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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 1

Photo of Pamela Dawn Swartz

Pamela Dawn Swartz

Small Business Owner
125,585 votes (36.1%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • HEALTHCARE - I will lead efforts to keep rural hospitals funded and fight for single-payer healthcare in California
  • EDUCATION AND JOBS - I will fight for technical education, apprenticeship and vocational programs to prepare our students for good-paying jobs.
  • FIRE RESILIENCY - I will bring a comprehensive approach to managing our forests to reduce fire danger, improve watershed health and wildlife habitat while increasing job opportunities.



Profession:Small Business Owner
Small Business Owner, Ninja Skincare, Incorporated (1989–current)


University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Science, Forestry with an Emphasis in Wildlife Management (1986)


My name is Pamela Swartz and I am a California native and small business owner.   

I was lucky to grow up with parents who were educators. They encouraged us to speak our truth, question authority and be independent thinkers. After attending Sequoia Middle School and Shasta High School in Redding, I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry with an emphasis in Wildlife Management. Among many lessons, my university education taught me the fragility of native habitats and the intertwined relationship between these habitats and human influence. Wisely managing our natural resources is essential for a healthy and safe future and I believe, this is best accomplished by developing private-public partnerships. This creates local jobs and improves our rural economy. 

As true with many entrepreneurs, my business venture started from a personal need . . . for a safe, effective and long-term treatment for my persistent skin blemishes. I possess the true entrepreneurial spirit of having a strong work ethic, perseverance and a desire to help others. Owning a successful business for over 30 years has taught me that authenticity and honesty count just as much as understanding smart finances and adhering to budgets. Our District needs an advocate who insists that state policies and budgets don't forget us in the North State. Our tax dollars need to return to our communities. We need increased rural infrastructure, expanded funding for education and affordable housing to create more opportunity and well paying, local jobs. With these in place, our region will be able to attract new, and much needed medical facilities, colleges and trade schools as well as support online businesses that are a perfect fit for our rural area. 

Striking a balance between growing our economy and maintaining our region's natural beauty is important to me. I have a strong love of our land and natural resources. I am an avid equestrian, riding and training for long distance events with my 2 horses. I also enjoy hiking and mountain biking in our beautiful wild lands. 

I am truly a fresh voice in North State politics. I am running for State Senate because I believe our District has been under-served and not strongly represented for too long. I believe the only purpose of forming a government is to serve the needs of the people. As your elected official, I will make decisions and policies that are solely based on the interests of my constituents, not on outside or special interests.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The Sacramento Bee (3)

Should California enter the prescription drug business to help drive down prices? Why or why not?
Answer from Pamela Dawn Swartz:
Absolutely! California, the world's 5th largest economy, is very capable of manufacturing generic prescription drugs to drive down a portion of medical costs for our 40 million residents. We can no longer sit on the sidelines while nearly 50,000 people a year die in our Country from not being able to afford their prescriptions, being under-insured or not having insurance in the first place. California is a national and world leader and it's time to stand up to special interests and take action to serve the people of California.
Should California make changes to the property tax system set up in Proposition 13? Why?
Answer from Pamela Dawn Swartz:

I need to clarify there are 3 different Prop 13s that need to be separated out before answering this question.

First, there is currently a Prop 13 on the ballot which has nothing to do with property taxes and thus, is not part of this question.

Second, we have a current law, passed in June, 1978, which resulted in reducing residental and commercial property taxes.

Now there is an initiative called 'The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020,' which would reassess commercial and industrial property taxes for property exceeding $3,000,000.  Excluded are residential, agricultural and multi family dwellings. There is a $500,000 exemption of personal property owned by a business, so in reality the tax increase would kick in at $3,500,000. It is estimated that 15% of California's businesses would see a tax increase and it will restore $11-13,000,000,000/year. 40% of funds raised will go to schools and 60% to local community services such as libraries, parks, senior centers. 



3 Rent Question

To lower rent costs, should California build more or focus on rent caps and tenants’ rights? Why?

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $118,641

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

California Labor Federation
California Democratic Party
United Domestic Workers of America
AFSCME Local 2620
California Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union
California Nurses Association

More information about contributions

By State:

California 99.56%
Washington 0.33%
Nevada 0.12%

By Size:

Large contributions (90.59%)
Small contributions (9.41%)

By Type:

From organizations (50.42%)
From individuals (49.58%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

A government that works for everyone means:

  • Provide single payer healthcare to all Californians
  • Increase the number of healthcare facilities in our District 
  • Support programs to reduce fire danger and improve public safety and awareness
  • Assist our farming and tourism economies as they implement new strategies to adapt to the changing climate  
  • Provide affordable housing; no one should be homeless
  • Fully fund education to include free college, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, invest in teachers and schools 
  • Build crucial infrastructure projects including Internet access and improve dangerous rural roads and highways

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