PALM SPRINGS — Joy Silver, a Democrat, for state Senate District 28 is fighting to unseat incumbent Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone in November.

The vast 28th District, which is entirely in Riverside County, stretches from the vineyards of the Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Wildomar.

Both candidates were asked identical questions. Following are the responses from Joy Silver.

Uken Report (UR): Do you support Proposition 6. Why or why not?

Democrat Silver: Had I been in the State Senate, I would have pushed for a more equitable road funding plan that didn’t place a disproportionate burden on middle class families. However, I’m very concerned by Proposition 6, which was written by Sacramento special interests and would threaten urgent highway and road safety funds we need to keep Riverside motorists safe.

UR: What does passage, or failure mean specifically to your Senate District?

Democrat Silver:  There’s over 500 critical road repair and safety projects that would be on the chopping block under Prop 6 leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs in our district.

UR: How would you describe yourself? Yes, really. Others have described you, so I’d like to hear how you describe yourself.

Democrat Silver: I’m the working-class daughter of a police officer and I’ve never forgotten where I came from. All my life I’ve worked to make a difference for middle class families and working people. I’m dedicated to helping others. I spent a career in healthcare making sure women and seniors got access to quality affordable healthcare. In the Senate, I’ll stand up to the insurance companies and special interests to protect and expand healthcare for every Californian.

UR: Identify one, just one, time when you rallied opposing viewpoints in support of your plan, proposal, initiative, etc.

Democrat Silver: When politicians were looking for half measures instead of standing up for the equal rights for all, including some LGBT Americans, I fought for full marriage equality. I worked to advocate for marriage equality with a number of organizations, particularly
in relation to senior living and healthcare, when some were strictly advocating for domestic partnership.

UR: Why specifically are you running?

Democrat Silver: Our community has had enough with self-serving politicians who are in it for themselves. In Sacramento, I’ll stand up to the powerful and privileged to fight for working and middle-class families who are being ignored. I’ll put my lifetime of experience delivering healthcare to work protecting healthcare coverage, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and making sure everyone is treated with respect and dignity in the healthcare system.

UR: What is the single biggest issue facing your Senate District, why and what are you doing – or will you do – to correct it?

Democrat Silver: Protecting and expanding access to healthcare is priority one. Healthcare is particularly critical in our community for our large senior population. Everyone deserves access to quality affordable healthcare and no one should ever have to choose between paying for medication or paying their rent. In the State Senate, I’ll fight to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, work to rein in prescription drug costs, and make the healthcare system simpler and easier to navigate for all our families.

UR: Where (in what area) do you think you can make the biggest difference? Healthcare, housing, veteran affairs? Those are examples of what I mean.

Democrat Silver: I’ll bring a fresh perspective to Sacramento, where special interests have flooded our political system with money to increase their bottom line at the expense of ordinary people. I’ll stand up to special interests to rein in their power, crack down on political corruption and make sure our state government is accountable to the people.

I’m also committed to making a difference when it comes the cost of healthcare. I was a chief executive of a medical clinic, so I know how critical it is to ensure every family has access to quality, affordable healthcare and I know how to get it done. In particular, we need to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions, and seniors, who often face discrimination and higher rates from insurance companies, are protected.

UR: Why are you a better choice than your opponent?

Democrat Silver: I am not career politician. My opponent is part of the problem in Sacramento. I’ll stand up to the special interests who are bankrolling my opponent and fight to make the voices of working people heard in Sacramento. I’m not a career politician – I’ve spent a lifetime expanding access to healthcare, serving seniors and helping others. In the State Senate, I’ll put that dedication and experience to work every day on behalf of Riverside County’s hardworking middle-class.

UR: What has been your biggest campaign mistake or misstep?

Democrat Silver: Our campaign is going well and picking up momentum every day. I did underestimate the amount of time the campaign would take away from spending quality time with family and friends. Every minute is worth it, though, to bring new leadership to Sacramento.

UR: What are the three most notable endorsements you have received to date?

Democrat Silver: Planned Parenthood, the California Teachers Association and Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz.