My platform prioritizes an expansive view of public safety by investing in additive city-wide programs that relieve the burden of absolute responsibility from the RPD.
The police are not Atlas–the full weight of public safety should not rest entirely on their shoulders. Moreover, police are not a cost-effective strategy for crime prevention. I think the best way to improve public safety is by implementing crime prevention strategies, not just reacting to crime after it happens.
That depends on developing and acting on a balanced budget. The more we invest in crime prevention strategies, the more we have a city that truly enjoys safety and security. That includes:
- Investment in mental health crisis response, so that every emergency call receives an appropriate, speedy, professional response
- Engineering solutions that redesign our roads to discourage sideshows and irresponsible, disruptive driving
- Engaging our young people with job training, educational opportunities, summer school programs
- Continuing to fund the Office of Neighborhood Safety, a nationally-recognized gun violence prevention program
- Supporting unhoused people in a meaningful way
We can’t turn away from the challenges incurred by the climate crisis. We have to face them head-on, in the spirit of preservation.
- Establishing a City Grants Department staffed with dedicated grant writers to help access state and federal climate resilience funds
I am the only candidate with a plan for a balanced budget that will fully fund a robust, ready-for-anything fire department. I am also the only candidate committed to upholding Measure U, the progressive business tax.
I plan to invest funds derived from Measure U to cover firefighter training and certification costs, paving a rock-solid path to a fully-staffed fire department. Beyond that, my plan accounts for rehiring crucial Public Works positions.
We don’t have the time to wait for the money to rain from the sky because the fire season grows longer each year. We need a full staff of certified firefighters and Public Works employees now.
But fire preparedness doesn’t start and stop at the fire department. It takes proactive collaboration between city departments–and across county lines–to keep us all safe. These are the strategic hirings and initiatives I plan to support as your representative:
- Hire an in-house arborist, who will singularly manage and track the health, growth, and maintenance of our trees
- Create a citywide grants department to bring in money from FEMA Preparedness grants and state-level fire safety organizations
- Invest in Public Works to ensure all of our roads are safe and effectively engineered for emergency evacuation
- Keep weed abatement and formation of firebreaks as top-priority goals in all conversations about fire safety
- Work with East Bay Regional Parks and our neighboring communities–Kensington, Pinole, San Pablo, and Orinda–to develop an overarching disaster-response strategy
I also plan to support organizations that have long been working on fire safety, empowering the passionate people who have already set up shop. Here’s how I plan to maximize community involvement:
- Staffing a robust Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program with trained, community-born first responders to support emergency services during natural disasters
- Partnering with neighborhood councils and neighborhood watch chapters to expand their networks to encourage participation on a larger scale
- Training residents to “fire harden” their property.
- Establishing financial assistance programs for abatement and hardening in high-risk fire areas to meet our fire safety goals
Affordable Housing and Development
With the statewide housing crisis at our doorsteps, it is of utmost importance for Richmond to increase the amount of housing available to our residents.
We can do that, not through building on our hillsides or where green spaces should be, but through infill – building up in our city center where infrastructure already exists. Rather than devouring the beautiful, open spaces at Richmond’s edges, we should focus on development in neighborhoods suffering from abandonment and blight. Revitalizing these key corridors will attract new residents who want to build lives here.
Young people should be able to afford to stay in the city they grew up in, and young families should be able to secure stable housing. By providing affordable housing and renter protections, we can ensure stability for our communities and prevent displacement and homelessness.
Here are my commitments to housing and development if I should be elected:
- Uphold the Richmond Hills Initiative that will keep the hills free from development and zoned as open spaces or for agricultural use
- Fight to rezone abandoned commercial and industrial zones to allow mixed-use development, especially around the Hilltop area
- Support plans for dedicated bike and bus lanes along San Pablo Avenue to make it more hospitable to pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as the MTC proposal for a rapid bus line
Upholding Measure U, the progressive tax on big corporations passed by an overwhelming percentage of voters in 2018, is crucial for supporting the growth of business in areas of our city desperate for business activity. I am the only candidate that fully supports Measure U as designed by city staff.
This increased revenue makes our city more appealing to small businesses and residents alike, because of better-funded city services and a lower tax burden for actual small businesses.
By ensuring that big corporations are paying their fair share in business tax, the city can afford the comprehensive city services our residents deserve all while reducing the tax burden felt by real local businesses.
- Uphold Measure U
- Support RichmondBUILD and YouthWORKS, programs that will provide the city with a strong workforce proficiently trained for well-paying trades
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