Aeiramique Glass Blake, 33, (D)
Where do you live in the district and for how long?
I was born and raised San Diego. I have lived in the district for 20 years non-concurring.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you are running for the 79th assembly.
Aeiramique Glass Blake known to most as Meeka, has served as a policy director, community organizer, conflict resolution facilitator, and community cohesion and race & equity consultant, as well as being one of the leading restorative justice practitioners in San Diego County. Aeiramique has more than a decade of experience in supervising and managing programs as well as pushing for policies that have produced great outcomes and fostered genuine transformative change. She currently serves multiple advisory boards representing communities of color such as the San Diego Chief of Police Board of Advisors, the City Attorney’s Advisory Board, and the Chief of Probation Advisory Board, as well as other boards and coalitions. She has worked to keep both individuals and systems equitable, transparent, and accountable.
We need publicly funded campaigns and ranked choice voting as this race is a prime example of our unfair political system. We need to take special interest money out of politics.
What do you believe are District 79’s current challenges and why? What would you do to address them?
Aeiramique works with community leaders, clergy, students, school officials, law enforcement, public officials, and those closest to the pain to create sustainable, effective change that helps those in need, particularly the most vulnerable populations and communities of color. She is a leader on issues pertaining to racial and social equity, police misconduct, police practices, policy change, as well as new legislation. She has conducted training and presentations throughout California and surrounding areas on several topics pertaining to racial justice, equity, and re-imagined public safety. Aeiramique is a consultant and advisor to law enforcement and public officials relating to community engagement, race relations, and strategies that promote and implement justice, equity, and equality in the community and the most impacted populations. She is oftentimes a rapid responder to community crisis issues when violence, shootings, police harassment and brutality, and other issues arise within the community. Earlier this year, she was celebrated as a Phenomenal Woman by the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Women Museum of California for her achievement in advocacy and empowerment. Her character, reputation in the community, and proven track record and experience make her exactly who is needed for such a time as this.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown health, social, economic and digital disparities, especially within marginalized communities of color. What can propose to help these communities?
As an equity and conflict resolution advisor, and a social justice activist I work every day to meet the needs of people and create solutions that will move us forward. We need a strong leader to move us through rapid COVID recovery, this current racial divide, and social unrest. Businesses are struggling and people are hurting. We can have no more politics as usual. I have a track record of working throughout the district to get policies and resources that people can feel will impact and truly help them. I will emphasize education equity and safe reopening of schools. I will fight for economic recovery as well as helping small businesses. I am seeking unity through accountability and transparency. I am the only person in this race that has the independence and experience working in the district to get this work done for both sides. My top priorities are education equity, economic development, public safety and criminal justice reform.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, what negative impacts has it had in this district and how can you help at the state level?
COVID only amplified the deep disparities, we must build equity in policy distribution and access to resources. Equality gives everyone the same thing equity gives people what they need. We need to make sure the resources coming from the federal and state government actually meet people’s needs. We need to prioritize the most vulnerable communities and schools making sure we have credible messengers to advocate and answer questions to encourage vaccinations, as well as resources counselors and case managers to connect and assist people with COVID-19 rapid recovery.
Where do you stand on health insurance for all Californians and why?
After running for congress, then becoming ill battling cancer and endometriosis, I never thought I would run for office again, but one of the many reasons I knew I needed to run is because I understand how important it is to have someone who will fight for Cal-Care.
What do you believe are the most underserved communities in the District and what kind of policies are needed to improve their daily lives?
Communities such as Southeastern San Diego, Lemon Grove, Bonita/Chula Vista are some of our most underserved communities, state funded workforce development programs, equity in our education system as well as affordable housing are the first issues I will work on as well as supporting and co-authoring Assembly bills such as the Crisis -Act. We need to make sure that our budget truly supports bills like the Crisis-Act, Cal-Vip and Cal-Care.
Where do you stand on California’s climate change policies? What would you change?
We cannot have economic development without first having workforce development, by addressing climate change goals creating mixed income solar/ green communities we also will be creating jobs. State funded job training programs as well tuition free, fee free college and trade school. underserved communities and communities of color are dealing with so many issues and it has been hard to focus on environmental justice. We need environmental impact education within the most underserved communities.
How would you direct K-12 public school education to mobilize recovery in the 2021-22 school year?
We need to make sure our schools and students have laptops as well as free internet access. Update our schools with new ventilation systems, portable air filters to increase the ventilation rate, PPE, testing and retesting as well as making sure teachers get vaccinated if they want to get vaccinated. I will work to change our history curriculum teaching living history and cultural diversity. We need more education and advocates helping parents understand IEPs. I am also committed to creating legislation addressing discrimination through various means and LCFF accountability.
We need mental health counselors on campus and not cops as well as the implementation of restorative practices/Justice to dismantle the school to prison pipeline. The state needs to work with the county to insure we address our food insecurity and food deserts through a sustainable infrastructure.