I have been living in Sonoma County for more than a decade, with almost half that time as a homeowner in Rohnert Park. I see and hear from my community that the cost of living here is untenable. Rohnert Park is building a lot of homes and I will make sure that people that work here can afford living here as well. My philosophy for Rohnert Park's future is "Come, Live, Grow." I want people to feel welcome in our city, want to live here, want to move here and put down roots.
With this in mind, I will work hard to:
Continue to bring growth to the city.
Make sure Rohnert Park is affordable for working-class families.
Ensure that rent control laws are observed.
The fallout from COVID-19 has put many residents on the verge of losing their homes. Last month over 30% of people nationwide were unable to pay for their housing. We need to make sure that we have a social safety net in place that allows people to keep their homes. As Dr. Sundari Mase has pointed out we need strong protections in place to avoid a crisis on a scale we have never seen before.
Making sure people can actually keep their housing during our current crisis is a first step to reducing homelessness. Sonoma County has roughly 3,000 people living on the streets any given night. There is around 150 each night in Rohnert Park. The majority of those people in our community actually come from our community. Natural disasters like the fires, coronavirus, among other things have led us to where we are today.
As a community, we need to make sure that the homeless have access to services. Rohnert Park has none available at this time. We must do better. Access to services like mental health, shelter, food, and employment should all be readily available to our residents.
Rohnert Park is a relatively safe community. We need to keep it that way. With climate change creating larger and more frequent natural disasters, we have to have plans in place to prevent or minimize the impact before they happen. We must have resources ready to respond quickly to the catastrophic event itself and recovery efforts after.
My plan is to:
• Ensure that our police and fire departments are well trained and supported.
• Have an alert system and plan in place for natural disasters and emergencies.
• Setup Community Oversight of our Public Safety Department.
As suggested over 20 years ago by the California advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights I strongly believe that we need the immediate creation of civilian review boards based on the IOLERO model. Civilian partnership will benefit our community by addressing the issues of inequality and racial profiling with the benefit down the line of training, oversight, and the collaboration of all citizens and law enforcement. This will create better relationships with the community and will help with less tragic events that could result in legal ramifications. We also need to create a plan that allows for social workers to work with the department in responding to nonviolent calls. The Brothers Keeper Alliance is a great first step. However, all of the actions are things that have already been put in place in most departments including ours.
For the record two of my brothers-in-law are firefighters with the Marin County Fire Department. I also have family members that have work in law enforcement. We have had long discussions on this subject and they have helped me come to the conclusions above.
In 2019 I had the privilege of working with the Greenbelt Alliance to help renew the city of Rohnert Park’s Urban Growth Boundary and pass Measure B. I am an advocate of alternative forms of transportation that contribute to a greener future for our County.
Young People and Seniors
Rohnert Park has a large population of seniors, growing in numbers every day. These are some of our most valued and vulnerable residents. It is imperative to protect and ensure they maintain a good quality of life. They have much to contribute and teach. We must provide services and support to keep them healthy, independent, and active in our communities.
My goal is to:
• Continue to make sure that our seniors that retire here can afford to stay.
• That they have many opportunities to contribute to our community.
• Ensure that they are safe and well supported.
Having two teenagers at Technology High School I believe it is important that our young people are involved in our community. When on the council I would like to put together a youth commission that gives voice to the needs of our young people.
My husband and I are both union members and very much pro-labor. I am a CSEA member and site representative at the school I work at. My husband has been a Teamster for the past sixteen years and his grandfather was at one time President of Local 278 in the ‘50s.
We need to bring attention to the financial loss that occurred by residents and businesses alike during this crisis so as to make sure that we can keep both here. Let’s get people back to work safely so as to minimize the spread of COVID and contribute to the betterment of our community.
Equity and Inclusion
It is of the utmost importance for me to protect the right that everyone has to be heard, opportunities to thrive, and to receive equal treatment within the community regardless of their race, gender, economic status, abilities, age, or sexual preferences. I intend to celebrate the diversity of Rohnert Park. As a city, we can be leaders in the acceptance of all cultures and displaying pride in our city's multi-faceted demographics.
Our City Council needs to be made up of regular people here in town. I am the candidate that understands real people. I can do that because I am a woman of color. I am raising my children in this community. I see the importance of representation, employment, education, and local government. The reason we now have district elections is because a select few people have ran this city from one side of the city. Rohnert Park is not the property of a select few families or dynasties. It’s our city. Representation matters. I will be the voice at the table that will speak for the people.
Earlier this year I helped put together the largest Black Lives Matter rally in Rohnert Park attended by over 400 people including elected leaders within our community.
One of my goals will be to work to implement a sensitivity training program that would educate our city staff, elected officials, our public safety department, and our community on our BIPOC and LGBTQ community. As leaders, we must refer to our constituents by their preferred pronouns. Every resident must be treated with dignity and respect.