My campaign is built on three main values: safety, freedom and opportunity. Safety is my number one priority, plain and simple. It is the foundation for a healthy community and is important in making all other issues solvable. San Clemente is just safer than 53% of U.S. cities - from crime to a safe infrastructure, we must work towards being more than that.
Crime is not a problem that we can just throw money at. The first step to ending crime isn't stopping the crime, but working to prevent the crime from happening. The current City Council allocates 14.9 million dollars to police, and year by year that number has been steadily increasing. However, I believe if we work with the community in creating affordable housing, adopting youth guidance and drug prevention programs while working with our homeless, we can stop the increase of crime. Crime affects our communities and our pocket books; I will not spend money that isn't necessary. By believing that in solving the root of the problem we can prevent crime from happening.
Safety is more than crime. I trust in the wonders of a strong infrastructure - from the Pier to our roads, I will ensure that San Clemente is delivering the best standard of living for all of its citizens. Crumbling public parks, buildings, and amenities are unsafe conditions for living and encourage bad behavior. If we want to be a city that works for our citizens - and beyond that, tourists - then I will listen to our community's concerns and invest research, money, and time into creating a cleaner, friendlier, and overall safer city for all.
The rest of my priorities relate to safety, and will go in depth on how I believe we can work to solve them.
It's no secret that San Clemente's homeless population has continued to grow at rapid rates. The rest of Orange County is rejecting our brothers and sisters, putting the spotlight on us to make the change. Being one of the single biggest issues affecting our community, our city council has done little to ensure that we protect our neighborhoods, and more importantly employ and find permanent housing for the homeless.
As the growing amount of homelessness continues and housing becomes more expensive, we need to do all we can to prevent this polarization. I will work hand in hand with churches, individuals, and organizations to ensure that no person of our community feels left behind or unable to make something of themselves.
I am a strong believer in Housing First, to ensure that those without a home have the foundation to get the tools available to move into a working society. This starts with a stable and safe home. Housing First has dropped homelessness by 92% in Utah, and has proven to change the lives of individuals, businesses, and communities as a whole.
I will look for comprehensive and cost effective solutions to shrink the homeless population and stimulate the economy. After all, we can't just create housing. I will work to welcome business to San Clemente and create the jobs needed to serve the community. This issue affects all of Orange County, but San Clemente has the unique opportunity to be the city that leads in creating positive solutions and building a foundation for an economy that works for everyone. The Orange County Board of Supervisors and our current City Council is failing to solve this issue, it's time for we the people to take this problem into our own hands and act to get closer to helping those in need and making a community that benefits all.
The TCA's toll road is an issue on every San Clemente citizen's mind. We as citizens realize what this long, unfair and avoidable problem would do to our community. The current toll road's plans would be bad for three reasons: it would be disastrous for our environment, it would increase construction and traffic for years, and would only benefit a few by not being free. We need to focus on plans that will do the least amount of damage to our environment and alleviate traffic for all of San Clemente, in the most comprehensive way.
Safety is my number one priority. In turn, we must keep our beaches, oceans, and our environment healthy, to benefit our community and keep San Clemente as the most beautiful city in Orange County. The TCA hasn't provided any plans in which the environment wouldn't be impacted negatively and an environmental report hasn't been filed. I believe in protecting our coast and protecting the land that we will give over to our children. The TCA isn't fulfilling their promises, and is untrustworthy; the toll road isn't ever going to be free and is will be an expensive private amenity that will only benefit a few.
San Clemente needs a break, in traffic and in construction. I will not stand for construction that will create a higher traffic flow and make San Clemente less of a tourist destination, less of being a Spanish village by the sea - and more of a traffic town by a polluted ocean.
Protecting our coast
Our community relies on our ocean and beaches, as much as they rely on us. If we believe in safety, for our children, animals, and our community as a whole, then we have to do what is necessary to protect our coast.
The San Onofre nuclear power plant is one of the biggest issues threatening our coast, and thus our community. The nuclear waste being stored is not being safe and if a natural disaster occurs, thousands could die, along with the death of our beautiful coast. Southern California Edison has rejected the demands of our community to move the storage, store the waste in a safe way, or even open up the conversation with the public. If on the council, I will be strong in sending a message, that we demand Edison listens to the facts and safely store the waste. They are making moves to threaten our community in the name of profit.
I will push for federal figures to come down to our community and listen to our demands, while enacting smart and safe solutions like the HELMS proposal.
In the meantime, I have been an advocate for making San Clemente a green city. There is no reason why San Clemente can't follow in the steps of over 65 cities and lead in being an 100% renewable city. We can adopt plans that our sister cities, Solana Beach, San Diego, La Mesa, Encinitas, Del Mar and more have begun to work towards. I believe in working with energy companies and moving San Clemente to a CCA (community choice aggregation) to begin to make the move towards being 100% renewable by 2035. San Clemente can buy it's own energy from the wholesale market, sell it to San Clemente residents for low rates, have whatever percentage of renewable energy as we want, while not being beholden to Southern California Edison. If elected, I would begin to push for this and other comprehensive green plans to make San Clemente's future more sustainable, friendly and have our city be a leading force behind a movement gaining massive amounts of momentum.
The only way San Clemente can keep a competitive edge in being eco-friendy, welcoming tourist and lowering the cost of energy for everyone, is if we become some of the first adopters of these smart, clean, and cheap green energy plans.
For over 20 years, our community has been pressuring the San Clemente City Council to adopt laws that require our governemnt to be transparent. These types of laws are called Sunshine Laws. This would require certain proceedings of government agencies to be open or available to the public. In other words, all government documents would be open to the public. Without these laws in place, our community can't be given the necessities and protections we deserve.
Certain members of the council can't even receive documents needed for decision making from other agencies of San Clemente; that's unacceptable. Our current council won't even put Sunshine Laws up for a vote. My first action as your councilman would be to put these laws to a vote. There is a problem that isn't being discussed enough, when our council members claim to be in favor of the laws but won't vote for them. There is inaction, we need action.
Why should our city council keep OUR documents private? Who do our representatives work for? That's right, we the people. So let's make it happen. This is the type of progress I am looking for. More transparency, less covering up the information we need to know.