Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 5

Photo of Carla J. Neal

Carla J. Neal

Educator/Notary Public
71,488 votes (40.1%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Making sure that everyone has access to a first class public education, regardless of social or financial situation or life circumstance.
  • Restructuring the economy for benefit of working families here in rural and urban America so there are well paying jobs for everyone and making sure that our kids won’t have to move away to prosper economically.
  • Reforming politics by getting big money out and cleaning up gridlock and corruption. White supremacy and privilege is not making America great again, it's dragging America down!



Profession:Educator and Mobile Notary Public Small Business
Adjunct Reading Instructor, State Centers Community College/Fresno City College (2012–current)
MObile Notary Public and Signing Agent, Neal's Mobile Notary Public (2016–current)
Golden Valley Unified School District Trustee, School Board Trustee, District 1 — Elected position (2014–2015)


Vermont Law School Master's Degree, Environmental Law and Policy (2015)
California State University, Fresno Master's Degree, Education with an emphasis in Literacy (1998)
San Jose State University Bachelor's Degree, Political Science (1988)

Community Activities

Elected Delegate for Region 4, CADEM (2015–current)
Presenter, Climate Reality Project (2013–current)
Member, California Federation of Teachers local 1533 (2012–current)
Bernie Sanders Congressional Caucus Convener District 16, California Democratic Party (2016–2016)
Organizer, Madera county water and land use study group/ Tehipite Chapter of the SIerra CLub (2013–2014)


Who am I?

I.                   Current Work

·        Mobile Notary Public business.

·         Reading Instructor at Fresno City College.

·        25 years of experience in Public Education from teaching Kindergarten to Community College

·        Elected School Board Trustee for Golden Valley Unified School District in Madera County.


II.                 Education

·        Vermont Law School with a master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy

·        San Jose State University with a bachelor’s Degree in Political Science

·        Master’s in Education from Fresno State University

·        Climate Reality Leader and was trained by Vice President Al Gore

·        Secretary of the Madera County Democratic Central Committee and an elected Delegate to Region 4

·        Received the Central Committee’s Award for grassroots spirit in 2016


III.              Family

Ø Daughter, Olivia, currently attends a California State University.

Ø Stephen Smith is my life partner and an attorney. We live in rural southeastern Madera County.

Ø Parents- Carl & Carmen, Grocer and Sears and Real Estate


I.                   Past Work Experience

v Entrepreneurial experience. I founded the Green Footprint Company, a start-up waste grease biodiesel company, at the Water and Energy Technology Incubator at CSUF

v strong voice for renewable energy and healthy ecosystems as a leader in the green energy revolution


v Madera Water and Land Use Study Group to learn about area environmental concerns, climate change and the true costs of sprawling development. Locally, I helped to mobilize the affordable housing movement.



Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (4)

What do you think the State should do to encourage affordable housing for all Californians?
Answer from Carla J. Neal:

California has an affordable housing shortage and so as a start to fix this problem, last year Governor Brown and the legislature passed a robust package of affordable housing laws aimed at providing affordable housing where it is needed most and shelter for homeless people.  There will be a need for further legislation and I would like to see more sustainable (NGBS) homes, with more efficiency and solar energy on multi-family and low-income residences, built. 

We also need more community shelters such as boarding homes or low income public housing and/or habitat for humanity type community homes for homeless, low income and/or for people with disabilities that includes comprehensive healthcare including mental health programs.  I would like to support rent control legislation by amending or repealing Costa-Hawkins.  We also need to make it easier and affordable with lower interest loans for home owners to repair and maintain their existing homes and property, in established yet aging communities.  We need to encourage infill but not allow it to result in gentrification and stop or reduce sprawl into the suburbs.  We also need to incentivize jobs close to where people live and add additional or at least maintain public transportation in our cities and rural communities to reduce vehicle miles traveled, energy costs and pollution.     

According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Carla J. Neal:

I think to address the incivility in America, we (people, respected leaders and the media) need to call it out and speak against it directly.   We should remember and advocate for a broader sense among all of us (the diverse all of us), that we are a free people with rights that we will never relinquish easily.  As democrats in California, we have become a tireless and unassailable bulwark of resistance against any and all attempts by the Trump Administration and the Republican Party to dismantle or rollback our rights and democracy because of our party’s platform and our American values rooted in equality for all.

