The Issues - Cost of Living & Economy

California’s number one priority for our economy needs to be addressing the increasing cost of living that is impacting everyone: seniors, families, working people, students and small businesses are suffering from the increased cost of housing, rent, food, gas and utilities. As State Senator, Paula will prioritize people and economic policies that put people first and work to slow the ever increasing cost of living and inflation.


As Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services, Paula oversaw the launch of many efforts to support communities during COVID-19. This included the Great Plates Delivered program, which provided more than 37 million meals to home-bound seniors in 40 cities while helping to keep restaurants across the state afloat. Paula knows that in the aftermath of COVID-19, many people are struggling to start, open, and keep their businesses going in California. Paula wants to help small businesses be more competitive and experience fewer financial burdens, and supports making measures permanent to support small businesses such as loosening restrictions on to-go cocktails and expanding outdoor dining.


Paula will fight for ways to reduce the cost of living, such as:

  • Expand California’s plan to produce generic drugs like insulin to other highly utilized pharmaceuticals to reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone

  • Reduce the cost of living for working families by making child care affordable, providing universal pre-kindergarten, and reducing tuition and fees at our universities for students and their families

  • Hold multinational corporations accountable for price gouging important commodities, like gas and multiunit and single family homes. 


Paula knows that states with stronger schools have stronger economies. California must play a larger role in both our education and economic systems so that they work in tandem with one another. Paula will work to create a cradle-to-career system by guiding students through the K-12, vocational, and college systems ultimately leading to greater participation in the workforce and better economic opportunities for all. 


We must invest in growing, diversifying and increasing skills among California’s workforce. By creating a robust career pathways system, California can play a more effective role in assisting and guiding students and workers in securing a college education or vocational training. Additionally, we must ensure that green-economy trades and jobs are available to support communities so that communities and workers can thrive in a low-carbon economy. 


Paula is proud to have the support of the California Labor Federation, Latino Economic Council of Sacramento, and the United Domestic Workers as well as numerous small business owners and working individuals and families.