Oct. 31, 2011 (San Diego's East County) – Local community activist Connie Frankowiak will once again make a run for Congressman Duncan Hunter’s (R-Alpine) seat in the United States Congress in 2012. In June, she will face off against fellow Democrat David Secor, Tea Party activist Terri Linnell, and Congressman Hunter in the new “top two” open primary. As the name states, only the top two vote getters will move on to the general election in November.
2012 will mark the third time the 70-year-old Julian native will vie for Congressional office. Her prior attempts stalled after failing to make it out of the Democratic primaries. Most recently, she lost to Ray Lutz in 2010.
“The people definitely need someone that knows them,” says Frankowiak. “I am running against the corporate agenda that Hunter supports…. I am running as a patriot against the corporations that have destroyed this republic.”
Frankowiak and the other contenders will be vying for the newly created 50th district – formally the 52nd district. It has undergone a major makeover due to redistricting, and it will now include a large chunk of Escondido, parts of Temecula, Ramona, Lakeside, parts of Alpine, and Jamul.
Frankowiak is optimistic regarding the changing Congressional districts.
“Redistricting will help a lot,” she says. “It’s a vastly different group of voters, I plan on focusing a lot of attention on Escondido.”
According to Frankowiak, one of the biggest issues facing California and the newly minted 50th district is the poverty rate. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report, nearly six million Californians are living below the poverty line – which varies from a yearly income of $22,113 for a family of four to $11, 139 for a single person. In 2010, 5.4% of the population in the 52nd district lived below the poverty line, while another 12.6% had a yearly income under $25,000.
Frankowiak expressed concerns over the high numbers of individuals in the 50th district living in poverty. “They don’t have health insurance, they don’t have jobs… They need a living wage,” says Frankowiak.
A worker’s rights advocate, Frankowiak,wants to make an impact on what she is labeling “an attack on the worker.” She points to the attack on pension plans, as they are being shifted from guaranteed retirement funds to market driven retirement plans that are susceptible to the ebbs and flows of the stock market, much like what is being proposed in the city of San Diego.
“I understand that Wall St. plays games with pensions,” says Frankowiak. “If they don’t stop this attack on pensions, people will have no money to retire on…We need to establish an agency to protect worker’s rights.”
Frankowiak’s message of protecting the middle class may find a receptive audience come 2012 as hundreds of thousands of individuals nationwide have taken to the streets to protest financial inequalities in the nation. Frankowiak is a firm believer that those responsible for getting into the largest economic recession since the great depression should be held accountable.
“We need to enforce the laws. None of the people who scammed us went to jail. Goldman Sachs destroys the financial market but no one is reprimanded… that is wrong,” says Frankowiak.
Frankowiak proposes reforming the legal system so that there is a special prosecutor to enforce the laws. She points to a need to have someone in office who will step up to corporate interests, something that Hunter has failed to do in her eyes.
Frankowiak highlights the growing need for universal health care. As a staunch social Democrat, she is an advocate of the single payer system. “I know that the poor in this country will go for it, if the poor in other countries have, what is to say that we won’t?” asks Frankowiak.
Frankowiak will be running a grassroots campaign with little outside funding. She does not have a campaign website; instead she will take the old-school rout by pounding the pavement, attempting to get her message out to as many people wish to listen.