Co-Founder of Women’s March SLO, Dawn Addis, addresses her bid for the California 35th District Assembly seat

NORTH COUNTY — Being an educator, Morro Bay councilmember, co-founder of the Women’s March SLO and a local activist, Dawn Addis (D) is no stranger to having her voice heard. In November, Addis decided to use that voice to represent the California Assembly 35th District.

“When I look back at the last four years,” Addis said, “I have been active and advocating and really out in the public eye. I haven’t seen as much positive change as we would like to see on the Central Coast.”

Addis said that she doesn’t believe Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham adequately represents all of the Central Coast.

“When I think about social issues, the incumbent just doesn’t come out and stand up for the things that people on the Central Coast really believe in. We held a vigil after Charlottesville, a 1,000 people came out, and our assemblyperson was nowhere to be found,” Addis said. Referring to the Aug. 12, 2017 incident when James Alex Fields Jr. deliberately drove into a crowd of peaceful protesters and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 35 others.

Addis said that what she sees as limited representation does not end with social issues but extends to the scope of importance to the residents, including housing infrastructure and land conservation.

“I think on an economic level, housing infrastructure and then also on a social issue level, the person representing us just hasn’t been getting the job done. It’s important that we have someone who is really excited to show up and excited to understand what the needs are in the district.”

When asked how much difference could another liberal voice make in a state known for its progressive stance on social and economic issues, Addis said that she believes that being heard is not a partisan issue.

“I don’t think it’s about liberal or conservative,” Addis said, “I think it’s more about somebody who is going to be in touch with the district and bring that message to Sacramento to make sure that Sacramento is listening.” She continued, “It’s easy for Sacramento to overlook us, we’re not LA, we’re not San Francisco, that’s why people live here, but we need a strong voice up there to make sure that we get the support that we need.”

As a Morro Bay councilmember, Addis said that she had demonstrated her ability to represent the small community. She was part of the implementation of the Water Retainment Facility and the beginning steps to conserve Dog Beach, a popular stretch of land owned by Chevron, where dog owners can let their animals roam off-leash. As a councilwoman, Addis also approved an emergency rental ordinance to protect residents from “unfair evictions” before the Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482) became active.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to know that I can be in touch with what the community really needs and then make decisions that have an effect,” Addis said. She continued, “We have so many towns that are going to face issues because of climate change, and we really need to make sure that we are doing everything we can, and of course, replacing the jobs as Diablo is decommissioned.”

Addis told ATASCADERO NEWS / PASO ROBLES PRESS she had made a pledge not to take money from “big oil” and “big tobacco” and pointed out that the incumbent has received funds from Chevon, Phillip 66 and Phillip Morris. She also said that she had heard numerous complaints that Cunningham does not make himself available to the people he is representing.

“This is something that I have heard over and over and over again from people across the district that I talk to that they have called [him] and can’t get a callback…,” Addis said. “There is a real serious issue in terms of being in touch and showing up for the people who live here.”

ATASCADERO NEWS / PASO ROBLES PRESS presented Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham the opportunity to be interviewed. Citing that the election is not until November, Cunningham’s Chief of Staff, Nick Mirmar, declined the invitation.

“We’re currently in the opening days of the 2020 legislative session up in Sacramento. Jordan is focused on solving problems for the Central Coast and California in the State Assembly, not a general election 11 months from now,” Mirman wrote.

To register to vote online, visit https://registertovote.ca.gov/.

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