Pasadena is a remarkable city with a storied history. Home of Jackie Robinson and the Tournament of Roses Parade. But all is not well in the City of Roses. As a candidate for Pasadena City Council District 6 I am committed to the following:
Homelessness and affordable housing
Pasadena has made some progress on homelessness but there is a great deal more to be done. The cost of housing continues to rise faster than wages and there remain very few protections for tenants. In fact, a recent report revealed that in the past decade, rents in the Los Angeles are have risen by 65% while incomes rose only 35%. Young families, seniors and others who do not earn even the median income are being forced out.
Real rent control and just cause eviction protections are important homelessness prevention measures as well as effective ways to keep our community intact and support local families. I will fight for these measures. I will also fight for more affordable and permanent supportive housing at every opportunity.
I have signed the #BigRealEstateOut pledge organized by Tenants Together, indicating that I will not be accepting donations from landlords, realtor associations, real estate developers, property management companies, or their PACs and other proxies.
Police Reform and Civilian Oversight
There continues to be a need for community-led process of reform and oversight of the Pasadena Police Department, especially with regards to Use of Force policies. For years now the community has been calling for an independent, civilian oversight committee. So far nothing has changed. I will fight for civilian oversight of the Pasadena Police Department.
High Quality Education
Pasadena has remarkable public schools and one of the best community colleges in the state of California. I will ensure that that our prized educational resources have the funding they need so we can build on the excellent work we have already accomplished. I support the Schools & Communities First initiative to return $12 billion to California schools and communities by closing the property tax loophole on corporate real estate.
A Local Green New Deal
Pasadena has made some strides towards a green future, such as gradual movement towards renewable energy but more is needed. Pasadena needs to embrace a local version of the Green New Deal including transitioning to 100% renewable energy and eliminating carbon emissions by 2030. Pasadena Water and Power’s current goal is a mere 60% renewable sources by 2030 and relies on voluntary action by residents and businesses. This is not nearly aggressive enough.
We need to work harder and faster on moving away from a transportation system that prioritizes cars. Transportation needs to be organized around moving people in carbon neutral ways. Improving options for cycling, walking, and public transportation that is free to the rider must be high priorities.
Greater density of affordable housing in the central transportation corridors will allow people to walk and cycle and use other minimally impactful devices like scooters while also addressing the city’s lack of affordable housing. Pasadena’s current waste management strategy aims for Zero Waste by 2040. Again, this is too little, too late. We can do better and when I am on the city council I will fight for these more aggressive strategies to mitigate the climate crisis.
We can achieve goals in line with a Green New Deal in Pasadena by 2030 but we have to get started now. Incremental action and half measures have been inadequate for decades and they are even more inadequate now.
I will not be accepting campaign donations from fossil fuel companies.
Restoring the 710 corridor
Multiple issues remain to be decided regarding how to use the CalTrans property formerly held for the now defunct 710 freeway extension, including the 710 stub. A serious community based process is essential. Whatever is done, the priority for this space needs to focus on affordable housing and shared public green space.
The Arroyo Seco
Amidst the competing demands on the Arroyo Seco and the Rose Bowl, the preservation of the natural environment and local residents’ needs must be prioritized. The city should invest in trail maintenance and restoration and create a minimum impact plan to ensure that the beautiful Arroyo Seco can be enjoyed by all the residents of Pasadena.
Campaign Finance Reform
There are currently no limits on campaign contributions from individuals, corporations, of PACs in Pasadena municipal elections. Elected offices can essentially be purchased by the person with the deepest pockets. And those donations don’t come without strings attached—whether to the police, to real estate, to the fossil fuel industry, or other special interests. Pasadena should also adopt publicly funded elections so that ordinary citizens of the city can be judged on their merits and not on their connections to wealthy donors.