During this election season, which has recently been dominated by economic turmoil, it has become apparent that strong leadership is needed at all levels of government. Hannah-Beth Jackson, running for the 19th District State Senate seat, embodies the kind of leadership we desperately need. She spent years as a prosecutor in Santa Barbara County and a family law attorney in Ventura. As such, she gained extensive knowledge of the problems many people in the community face and has become a strong victim’s advocate. She was previously a member of the state assembly and was reelected to serve for a total of six years, the maximum allowed for the state assembly. Even after her term, she co-founded Speak Out, California!, a group established to promote progressive values and concerns.

While Jackson’s background illustrates her experience, one can look to her voting record for evidence of dedicated – and often bi-partisan – leadership. While a member of the state assembly, she authored 60 bills that were signed into law. One such bill, SB1078, proved to be a groundbreaking step toward renewable energy in California. It created incentives and a market for renewable energy sources and required 20 percent of California’s electrical power to come from renewable sources by 2015. Because of this bill and Jackson’s continued support for environmental conservation and renewable energy, Jackson has a 98.8 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters, which is drastically different than her opponent Tony Strickland’s rating of 1.67 percent.

Upon further investigation into Jackson’s record, it also becomes obvious that many accusations Jackson has received about increasing taxes and other issues are false. Many of the bills cited as evidence to these claims have nothing to do with taxes. One advertisement reports Jackson voted to raise the gas tax and referred to bills AB16, AB 1058, AB1706, AB1707 and AB1740. None of these bills involve the increase of the gas tax, which has remained stagnant since 1990. In fact, Jackson has actually voted to reduce overall taxes by $26 billion.

Jackson’s record speaks volumes for her commitment and perseverance in fighting for the people. She has crossed bi-partisan lines on many occasions to pass bills for safety, health care and other issues that directly affect the well being of those who live in California. Her ideas and votes are not based on party ideology, but rather what is best for the people she represents. In a time when economic crisis has affected many different aspects of people’s lives, bi-partisan cooperation is very important. Jackson has already proven her ability to cross bi-partisan lines. She’s received numerous endorsements from Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as from organizations like the Sierra Club, Equality California and the California Teachers Association. She has been endorsed by our police officers, firefighters and nurses, as well as by members of both national and state government. Voters need someone who will fight for their rights, who will represent their views and who will assuage concerns about the environment, education costs and jobs by keeping their promises. Hannah-Beth Jackson has exemplified this in the past, and the facts confirm that we can rely on her in the future.

In a rally in Simi Valley, Jackson said, “I’ll fight like hell for you.”

And I believe she will.