Given this pandemic, El Cerrito must be cost-effective and operate on lean principles. While citywide budget cuts are imminent, we cannot make these cuts on the back of working families already being crushed by the economics of this pandemic. As Councilmember, I will:
Build financial reserves so we can prepare the City for long-awaited capital improvement projects.
Be a voice for working people. I am not a proponent of layoffs because far too often, women and people of color in entry-level positions are the ones who have to bear the brunt. Instead, I’d support furloughs as a way to move through these economically challenging times.
Commit to working with organized labor to empower El Cerrito’s working families. Unions occupy a critical role in building a healthy, diverse and thriving middle-class.
SMART DEVELOPMENT & SMALL BUSINESS EMPOWERMENT
This pandemic has exacerbated the housing insecurity already experienced by many. We are also seeing so many small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, permanently shut their doors. On City Council:
I will advocate for forward-thinking zoning, and focus on underutilized areas by our two BART stations and other transit-friendly solutions.
I will work to identify additional streams of funding for our housing and infrastructure projects, and put our community to work and generate additional revenue.
I will work to restructure our business and property taxes, and licensing fees to be more responsive to the needs of small business owners.
I will advocate for small businesses as they navigate though these uncertain times, including additional COVID19-related resources, small business loans, and rent negotiations with landlords.
BUILD A SAFER & DISASTER-RESILIENT EL CERRITO
The pandemic has taught us that we are not prepared nor equipped to deal with a major disaster. As a Bay Area native, I clearly remember the impacts of the 1989 Earthquake and the Oakland Hills Firestorm of 1991. The fact is El Cerrito is located in a high-risk fire zone, and on a major fault line. As a community, we cannot forget these risks. At City Hall, I will:
Secure funding for our fire stations and emergency services.
Work with property owners to ensure our residential and commercial buildings are compliant with our city's safety codes.
REIMAGINING A 21ST CENTURY COMMUNITY SERVICE-DRIVEN POLICING
For far too long, our criminal justice system has not worked for Black and brown communities. But we have a rare and unique opportunity to correct the wrongs of the past. The El Cerrito Police Department is a progressive and community-oriented agency. As a former staff member of the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability, I understand the complexities of policing, the importance of civilian oversight and engagement. At City Hall, I will:
Make data-drive decisions in funding the El Cerrito Police Department.
Work with my colleagues to provide strong oversight and transparency.
Create a space for dialogue between our ECPD and our communities.