Restoring Confidence and Collaboration and Broad Participation
My first job as a councilmember will be to work closely with all my colleagues to improve the working environment for councilmembers and city employees in every department. This, in turn will improve the quality of city council deliberations and the environment for community participation
We need more rental housing in our community. We need to build it for both working families and for very low income families and individuals.
To achieve this, we’ll all need to contribute to the solution, primarily by supporting projects that are appropriately sited and well-designed for the locations we select as a community. We can also help bring more homes into being by identifying a local funding source to match state affordable housing funds. Now that the state has acted on tenant protections, we can put more attention on creating a larger supply of rental housing.
Once again, housing takes center stage. Local government needs to support the creation of jobs that pay a wage that covers the cost of living in Santa Cruz. And we need to support the small businesses – operated by our neighbors—that are the lifeblood of our local economy.
Health and Safety
It’s one of the primary duties of local government to provide basic safety services. This starts with sufficient staffing levels at our Fire, Police and Parks departments. It also means allowing our police officers to do their primary crime prevention and intervention work while using other professionals and service provider to address behavioral health and poverty issues on our streets.
See affordable housing above: Homelessness will persist if our people lose housing as quickly as our homelessness response system moves people off of the street. And we can’t move enough people out of homelessness enough we don’t have more rental housing to move them into.
Beyond this, we need to combine an improved system of moving people off the streets with health-focused programs that provide basic safety right away for everyone in the community.
The City of Santa Cruz is on a very good trajectory when it comes to doing more than our share to reduce carbon emissions. We need to continue to build sustainability and protection of our most precious natural resources into all city operations and policies.