Issues







At a young age, James experienced what it was like to fall through the cracks. But, through his and his family’s hard work and perseverance, James was able to earn a scholarship to Harvard University. After graduating, James came back to the community he grew up in to make sure that working families have what they need to not just survive, but enough to truly thrive in San Mateo County. James will work alongside the community to pass bold policies and create a California that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

Our community has suffered so much—from the recent mass shootings at Uvalde elementary school in Texas to an attack at a  Taiwanese church in Irvine, California. In 2022 alone, there have already been over 200 mass shootings in the United States. Our current gun safety policies are not sufficient to keep our children and our communities safe. The senseless gun violence that we face is preventable, and our state must act with bold policies and new approaches.

  • Mandatory training and licensing for gun ownership just like we currently require for driving
  • Mandatory gun locks and safe storage requirements for owners
  • Create a statewide voluntary gun buyback program to reduce the number of guns in circulation
  • Institute wait periods between purchasing firearms
  • Raise the age of gun ownership from 18 to 21
  • Stronger background checks and mental health checks
  • Hold gun manufacturers accountable
  • An assault weapons ban

California is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world, including dozens of billionaires. At the same time, tens of thousands of residents in San Mateo county and millions across California are working multiple jobs and barely making ends meet. During the COVID pandemic when countless working people were struggling, billionaires collectively saw their wealth grow by over $1 trillion. We need to reduce the outrageous levels of inequality in our society and ensure that working people have enough to thrive in our communities.
  • Pass a wealth tax on billionaires and the largest corporations so they pay their fair share and working families can pay less.
  • Pass a CEO tax on CEOs who make exorbitantly much more than their average worker.
  • Use funds to uplift working families and provide for economic stability and opportunity.

Access to healthcare is not a privilege, it is a right. For families facing rising costs in their utility bills, groceries, and every time they fill up at the gas station, the loss of a job in an difficult economy brings the anxiety of the loss of healthcare. For San Mateo County families, that means stretching out prescriptions, avoiding visits to the doctor even though they need attention, and stress that impacts everyone. Even insured individuals still face high copays, premiums, and deductibles. Right now our wasteful system spends over one third of our total health care expenditures on administrative costs. We deserve a healthcare system that everyone can access – free from debt and barriers to access. James Coleman is the only candidate endorsed by Healthcare for All California.

  • Support a universal single-payer healthcare system that includes vision, dental, hearing, mental health, and reproductive care.
  • Ensure that those with insurance do not face high premiums, copays, and deductibles.
  • Save families and businesses thousands in annual health care costs by cutting out the waste and inefficiencies of our for-profit insurance system.
  • Increase funding and access to home care services for our seniors and disabled residents.
  • Expand eligibility of Medi-Cal

Endorsed by:

              

Housing is a human right. But, San Mateo County has more than six times as many jobs as it has homes, meaning hundreds of thousands of people who want to live in San Mateo County have to live hours away from where they work. Cities in San Mateo County have only built a third of California’s affordable housing goals in the last eight years and the cost of living has skyrocketed, making it much harder for young people working families to continue living in our communities. California and San Mateo County need to make housing truly affordable and available, as well as invest in infrastructure to support our growing populations. 

  • Support building mixed-income and mixed-use, city-owned and operated affordable housing near areas with robust public transit.
  • Maximize affordability and community benefit of the housing that is being built.
  • Create a state fund for cities to build mixed-income housing in their jurisdictions.
  • Ensure that state funding is provided to housing projects that guarantee local hiring and provide construction workers a living wage and healthcare benefits.
  • Make it easier for housing and affordable housing to be built by streamlining projects that adhere to high labor and environmental standards.
  • Build truly affordable senior housing for all families to access.
  • Strengthen tenant protections against corporate landlords, to allow renters to stay in their homes and reduce rents.
  • Ensure people who work in San Mateo County can afford to live in San Mateo County.
  • Pass a vacancy tax on purposefully underused and blighted homes.
  • Provide supportive services, case management, and housing for housing insecure residents.

Endorsed by:

Communities in San Mateo County are no strangers to the worsening effects of climate change. Our bay-side communities are at increased risk of sea level rise, neighborhoods in wooded areas face the persistent risk of fires—especially those caused by investor-owned utilities like PG&E—and we have all had to reckon with smoke and ash-filled air and hotter, dryer summers. We need a bold plan to keep San Mateo County resilient and our communities safe from climate change.

