Apr 252012

Marc Boyd working to emerge in race for District 5

By Scott Thomas Anderson
Make no mistake: Marc Boyd wants the people of Amador County to know that there is a Democrat in the race for the 5th Assembly District.
In light of recent appearances by Madera County rancher and supervisor Frank Bigelow, and former state senator Rico Oller, who is running a campaign out of San Andreas, Boyd knows the conversation around District 5’s future has thus-far been dominated by Republicans. However, Boyd thinks he has a message that can resonate.
Boyd is a substitute schoolteacher with a degree in political science and background in working on health care issues in Santa Clara County. From Boyd’s perspective, one of his biggest accomplishments was working with Santa Clara politician Jim Beall, Jr. to address the closing of a hospital in downtown San Jose.
“The hospital was closed by a large corporation,” Boyd remembered. “It sparked a lot of concern and controversy.”
Boyd was a key player in creating the Downtown San Jose Health Care Feasibility Study, which paved the way for the community to keep a medical facility at the location via a parcel tax.
“My findings were on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News,” Boyd said. “We raised $840 million through this parcel tax. Now the community has an acute-care clinic at the site. It showed me what one person can do when they are passionate about something.”
Boyd says that, if elected to the 5th Assembly District, his top priorities would be economic development, education, public safety and environmental protection.
“This district’s economy has been devastated by the downturn,” Boyd observed. “Especially where I live, in Arnold. So many businesses have closed. It seems all our communities are experiencing an economic crisis.”
Boyd says his top priority would be organizing an economic summit for the cities, towns, leaders and chambers of commerce for the entire district, one that would devise a comprehensive strategy for the entire region. Among Boyd’s ideas are “creating a collective web presence” used by the overall district for tourism and commerce.
“It would be a state-of-the-art strategy for the millions of tourist who come up here,” Boyd remarked, adding that he advocates bringing high speed internet to the foothills through the same Digital 395 Plan currently used by Mono County.
As a man who works in classrooms, Boyd is placing a major emphasis on taking a stand in the assembly against any further cuts to education, emphasizing that community colleges are now rationing classes, and may find themselves insolvent if Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative does not pass muster with voters.
“We’re not providing a clear path for our high school graduates to have an affordable education,” Boyd said. “That’s a California I don’t recognize. There was a bill in 2011, ABX 140, that could have raised a billion dollars for education, by closing tax loopholes for out-of-state corporations, and District 5’s current assemblywoman, Kristin Olsen, refused to vote one way or the other on it. I called her office, wanting to know why she didn’t vote on the bill, and the best answer I could get was, she and her staff didn’t have time to read it. That’s when I decided to run.”
Boyd tells potential voters that California’s failures with education tie directly to one of his other stances: public safety. He asserts that the state currently spends $50,000 a year on each inmate it incarcerates, while spending only $8,500 on each student it educates. Therefore, Boyd supports working to find ways to make California’s new AB 109, or criminal realignment, successful. Though AB 109 has become increasingly controversial among law enforcement agencies and victims’ rights organizations, Boyd believes proper funding to the impacted counties could result in lower recidivism rates, and therefore less spending on prisons in the long run.
Asked about the conventional wisdom that a Democrat cannot win in the newly redrawn District 5, Boyd says that his priorities will speak to voters in general.
“Seven out of nine counties in this district voted to keep the environmental protections and regulations that my opponents are always criticizing,” Boyd charged. “The people have already spoken on that, so I don’t think my stance of wanting to protect the environment will hurt me, like some seem to think. The voters of this district want the same things: they want a robust economy, good schools, safe neighborhoods and the environment protected. I also tell people, don’t underestimate me when my heart and soul’s in the fight.”
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