo. I do not know why we are not actively trying to attract industry. Our local situation needs better leadership, which can redefine the Inland Empire. We need someone who can look at where we are with new vision and new energy. I am qualified because I have been working in the public and private sectors trying to get young people involved.”
Gagnier previously served as the chief information officer for, a national non-profit that works to increase civic engagement among the Millennial Generation.
“I worked in Washington, D.C. getting younger people into the discussion of how to approach the problems we are facing,” Gagnier said. “We need the perspectives of all generations.”
Gagnier also serves as the CEO of an education technology company TRAIL, which focuses on getting people back to work by teaching them the Internet skills they need to find jobs.
She railed against the perversion of politics through the buying of elections and the efforts by the moneyed elite to influence public policy through the unabashed application of its wealth.
“I am not backed by special interests,” Gagnier said. “If I go to Congress, my interest group will be the people I will encounter every day.  I think the control of our government by special interests is a big deal. I believe people are tired of money politics. People are tired of checkbooks being in control of policy. They want common sense solutions in control of policy. I don’t owe anything to any special interest groups.”
Gagnier attended Western Christian High School and the University of California at Irvine. She obtained her master’s degree from USC and  her law degree at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

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