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Mike Greer, sole Republican in Assembly District 2 race, focuses on education

Mike Greer, who is among six candidates now running for the Assembly District 2, has his eye trained toward education. He says this is a major priority he will focus on if elected.

“Education is my love, that’s my expertise and we need to change it,” he said.

He is a trustee for the Del Norte County Office of Education and Del Norte Unified School District, Director for Region 1 of the California County Boards of Education, and a former special education teacher for 20 years. He said his lengthy experience in education has prepared him for the seat.

“It’s taught me how to work with people. It’s taught me how to compromise. It’s taught me that I need to live within a budget, which escapes the Legislature,” he said.

Compromise is something he said would be necessary if elected as a Republican in a Democrat-dominated Legislature. He said he’s not looking at this race as Democrat versus Republican — the district has historically voted around 70% for Jim Wood, a Democrat in previous elections for the seat. He sees it instead as a quality-of-life race.

“People are tired of all the conflict that’s going on in politics instead of solving problems,” he said.

For specific changes he’d like to see, he advocated for local control of education and more school resource officers. He wants to allow teachers from out of state to teach without having to take additional California classes, plus changing the classes California universities require teachers to take.

“They’re not teaching teachers how to handle the classroom. They’re forced to take all these different classes that don’t apply to teaching,” he said.

Greer moved to Crescent City with his family about four years ago — his family was burned out of Paradise after the Camp Fire, where he was the school board president following the disaster. He said he’s lobbied in Sacramento for education and wildfire and was on the Gridley City Council.

He started his campaign in September, about a month before Assemblymember Jim Wood announced he’d not be running again for the seat he’s held for about a decade. Greer is also the president of the Humboldt Senior Softball League. He said he’s hitting the different areas to understand people’s issues and said he’s spent time knocking on doors across the district, which includes Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino counties, plus part of Sonoma County.

“The best ideas, the best thoughts, the real problems come from people on the streets, they come from people that are suffering the consequences of regulations that have been made in Sacramento,” he said, noting speaking to fishermen about closures, small businesses about regulations plus safety, homelessness and wildfire issues. As for other issues, he noted water storage and community safety as priorities.

He said the state is too diverse for state representatives to make big decisions that impact rural areas negatively. He noted many of these issues stem from a problem across the state, where the state Legislature throws money at problems before having a thought-out plan.

This too is his view of offshore wind off the coast of Humboldt County, which he said he is against.

“We subsidize windmill farms, we give money to private corporations that don’t have to pay it back. That’s wrong because when they start making profits, they keep the profits,” he said, and questioned whether local rural communities would get a share of the electricity or economic benefit from the massive planned construction of offshore wind turbines.

His concern was the environmental impacts in the ocean for whales and birds, and advocated being careful to prevent unintended consequences, a point of view he applied to other decisions.

He noted his support for the 2nd Amendment and said he was against banning books in schools.

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