Democratic candidate Audrey Denney, who is running for California’s 1st Congressional District, met with Plumas County voters on Saturday, Aug. 11, to talk about her campaign and address issues of local concern.
District 1 includes the counties of Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama, as well as parts of Nevada, Glenn and Placer counties and is currently represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa.
Denney joined over 40 local Democrats at the Plumas County Library in Quincy at a meeting sponsored by the Plumas County Democratic Central Committee.
Later that evening, she visited with attendees at the Plumas-Sierra County Fair, enjoying an opportunity to discuss her background, qualifications and passion for public service on a range of timely issues — job creation, healthcare, education, water, agriculture and programs that serve seniors and veterans.
Denney holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in science and agricultural education. She has spent the last decade working in agriculture, education and the nonprofit sector and taught ag at California State University, Chico for six years.
“As an educator and a farmer, I am dedicated to improvement,” the candidate told the library audience. “I’m committed to improving the lives of the people of the North State by supporting education, accessible affordable healthcare, infrastructure and veterans. I’m also dedicated to ensuring the profitability of agriculture while protecting the environment.”
The 34-year-old grew up on a farm and spent several years working on ag issues for nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad in Central America and communities such as South Sudan where 83 percent of the population lives in rural areas and earns less than the equivalent of one U.S. dollar per day.
She also owns a small farm-management enterprise.
Several in the audience had questions for the candidate.
One asked, “What is your strategy for getting through to voters and people who are sick of the (political strife) and have just checked out?”
Another person said her son is 24 years old, has yet to vote, and is very discouraged about the state of politics in America today.
“Please tell your son that this race will be decided by him and his generation,” Denney replied, outlining her strategy for targeted outreach throughout the district.
“This resonates with what I’m seeing out in our district,” Denney said. “We have enough, with registered Democrats, unregistered voters and no-party-preference indicated voters to get the extra 100,000 votes we need. Absolutely, it’s about voter registration and turnout.”
And then, from a seat in the back, a man raised questions about fire protection, asking, “How will you protect us and save us from massive forest fires?”
Denney addressed the concern and talked about making safe, healthy and resilient forests an absolute priority, mentioning she would search for federal funding for these issues.
“In my travels throughout the district, I try to explain what it feels like to live in a place where a simple flat tire can cause a forest fire that takes everything from you,” the candidate said. “Our rural economy, our clean water and so much more, is all tied up in forest health,” the candidate replied, explaining her commitment to “making the environment, the economy, and the people-part work (together).”
Someone asked if Denney would be willing to debate incumbent Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), a rice farmer.
“I would love to!” she said.
She added, “I will put people before corporations and I will not accept corporate political action committee (PAC) contributions. This campaign is not about me, it’s about stepping out and creating the best community here in our district.”
Audrey Denney’s stand on issues
– Infrastructure investment, better roads and rural broadband to build job creation.
– More and localized career/technical education and satellite campuses.
– Defend Social Security and Medicare for benefits that seniors can count on that are not subject to the “whims of Congress.”
– Training, education and recruitment for the one million new home health care workers needed by 2022.
– Support farmers with infrastructure to increase production and keep more food dollars and jobs in our region.
– Access to early childhood education; support student-debt forgiveness for grads who enter teaching or civil service careers.
– Improve water infrastructure maintenance/repairs and focus on conservation technologies.
– Oppose the privatization of the Veterans Administration system and emphasize comprehensive services to vets, and much more.