Homelessness, affordable housing, education, and public safety are among the top issues for the candidates running for California Assembly District 30 in the June 7 Primary Election.
The District 30 boundaries were recently redrawn and it now includes most of San Luis Obispo County, excluding Nipomo, stretching north along the coastline to Santa Cruz.
From college students to grandparents, Central Coast residents of all ages are campaigning to represent the area.
Jon Wizard was both a firefighter and a police officer but after a couple of injuries, he decided that public policy was his calling.
"As a firefighter, police officer you help, you know, a couple of people, ten people a day. As a public policy person, as a council member or elected official, you can help thousands or tens of thousands, maybe millions of people in a day," he said.
Wizard is the policy director for a statewide campaign to improve and enhance long-range housing plans.
He says his understanding of the intersection between housing policy and natural resource conservation and supply is what makes him prepared to serve his community.
"The thing that I am most keenly focused on is housing and homelessness," Wizard said.
Vicki Nohrden, a mom and grandmother from Monterey County, has a background in business, non-profit work, and community service. She is the only Republican candidate running in District 30 but says she wants to take the label off politics.
"I've seen so many changes going on in the State of California for quite a long time now and I decided we have too much of an imbalance in our legislature up there, and I don't feel like they're listening to the people," Nohrden said.
She feels it's time to be a voice for the people who are not being heard. Public safety, education, homelessness and mental health are some of the issues that are most important to her.
"When I am elected for this district, public safety is very concerning to me," Nohrden said.
Morro Bay City Council member and teacher Dawn Addis raised her children on the Central Coast and says she is invested in the San Luis Obispo area. She hopes to be a champion at the state level for local communities.
"I'm prepared to go to Sacramento and to get our fair share, to get services and resources for homelessness, for education," Addis said.
Addis also co-founded the Women's March in San Luis Obispo and says she will strive to ensure that San Luis Obispo County gets back as much as they are giving to the state.
"I'm proud to be the only candidate in the race who is endorsed by the Democratic party," Addis said.
At 21-years-old, John Drake is the youngest person on the ballot for Assembly District 30. Still a student at Cal Poly studying political science, he hopes to tackle the housing crisis.
"That's really been my biggest striving point," Drake said. "That's the reason why I got into this because I want to see housing become more readily available."
Despite his young age, he feels he is well-versed on the subject and is ready to put his skills to the test.
"I want to see people being able to live with dignity and not being forced to live in terrible conditions," Drake said.
Zoe Carter, based in Monterey, grew up in Los Olivos and is passionate about community issues on the Central Coast. She aspires to work on post-pandemic recovery by addressing infrastructure needs in the community.
"Making sure children have access to the internet for school or if we need to fix our roads and bridges," Carter said. "There are some really major infrastructure and road needs."
Carter worked on former First Lady Michelle Obama's policy team and says her time in that role inspired her to continue pursuing politics after moving back to the Central Coast.
Accessibility to mental health resources is another key issue she hopes to address.
"Making sure communities have the support they need for mental health resources and not just for our homeless residents, but for everybody," Carter said.