SACRAMENTO – For the past six years, Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Woodland Hills, has made it her mission to improve the environment, and most of the major candidates looking to succeed her hope to continue that legacy. The race for the 41st Assembly district features five Democrats, two Republicans and a Libertarian seeking their parties’ nominations in the June primary. The district is considered a safe Democratic seat, with a 48-29 percent Democratic edge over Republicans in voter registration. The district stretches along the coast from Santa Monica to the west San Fernando Valley and parts of Ventura County. Barry Groveman – a city councilman, former mayor of Calabasas and an environmental attorney – is the only candidate not from Santa Monica. Jonathan Levey is a teacher and attorney from Santa Monica and, at 35, the youngest candidate in the race. He teaches business law at California State University, Channel Islands. Previously he was vice president of Catellus Development Corp., a major real estate investment trust and developer – one, which he is quick to add, that has worked on projects such as creating wildlife preserves in the desert and building affordable housing. “I’m clearly the person in the race who is not a career politician,” Levey said. Levey said he hopes to work on protecting parks and open space and clean water in Santa Monica Bay. He also would like to see the state recruit and foster more companies that research alternative energy, offering them incentives to locate and expand in California. On education, he would like to see more local control and accountability of school districts as well as more charter schools. Julia Brownley is president of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District and has been on the board for 11 years. She would like to see the state spend more on education. That may involve raising taxes, she said, particularly looking at whether to modify Proposition 13 into a split roll that would require businesses to pay more in property taxes. She would also like to lower the threshold for cities to pass their own ballot measures to increase local taxes to help schools. She said the state should also invest more in public transit and she supports universal health care such as proposed for the last several years by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles. “I’m running for the Assembly because I want to make education a priority again in the state of California,” Brownley said. Democrat Kelly Hayes-Raitt runs a political communications and community-organizing business and serves on Santa Monica’s Commission on the Status of Women. She was a co-founder of the environmental group Heal the Bay and was director of the Coalition for Clean Air. “All my life I’ve been working for social justice – a better environment, better opportunities for students, better retirements for our seniors,” Hayes-Raitt said. Hayes-Raitt, who lags three opponents in fundraising, said the first thing she would work on if elected is clean money. She supports a system of public financing of campaigns such as the state of Arizona has, in which candidates agree to spending limits in exchange for receiving taxpayer funds to help run their campaigns. She would also work on increasing the use of solar panels. Shawn Casey O’Brien is one of the few Democrats who does not list the environment as a top priority, instead focusing on issues to help the disabled. O’Brien, who was born with cerebral palsy, has spent much of his life as an activist for disabled causes. He also edited an anthology of stories about disability issues and is working on publishing his first novel. “I believe, in the most affluent country in the world, we ought to at a minimum educate our children and take care of our disabled,” O’Brien said. He also would like to work to protect the coast and increase air-quality control laws, and would seek to increase tax revenues through a split-roll under which businesses would pay more in property taxes. He also wants to ban fundraising while the Legislature is in session in an effort to clean up the campaign finance system. On the Republican side, businessman Tony Dolz is running primarily on an anti-illegal immigration platform. Dolz, who is a member of the Minuteman border patrol, would like to see all government services denied to illegal immigrants, greater enforcement at the border and more deportations. “I am concerned about the risks and costs of broken borders and massive illegal immigration in the state of California,” Dolz said. Dolz is an immigrant himself. He came to this country from Cuba as a child in the 1960s and became a U.S. citizen in 1986. He lists his occupation on the ballot as “national security analyst,” though he makes his living through several businesses that he and his wife own selling baby products, homeopathic health products and bedding. He listed national security analyst because he provides information and analysis to private groups working on anti-immigration issues. Dolz’s rival in the Republican primary is also a legal immigrant. Adriana Van Hemert, a children’s social worker from Santa Monica, came to the United States in 1968 from the Netherlands and became a citizen in 1975. Van Hemert, who works for Los Angeles County, also has a doctorate in psychology. One of her top priorities is improving the vocational alternatives available to high school students. She would like students to have alternative high schools they can attend to learn trades like woodworking and plumbing, with only a basic academic curriculum. “The children in this state need a chance for a better future,” she said. Her other issues include helping small business by removing state restrictions and further reforms of the workers’ compensation system. She would like to improve traffic congestion through the building of a monorail system. Conrad Stefan Frankowski, a human resources executive from Woodland Hills, is the Libertarian Party’s only candidate in the 41st Assembly district. firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventGroveman has spent much of his career working on environmental issues, first as an environmental attorney for the city of Los Angeles and later for the county district attorney. If elected, Groveman would like the state to aggressively pursue polluters by stiffening penalties for repeat offenders and by scientific “fingerprinting” of chemicals in hazardous cargo carried off the coast. To fight traffic congestion, he would like to see the state use more computerized traffic signals and copy a Houston program in which towing companies must move cars involved in freeway crashes within six minutes. He would also like community colleges to offer free tuition. “I have a 26-year history of problem-solving and taking on big battles and getting good outcomes and I want to take that to Sacramento,” Groveman said.