In my town, I fought against the city buying its own homeless hotel, which was located near local schools, churches, and small businesses. We can’t expect a taxpayer-purchased hotel room to solve the bigger problem: After spending several million dollars, some wrap-around services were provided for only 32 rooms. Unhoused residents NEED all-encompassing services to support their desire for a fuller life. On the Council, I was instrumental in bringing in a program, working with the County, to negotiate short-term (90-120 day) housing and accompanying services for homeless individuals in our community. As a realtor, I am working with the County, public/private housing leaders and community organizations to provide affordable housing opportunities for homeless families or those about to lose housing. I am a hands-on leader…I drive my district daily and talk to many of our unhoused individuals. While I oppose encampments in residential neighborhoods, near schools, community parks or living in their cars, I worked to move them off neighborhood curbs and worked with the community to locate a temporary safe, out-of-the-way location that would not invite criminals to prey on these family members. I also work with the VA to put Vets into houses
In the last four years, Contra Costa County has spent over $170 million of your tax dollars toward solving homelessness…yet, we’re not even making a dent in reducing homelessness on our streets. The County needs to try something new. I have the start of a plan to tackle homelessness in our community.
As a retired police officer, you and your family’s safety will always be a top priority to me. In Pittsburg, our Street Enforcement Team (SET) was successful in reducing crime in our town by 23%. While an officer in Pittsburg, I was honored with public safety’s greatest achievement – the Bronze Medal of Valor for Courage for taking on an active shooter by myself. Because of this commitment to public safety, my election is proudly supported by Contra Costa County’s Sheriff, Deputy Sheriffs, Deputy District Attorneys, and our community’s police officers, including local firefighters.
While I am proud of my work as a public safety officer, I do not and have never condoned irresponsible, bad behavior from the officers I managed. While a supervisor/police administrator, I have actually prosecuted or been involved in the prosecution of 8 police officers involved in crimes. Every public servant must be accountable for their actions, removing bad officers and retaining good ones. As a City Councilmember, I championed placing body cameras on each and every officer, including dash cameras on all police vehicles – to ensure further accountability. I fought to retain School Resource Officers (SROs) in our public schools to work with our children and keep them safe during school hours, a fight that we lost, but was worth fighting for. I fought for the hiring of more police officers-to patrol neighborhoods, respond effectively to crimes in progress, and to focus, specifically, on putting fentanyl dealers behind bars and off the streets.
I am an ardent supporter of Contra Costa County’s Urban Limit Line, which limits massive development and preserves many of our beautiful hillsides, parks, trails, and open spaces that make where we live so enjoyable. I believe that if the urban limit line is moved, that decision should be made by voters in that community, not just 5 elected officials. On the City Council, I worked closely with the environmental group, Save Mt. Diablo, to balance the need for new housing with the binding commitment to preserve acres of open space for future generations to come.
Unfortunately, parts of Contra Costa County have become dumping grounds for individuals who illegally dispose of large and small trash items. A drive down Cummings Skyway, Bailey Road, or Kirker Pass Road undoubtedly will reveal old appliances, couches and other household garbage items on the side of the road. Individuals complain to the County, but the dumping continues. On the City Council, I made code enforcement and cleaning the neighborhood up one of my top priorities. By effectively managing the City’s budget, I pushed for the code enforcement budget to DOUBLE and got the support of my colleagues to make this happen. The key is in “driving around” main arteries and being in touch and accessible with the community to see the problem areas and develop an immediate plan to clean up the mess. We can no longer afford to have leaders ignoring the issue. We’re doing the same with landlords who let their rental properties become neighborhood nuisances, driving down residents’ property values. As your Supervisor, you can count on me to be “hands-on” in dealing with blight, dumping and code enforcement issues.
Black, brown, yellow, or white, man or woman, young or old, gay or straight…we ALL deserve to live in a society that embraces our uniqueness and freedom to choose how to live our own lives. I am pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-love and will always support residents’ differing viewpoints, even if they differ from mine. As your representative, my mind, and my door, will always remain open to hearing your point of view on the issues important to you, your family and to our community.
If a politician tells you, if elected, they will reduce traffic in our region…that’s a load of bull. What we CAN do is elect leaders who will FIGHT for the highest amount of funds possible from local, state and federal government to pay for road and freeway improvements…and do this without raising taxes. Our gas prices are already one of the highest in the nation. I also oppose increases to our expensive Bay Area bridge tolls. As your Supervisor, I will keep standing up for efficient use of our road and freeway improvement monies; I will advocate for additional Highway 4 cameras to catch and arrest freeway shooters; and I will work closely with BART representatives to advocate for upgraded train safety and against exorbitant fare increases.
My wife, Kristine and I, own a local small business. We know, firsthand, the challenges that small businesses face to succeed and stay in business. Unfortunately, the high cost of operating, coupled with the rise in homelessness and the threat of theft and nearby crime, make these challenges even more difficult to overcome. On the City Council, I strongly advocated for offering grants to small businesses affected by Covid-19. In October of this year, we set aside $500,000 in funds to help small businesses in our City affected by crime. Much more needs to be done to support our community businesses to help them succeed. I am committed to making that priority if I am elected your representative on the Board of Supervisors.