The race for governor runs through Fresno.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa paid another visit Monday afternoon (July 24), meeting with about 40 business people, educators and farmers, listening to their concerns. Afterward, Villaraigosa sat down with GV Wire to talk about his campaign for governor.

Some interview highlights:

GV Wire: Do you think California has a reputation as being high tax and high regulation? Do you support SB 1 (raising gas tax to improve roads) and Cap & Trade (which analysts feel will also raise gas prices)?

Antonio Villaraigosa: I believe we can do better to improve our business climate. I do support SB 1 and Cap & Trade.  We can do a better job at addressing a byzantine and bureaucratic regulatory framework that is particularly oppressive to small business.

GV Wire: What is a higher priority: environmental concerns or affordable housing?

Villaraigosa: I think we need to both. One way is to address our regulatory framework. If you expedite the environmental review to build a football stadium as I was able to do in Los Angeles, why not for affordable housing?

GV Wire: Will you support the efforts to lobby the California Water Commission to fund Temperance Flat Dam?

Villaraigosa: It’s something I’ve been for since the time I was Speaker (of the Assembly) and helped negotiate a water bond. So, I do support Temperance. I support Sites Dam as well. I do it because I think we need to keep our deals. We need to build trust around the idea that we need to work together: urban, rural, ag, enviro. All of us working together to conserve, re-use, recycle and take care of this precious resource.

GV Wire: Should California be a Sanctuary State? Do you support SB 54?

Villaraigosa: Let me explain where the whole underpinnings of not cooperating with the immigration agents started. It started in L.A. It started under Chief Daryl Gates, a very conservative chief in the United States. He said that our police officers aren’t trained to be immigration agents. He said that their priority is safety in our neighborhoods. He said they are not going to cooperate with the immigration authorities for minor level offenders because they want people who are witnesses and victims to come forward. That’s where it started.

Some cities call themselves sanctuary. L.A. never did. But, a few hundred cities around the country make sure their police officers are working in their communities, building community trust.

Watch above for the full interview

[Note: the listening event was organized by Granville Homes, parent company of GV Wire. The subject matter of the interview was at the discretion of this reporter, and not subject to review from the parent company]

Photo: Roe Borunda

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