Matthew Burgess, a California Highway Patrol sergeant and a barbecue restaurateur, will run for the California State Senate District 6 seat next year.
Senate District 6 includes Elk Grove, Sacramento, West Sacramento, and other parts of Sacramento County. The final term of Democrat Richard Pan, the District 6 representative since 2014, will end in December 2022.
Burgess, a Sacramento native who describes himself as a moderate Democrat, said that one of the issues he is running on is law enforcement.
He told the Citizen that he does not support the idea of defunding the police.
“I don’t believe most people in the district want the police to go away,” Burgess said. “My game plan is (to work) toward really going back to layers and looking at the issues with the communities that don’t want the police, and finding viable solutions.”
Burgess described people working in law enforcement as having complex and noble jobs.
Homelessness is another issue that is important to Burgess.
“(Homelessness) isn’t something that just started,” he said. “This issue has gone a very long time.”
Burgess also addressed those experiencing both homelessness and other issues.
“There’s got to be accountability, and understand that we are dealing with folks that have mental illness, we’re dealing with folks that are addicted to drugs,” he said. “We’re dealing with folks that just don’t want to hear anything. And we can’t continue to operate that way.”
Burgess desires to have a strong collaboration between cities, counties and the state, “working together in tandem” to approach homelessness.
“There has to be a way that all these entities are working together,” he said. “We (should have) viable facilities for people that need assistance and medical attention, so they can get the right medication.
“For those that just want to remain on the streets and do drugs and do other things, that’s not acceptable, and we can’t continue to allow them to do that without any accountability whatsoever. So, that might look like a treatment center. After so many times, they’re cited. But they have to go into a treatment center.”
Burgess also desires to assist small businesses. He co-owns the Burgess Brothers BBQ & Burgers business with his twin brother, Jon.
“What are we doing to make sure that we retain small businesses in California, with tax breaks that we have for small businesses right now?” he asked.
He mentioned that he believes that there should be more funds to maintain small businesses, and he desires to find “ways to make businesses work for everyone.”
Burgess additionally wants to approach longstanding issues, such as affordable housing.
“When I look at things like that, I’m in a position to work for the greater good, work for the people,” he said. “And really, the gain is taking my state – (the) place where my great-great-grandfather had settled, (and making it) better.”
In summarizing his desire to serve as the representative of District 6, Burgess said that he would serve “for the greater good.”
“I look at myself and think about (how) I want to help (for) the greater good; I want to help the next generation,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s District 6 or District 50.6, Matthew Burgess will work for the people, regardless, and I will work with a moral compass and understand that everything I do (will be) for the betterment of humanity as a whole.”