Although she never declared victory, her opponent conceded, so 38th Assembly District candidate Christy Smith has begun the process of becoming Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita).
She’s been in Sacramento since Tuesday and will be there through at least the Dec. 3 swearing-in. But between now and the Jan. 7 start of the legislative session, she has much to do.
This includes finding office space, assembling a staff, attending orientation and training sessions, and taking meetings with various local business and governmental leaders.
She’s getting a late start because it took some time after the election for it to be clear that she had defeated Dante Acosta (the latest total, according to the Secretary of State’s website, has her ahead by 5,164 votes, or 2.8 percentage points; the final totals won’t be certified until early next month).
“I’m in sort of this limbo transition stage at this point until I’m official-official,” she said Monday. “Because my race ended later because we didn’t know the final result, some of the newer members have already gone up for training, so my situation is a little bit unusual.”
That “training” includes how to find office space, which is no easy matter, she’s discovering. She can’t automatically assume Acosta’s former office because it depends on the lease, she said. There also are budgetary concerns, human-resources issues and staffing to figure out, but she’s learning that the Assembly’s Committee on Rules governs various operational and logistical aspects.
She’s also learning about the legislative process, which includes writing legislation. She said she did some of that as a Newhall School District board member.
She just started assembling a staff (one person’s helping her, she said) but won’t have anything finalized until her training is complete.
Smith said Acosta has been “very generous in offering his support. At some point, I’ll have the opportunity to do a transition meeting with his staff.”
She also plans numerous meetings with various city councils, economic development corporations and chambers of commerce to hear their concerns and desires; some of those have already been scheduled, she said.
Regardless of these meetings’ outcomes, Smith said the legislative issues she’s ready to tackle immediately are: stopping CEMEX, mitigating any environmental impacts of the high-speed rail project, and ensuring there can’t be another gas leak like in Aliso Canyon in 2015.
She said she chose the Santa Clarita designation because “It’s the city where I live. There are so many different named communities in the district, I hate to leave anybody out. Santa Clarita’s my hometown, so that’s what I’m going with.”