  • Hold PG&E accountable for their failure to maintain their electric and gas infrastructure. 
  • Create regional wildfire protection districts to better protect our communities from wildfires.
  • Rapidly decarbonize our energy economy and build large scale renewable energy. 
  • Encourage small-scale solar to democratize our energy production and increase reliability in the grid.
  • Ensure a just transition for all workers, by providing green union jobs and training programs.
  • Divest CalPERS and CalSTRS from the fossil fuel industry.

Endorsed by:

                 

San Mateo County has long been a distinguished part of the Bay Area to raise a family, but with ever rising costs of living and wages that have stagnated for decades, it is harder and harder than ever for younger families to find affordable care for their children. In an economy that forces nearly every adult in the family to work, we need a plan locally to provide for quality, universal childcare and early childhood education.

  • Fund universal preschool and childcare for all 2.5-5 year olds.
  • Encourage on-site childcare for California’s largest employers and companies. 
  • Expand access to infant care.
  • Provide mental health services for all children.
  • Pay childcare teachers and workers a living wage.

Endorsed by:

Average wages have stagnated, despite the cost of living skyrocketing throughout the Bay Area. Meanwhile, large corporations are continuing to make record profits. This has forced many individuals to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. If the minimum wage had increased with the rate of productivity since the 1960s, it would be at nearly $25 right now. Additionally companies have been squeezing workers—turning towards independent contracting and part-time work to skip out on paying workers fair wages and benefits. We must guarantee equal pay for equal work to all of California’s workers. One job should be enough, and we need to make sure that our residents who work full time are not just able to survive, but are able to truly thrive in our communities.

  • Raise the minimum wage to a living wage.
  • Require part-time work to be paid proportionally to full-time work (part-time parity).
  • Expand union membership and make it easier for workplaces to unionize. 
  • Strengthen union power so workers can bargain for fair wages and benefits.
  • Enact sectoral bargaining and regulation to ensure workers’ rights and benefits are protected.
  • End pay discrimination and guarantee pay equity for women.
  • Crack down on wage theft.

Too often large corporations and special monied interests flood millions of dollars into our political processes, thinking they can buy elections and candidates. In California, corporations can still give directly to political candidates, despite this practice being banned federally. But, we must guarantee that Sacramento and Washington don’t just work for the wealthy and well-connected—our government has to work for all of us. James has refused contributions from corporations, private developer companies, big tobacco, and fossil fuel companies. Politicians are elected to represent the will of the people, not wealthy corporations.

  • Ban direct corporate contributions to political candidates.
  • Strengthen campaign finance disclosure laws.

San Mateo County is no stranger to its share of systemic racism within our systems of public safety. Our shared community has seen the tragic killings of Derrick Gaines, Chinedu Okobi, Errol Chang, and Roger Allen at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us, as well as a stark increase in anti-Asian hate. In San Mateo County, our Black neighbors are over 8x more likely to get arrested than their White counterparts, the highest disparity in the state of California. We need to invest heavily in mental health and substance abuse resources, so that people receive the expertise and specialized help they need. Already, there are successful models (such as the CAHOOTS model in Eugene, OR) all across the country that employ unarmed and specially trained first responders to attend to nonviolent and noncriminal calls. We must also hold police officers to the highest standard, and hold them accountable for misconduct.

  • Create teams of first-responders composed of mental health professionals, social workers, and paramedics to respond to calls for assistance.
  • Update hate crime reporting laws and procedures to accurately record hate crime incidences, and provide adequate resources to victims.
  • Require counties to provide adequate and timely mental health services.
  • Invest in substance abuse programs and resources.
  • Empower cities to create police oversight commissions with real investigatory power.
  • Create civilian oversight for county sheriff’s departments.
  • Allow traffic enforcement to be conducted by public safety officials other than sworn officers.
  • Invest heavily in de-escalation training programs.

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With the attack on reproductive rights all across the United States and in the Supreme Court, California has a moral obligation to provide refuge and reproductive healthcare to all who seek it. Healthcare should be safe and accessible for all, and reproductive justice is a major part of that. That’s why James has always been a fighter for universal healthcare, and why he will continue to fight for a right to healthcare in the Assembly. James’ commitment to reproductive justice is what earned him a 100% pro-choice score from Planned Parenthood.

  • Require healthcare providers to provide reproductive healthcare to all who seek it.
  • Invest in community health clinics so that cost or distance is never a barrier to one’s ability to access reproductive care.
  • Ensure that any universal healthcare system includes reproductive care.