With nearly a million people, California's 17th State Senate District stretches from the old whaling town of Davenport to the stark desert-scape of the Carrizo Plain; from the broad sands of Pismo Beach to the world-class surf-breaks of Santa Cruz; from the rugged peaks and canyons of the Los Padres National Forest to the stately redwoods of Big Basin State Park.
The new Senate district is linked by two great California roads running north-south. Highway 101 streams through the bustling corridor of South San Jose, Morgan Hill, San Martin, and Gilroy; in a different Senate district down through the Salinas Valley, the road picks up the 17th Senate district again as it cuts through the golden hills of North SLO County's ranch and wine country, past Paso Robles and Atascadero before plunging down the grade to San Luis Obispo and the SLO Coast towns of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Arroyo Grande.
Highway 1 travels the length of the district, right along the Pacific edge from the narrow agricultural plateau between the mountains and the rugged coastline of Santa Cruz County's North Coast; skirting around the Monterey Bay, linking Santa Cruz, Capitola, Watsonville, Castroville, Moss Landing, Marina, Seaside, Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel; then winding along the fabled Big Sur coast until the hills below Cambria are finally low enough for roads inland to Paso and Atascadero, finally rolling calmly through Morro Bay to join 101 in SLO.
Of course, what the Senate district is really about is the hardworking people and diverse communities that share this beautiful part of California. Bill Monning, who until last year represented about half of the district in the State Assembly, liked the new district so much he decided to skip a fairly assured third Assembly term for a chance to represent the larger area of the Senate district. After winning by a large margin in November 2012, Monning said,
"I'm thrilled to represent this Senate district. Together this region has the capability -- the people, the farms and ranches, educational institutions, businesses small and large, dedicated community leaders and elected officials -- everything to lead California to a prosperous and sustainable future."
Representing more people than a member of Congress, in a district larger than some states, Bill Monning takes his role as your representative seriously. “The best part of this job is hearing from constituents about your concerns and dreams; sitting down with people to solve everyday problems; working with community leaders to ensure a safe and prosperous future for our children.”
From his background as a labor and civil rights attorney, international peace negotiator, and professor of law and mediation techniques, Bill Monning knows that each of us can contribute. “Nothing in my experience has shaken the belief that together, we can make difference. I'm more committed than ever to working for a better world. Won't you join me?”