Ten-year William S. Hart Union High School District governing board member, and Chairman of the city of Santa Clarita’s Arts Commission, Paul Strickland has announced he will seek election to the newly re-districted California 38th Assembly seat in 2012.
Candidate who have also declared their intent to run for the Assembly seat include Patricia McKeon and Scott Wilk.
Strickland has many years of community service on various civic ad hoc committees such as co-chair of Hart’s Diversity Committee, Santa Clarita’s Cemex Advisory Committee and the city’s Open Space Committee.
Don't miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox 
Strickland also has been an active participant in local issues of interests such as Whittaker-Bermite remediation, high speed rail, and chloride mandates. His current position as field representative for 38th District Assemblyman Cameron Smyth has aided Strickland in better understanding the current conditions of the entire district.
“I truly believe that we’re living in tough times for everybody and we need changes, we can’t go on with this political jockeying for power and lifetime politicians and it’s time that we get someone in office who has actually worked in the trenches and knows what problems exist.”
“In this community we are so fortunate that we have this great relationship between business and city politics and also with all of our school districts. Each and every one of those are impacted by rules and regulations that keep them from being successful. That’s what I want to do, to do the job that has to be done. Not just go there as a politician.”
His admiration for Smyth has taught him that moderation is an approach wisely used in Sacramento.
“Cameron Smyth to me is the best politician that we have in our valley and probably the best one in the state of California,” Strickland said. “He’s smart, he clearly examines every issue for what it is and what it says before he makes decisions. He’s able to see both sides of issues and step back and ponder them and then make his decisions. He’s a person I admire, I’ve watched him in action and really have tried to emulate him in every way that I possibly can.”
Strickland hopes to carry on that “across the aisle” approach, if elected.
“This is an open seat, and just because it’s an open seat we can’t think of it in just political terms ‘Oh, this is a Republican seat and we have to protect that,’” he said. “We’re living in times where we have to get along and resolve problems and issues. We can’t go on just as business as usual with our political posturing. We have to really, actually do things. I’m a person who likes to get things done. I’ve been successful at that all my life, I have all these years as a school board member, which is really the bastion of participatory democracy, and I clearly think that I know what the problems are and I have ideas for resolving them. And a lot of them can be resolved themselves if the legislators will be more in touch and in tune with what’s going on.
“I think the political battles and standoffs have made it so that it becomes more important to them than doing the people’s work. And the people’s work is getting people back to work, we need to focus on that. We need to remove restrictions that are unnecessary. From school boards, for instance, we have all these unfunded mandates that they can’t possibly do because they’re never given any money to do them with, yet they have to abide by very strict rules and spend their money doing things, when that money could be put towards helping students.
“It’s the same things in cities and municipalities and small business, many businesses are afraid to hire people because the cost of health coverage that they have to provide for a small amount of employees is monumental. There has to be a way we can work together to see to it that there are Csolutions to these kinds of problems,” he continued.
“We really can’t go on, I really believe that by just electing lifetime politicians and/or people who can manipulate politics in such a way that they’ve lost their whole vision of why they’re elected and that’s to do the people’s work. “
Not only has Paul Strickland worked in the public sector, but also he has had a 30-year history of employment in the animation industry at Hanna Barbera, Warner Brothers, Marvel, Saban, Universal and Disney. Many of his shows are listed on Imdb.com, and he has also acted in performing arts productions at the Canyon Theatre Guild and COC’s PAC theatres. Strickland is a longtime advocate for the arts, has written many political columns for The Signal, and is in the 8th year of hosting “Thursday Matinee”, a KHTS radio show about local artists.
“I am entering this race not to continue the ongoing California business-as-usual political posturing, but to initiate resolutions to the unfunded state mandates that thwart local school districts, small businesses, and municipalities. We need to rescind antiquated, restrictive laws, and promote local control over resource allocations. I have the time and the energy to make things happen. In short, I want the job of serving the constituents of the 38th Assembly District.”
Strickland is a 28-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, where he and his wife Robin have raised their three children.