By Bill Collins, Riptide Correspondent
Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Hill, running vigorously for a new state Senate seat to represent some 800,000 people from Brisbane to Sunnyvale, took questions from Pacificans at a crowded Mazzetti's Bakery event October 27.
Speaking at his "Java with Jerry" event, Hill endorsed Proposition 30, saying that schools would be badly hurt if the revenue measure fails. He said that he has refused to make any promises on taxes and the budget, whether sought from tax opponents or education advocates.
Hill presented a "thank you" certificate to the Pacifica Beach Coalition for its work in cleaning up Pacifica's four beaches, and recalled his own legislation to ban polystyrene (Styrofoam) takeout containers, which did not pass due to manufacturer opposition. (California has two polystyrene manufacturing plants.)
When asked how he works with lobbyists, Hill said that only a few lobbyists act as if they are owed something, and that most of them provide legislators with useful information.
Hill also commented on his extensive work following the tragic San Bruno gas explosion, saying that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is too close to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and that reforms are necessary.
Hill noted that he has written to Caltrans about the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for widening Highway 1. In his letter, he called for studying all alternatives to widening.
(Editor's Note: At least 200 public comments to Caltrans suggested novel solutions to the Highway 1 traffic problem, but Caltrans apparently has ignored them all in the planning process so far. Stay tuned.)
As an assemblyman, Hill already has represented 68 percent of what will become the new Senate District 13, although Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale would be new cities for him if he is elected state senator.