Marc Levine is maturing as a legislator. We mean that as much in regards to the passage of time, as we do his work in the State Assembly.
The San Rafael Democrat is seeking his fourth term representing the 10th District – which includes the City of Sonoma, portions of southern Sonoma County and Marin – and it seems he’s grown since his early days in Sacramento. His first couple of terms saw the now-44-year-old pushing for legislation to deal with such at-times naval-gazing concerns as allowing voters to take selfies at the ballot box (Levine’s been social-networking his votes since 2009) and to establish weight-standards for fashion models (he said at the time he wanted his own kids to have healthy body images).
But his more recent legislative efforts – not unlike the runway models Levine has sought to empower – have had a bit more meat on their bones.
North Bay commuters are finally benefiting from Levine’s support in the opening of a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge; he’s pushing disaster-insurance reform legislation to guarantee full replacement costs even for those who choose not to rebuild lost homes; and, in response to recent social media scandals, his AB 1950 would require companies such as Facebook to label social media profiles that they confirm are “bots.” A second bill he’s working on in response to the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, AB 2182, would help regulate the protection of online personal information.
His AB 1664 legislation from last year closed the “bullet-button loophole,” making it tougher to sell assault weapons in the state, a small, but grim necessity as yet another location – Santa Fe High School in Texas – last week became the latest site of a tragic mass shooting.
Levine’s lone challenger on the June 5 ballot is Dan Monte, a Democrat from San Anselmo. He’s the more progressive of the two candidates, citing establishing single-payer healthcare, tuition-free public colleges and 100 percent renewable energy systems among his priorities.
Monte’s resume boasts being a former contractor, math teacher and paratransit bus driver – but he hasn’t ever held public office. And the likeliness of a complete political novice achieving such lofty legislative goals as reinventing the state healthcare system is slim to none.
We recommend Marc Levine for state Assembly.
– Jason Walsh, editor
– John Burns, publisher