At times, the incivility threatens our sense of rule of law and decent sense of common good with respect to our fellow humans and ourselves in our democracy.  This makes us feel, quite correctly, as 75% of Americans do, like; democracy (civil society of the people) hangs in the balance and is clearly threatened by neoliberalism, racism and fascism.  Democracy requires the people’s participation, whether a little or a lot, and we cannot just sit on the sidelines, watch and remain silent in the face of bullies, corruption and/or injustice.  We need to learn to argue better with facts and reliable, credible details and then disagree more civilly with attacks to an idea or opinion not a person.  Our children are watching and the next generation is counting on us to be civil and to rise up to protect our humanity and our country against the special interests of crisis capitalism, corruption and exploitation.  I believe all of our children are the future, and we need to come together to pay-it-forward for their success, pursuit of happiness and dreams.  This requires a much greater tolerance and championing of our differences and greater equality and equity than what is currently available.

Climate changes, and the shifting between very wet weather and drought, worry Californians. What strategies would allow that your district to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Carla J. Neal:

The cost of carbon pollution from fossil fuels is a warming planet causing climate changes and is the number one threat to the global and California's economy.  It is bringing extreme weather from drought (more fires and water supply shortages) to heavier super-storms when it does rain that can cause mudslides, loss of farm land and infrastructure to collapse.  Of course, most Californians are rightfully worried and at times angry and disappointed, considering our current President is attempting to remove the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement Treaty and ending all environmental protections and defunding of vital programs that keep Americans safe.

In Assembly District 5, I will strive to provide economic security for all through a strong healthy environment by providing quality, affordable healthcare for all; restoring our forests and wildlands, protecting our communities from wildfire by restoring natural fire regime to our forests and wildlands, ensure clean water, air and healthy soils for all, and work to provide for sustainable communities that work for everyone and environmental and community restorative justice.

I will work with local people, leaders and scientists to expand efforts to combat climate change and with business to bring renewable clean energy to our district.  I will provide for more recycling and building or repair of community water systems, protection of our rivers and watershed under a CA wild and scenic legislation, provide clean water for all people and provide for best practices for sustainable water management working with family farms and businesses. 

At times of drought, we will all have to reduce our water consumption and this is a tough reality we do not want to face but we did rise up and reduced during the last drought.  Another drought is very likely again and so best practices today should include public water ground banking and reductions or efficiencies and protections and valuing of precious water where we can are important.

The cost of carbon globally: Political instability, floods and mudslides, wildfires, drought, storm damage, ocean acidification, infrastructure loss, climate refugees, species extinction, melting glaciers, famine, water scarcity, ecosystem loss, our way of life, infectious disease, sea level rise. We must act on climate and I intend to be a champion in helping California to lead the way.  

What programs or strategies would you suggest to meet the educational needs of the youngest and most poverty stricken Californians?
Answer from Carla J. Neal:

I will work to make sure that everyone has access to a first class public education, regardless of social or financial circumstance and ensure high quality programs are available for all students.  I support teachers/instructors and college professors and want to ensure they are fairly compensated from Pre-Kindergarten to Community College and Higher Education by fully funding California's public education system. 

I suport the local control funding formula which allows for local School Districts and County Offices of Education to best address the needs of all students.  California must do better at educating our youngest children with expansion of high quality early childhood, free or affordable programs in every community, K-12 and up to college and with vocational or trades -skilled job-training apprentiship and adult education programs.  I will champion policies that help working familes so children are secure and safe in their homes and at school.

I support California State Preschool programs and support an increase in school resources and mental health programs.  I will work to eradicate poverty and homelessness with affordable housing and a stable healthy economy.  

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $676

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Employees of Fresno City College & Small Business/Notary
Employees of Stephen A Smith, AAL

More information about contributions

By State:

California 100.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (100.00%)
Small contributions (0.00%)

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I believe in social democracy where the common good of the people works.  

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