Wouldn’t you love to see a cleaner, safer Oceanside?
Over the last year, I’ve listened to people from all across the political spectrum share the same sentiment–we need to clean up our city! The proposed solutions may be different, but we can all agree that this is a major problem. Oceanside residents pay a lot of money to live in a seaside paradise, but increasingly we see things like roads not being maintained, public spaces filled with trash and yes, I can’t believe I have to say this: people defecating in our streets!!
It is beyond frustrating! Like many of you, I wondered why all the money we pay in taxes doesn’t seem to help, so I started digging into the city budgets several years ago. The estimated city budget for 2020/2021 is over $500 MILLION, including funds set aside for Anti-Graffiti, Homelessness, Housing, Public Works, and more. So why, with all of that money, is our city still filled with homeless encampments, graffiti, potholes, and litter?
Three of my opponents are on the City Council but haven’t done enough to address the issue. Part of the problem is that the root causes weren’t identified. In terms of the homeless, the number one challenge is that the court decision, Martin v. Boise, has tied our hands. That case set precedent that as long as there is not adequate shelter available, the unhoused are allowed to live in public spaces. That’s the law as it stands today. So the most important thing we can do right now is to invest in homeless shelters. Without enough shelter space, police can ticket all day and all night but the cases will be thrown out in court. It’s a WASTE of time and money at a moment when we have to be very strategic in our spending.
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COVID-19 is creating even more housing challenges. It is estimated that as many as 30 million people could become homeless in the next few months if appropriate action isn’t taken. Oceanside is not remotely equipped to handle that kind of crisis because we haven’t even handled the housing crisis that existed before the pandemic.
As a small business owner and public health educator, I know that we can identify waste and inefficiencies in our city budget and do a much better job of keeping our city clean and safe. That requires a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective, not the same kind of thinking that created our current problems. You don’t have to be Einstein to understand that!
But let’s be real–not all of the people living on the streets want housing or help. The long term homeless tend to have mental health, substance abuse, or physical impairments making their situation more complex. We can save money by moving homeless interactions and outreach to trained social workers who are equipped to deal with the various issues that might be involved, thereby freeing up police officers to focus more on violent crime.
We don’t have a funding problem. We have a leadership problem.
I’m running for Mayor of Oceanside to bring a new vision, public health expertise, and problem-solving to improving our city. I’m not accepting support from any special interests, PACs, or SuperPACs. In fact, I’m not soliciting contributions at all since the pandemic hit because I would prefer that those who are able to contribute to a local charity or food bank to help our residents through this crisis.
I believe it is important that voters get detailed information from candidates running for office on what exactly they will do if elected. I have plans for reducing homelessness, addressing public safety, protecting our environment, helping veterans, increasing government accountability, and more.
I’m running to represent THE PEOPLE of Oceanside and I would be honored to have your vote.
NOTE: All registered voters in California will receive a mail-in ballot. The Postmaster General is anticipating delays for the mail that could impact our election, so it is imperative that you fill out your ballot and either turn it in in-person or mail it as soon as possible. There will be fewer polling places due to COVID-19. Ballots will begin to be mailed out the week of October 5th. Information about filling out your ballot and polling locations is available here.