Small businesses are the heart beat of any city, especially small cities. They create community and offer a personal touch. When a small business owner approaches City Hall – either as an existing owner or as an entrepreneur with a fresh idea, every effort should be made to encourage, support and incentivize as many business opportunities as possible. The Economic Development Department is there to walk every brave business owner down a path of success. The community wins when our local business owners are supported by the city, locals and tourists.
We all deserve the freedom to enjoy a safe community. As our city grows, we need to look out for each other. Remind your neighbors, friends and family members to remove valuables from their cars and lock their front door. I support funding our local police department to hire and maintain safe staffing levels to work proactively – not reactively. When voters passed proposition 47 in 2014, a law that changed certain low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors, local communities were impacted. To handle this change, local law enforcement has had to re-prioritize new strategies to maintain the safety and quality of life standards we have all become accustomed to as a community. The growing pains have been challenging, however, I’d like to implement a program for those continually breaking the law to be held accountable through community service work.
The City of Santa Cruz has housed, fed, and served as a beacon for the homeless community for decades. However, we can no longer do it alone and need the help of surrounding cities to help serve the neediest cases. I support better collaboration with the County of Santa Cruz to improve treatment options for those who suffer from serious mental illness or chronic substance abuse issues. I also support the “Homeward Bound” program to help new arrivals reconnect with family members.
As one of the original Santa Cruz Together board members, I oppose Measure M. The measure
will change the city charter, drain city funds with the addition of a rent board, and deplete the already low supply of rental housing in our community. However, growing our affordable housing market is essential. I’m an advocate for modifying the land-use codes and providing low-cost permits for homeowners to create more ADU ‘s. Pushing people to live further away from our city will only make our congestion and environmental impacts worse. We all share the same desire to protect a neighborhood’s charm, while taking sensible and sustainable actions to give our community options for more affordable housing. If building new communities of commercial residential properties is needed, I suggest each village be developed to meet the needs of the existing neighborhood to create excitement about the nearby markets and shops they will be able to walk to. I support the Delaware St. development and would relinquish the city fees that are holding up the completion of that project.