To make this short and to the point, here are a few data points depicting the condition of the state of California:
1. Unemployment — California ranks No. 50 with 11.2 percent unemployment, “outperformed” only by Nevada. Closer to home, the Santa Cruz-Watsonville Metro area ranks No. 348 out of 372, with 12.2 percent unemployment. The same number applies to Santa Cruz County.
2. Poverty — The level of poverty in California has increased systematically, reaching 16.3 percent of the population below the poverty line.
3. Education — California occupies No. 34 in Math and Science rankings, “below average.”
4. Foreclosures — California ranks third in foreclosures per number of households.
5. Health insurance — California ranks sixth in percentage of uninsured with 20 percent.
Well, I am happy that, despite all these numbers, our elected politicians have their priorities right and are busy banning plastic bags. I am sure that this is a far more important issue than families losing their homes, people losing their jobs and hungry children without a future.
On a similar note, the governor of California supports the development of semiconductors in the Hubei Province in China. Their unemployment rates must be worse than ours.
This election year, I plan to ask the candidates one single question: “What have you done for us lately?” The time has come to ignore traditional political affiliations and look for those who will take real action in order to solve real problems.
Daniela Apostol, Boulder Creek