Below are some of my responses to the endorsement questionnaire for the local political action committee Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF PAC).
What is your vision for Fullerton?
I see Fullerton as a place where neighborhoods are respected and people are encouraged to participate in their community.
But there are many things on the current landscape that continue to interrupt the ability of our community to participate.
These are some egregious examples.
- The inclusion of map 8a in the district elections ballot initiative ii disenfranchises voters on many levels.
- The refusal by our City Council to overturn the West Coyote Hills Development Agreement and all other approvals as stated in the referendum is an affront to 61% of the voters in Fullerton who said “No” to development.
- The continued threats of overdevelopment throughout the city without regard to the concerns expressed by the community, such as impacts from increased traffic and a lack of funding to provide infrastructure and safety resources long-term for the increasing population, are short-sighted and detrimental to our community.
As much as there are major challenges for the community, there are also many opportunities.
These and other problems can be resolved by electing leadership that includes, consults, and respects the community when making decisions. By increasing communications channels, ensuring adequate time to learn and discover different options, and having a City Council that knows who they are elected to serve, more Fullerton residents will participate, knowing that their input is valued by the City Council and integral to Fullerton to be the best it can be.
What do you hope to accomplish?
- Resolve the overdevelopment battles that are recurring by revising the Fullerton Plan/General Plan (GP). It is apparent that the GP does not express the community’s vision in regards to new development
- Preserve Coyote Hills as 100% open space.
- Work with our Chief of Police to support and expand upon reform efforts
We need to continue to maintain parks and provide adequate facilities for people to enjoy the parks. Our parks are more than just sports fields; they are places where community members gather.
I would like to see public facilities within our parks made more available to community members. Our park facilities should not be seen as a source of revenue. We need to lower the cost of using public buildings and community centers for residents to utilize.
Hillcrest Park’s trees are dying. We need to prioritize what makes a park a park – shade trees and green spaces where children can explore nature.
West Coyote Hills
The intent of Fullerton voters can be contorted by legal arguments (at the expense of Fullerton voters) under the direction of the current City Council to say our “NO” vote does not equate to no development. But we know what we meant and the City Council should respect that.
I stand behind the will of Fullerton voters to preserve Coyote Hills as 100% open space.
We need to revise the General Plan and ensure policies reflect the needs and desires of Fullerton residents, rather than the goals of outside developers to maximize their profit today at the expense of Fullerton Residents tomorrow.
We need to revisit the new medium to low density infill zoning (PRD-I) that was recently approved by City Council and keep working on the proposed high density mixed-use zoning (M-U) to ensure neither can result in unintended consequences to our neighborhoods.
I am an advocate for many reforms that would encourage greater voter participation in our City Council elections such as ranked choice voting, local campaign finance ordinances, or district elections.
Unfortunately, our opportunity to create new district elections was tainted by the self-interests of the current City Council who feared a loss of power under district elections. Their hostility to district elections has resulted in their unanimous support for a worst-case example of gerrymandering.
In the map selected by our City Council, the downtown neighborhoods are divided five ways to prevent downtown residents from being able to elect a representative of their choosing.
The cutout created in the northeast to protect an incumbent’s reelection in 2018 divides the active and cohesive Rolling Hills neighborhood into two districts. The Princeton Circle/Yale (sparkle balls hanging from the trees at Christmas time) neighborhood is cross-wise cut into two different districts. The voice of Asians within what-was-supposed-to-be an Asian majority Citizen Voting Age district was reduced to a plurality under 8a.
I encourage all Fullerton voters to vote NO on Measure II to protect the rights of Fullerton voters to elect City Council representatives of their choosing.
“Surplus” Property, the Hunt Library, etc.
First of all, the Hunt Branch Library is not “surplus property!” There was an emergency closure due to a large homeless population that has since been removed. Because the City Council does not have the will to fully fund the Hunt or even our main branch, the Hunt was leased to a church at a discounted rate.
Funding to the Hunt Branch Library should be restored and the Hunt should be reopened for the whole community.
This rare city asset is currently shuttered to all but the church membership under threat of arrest as posted in multiple locations on the property.
We need a careful vetting by the public of whether and how public owned properties should be sold-off. Each should be considered with the goal of maximizing the benefit to the residents.
We need to resolve our transportation challenges in this city. Traffic is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. It impacts each of us regardless of where we live in the city.
Downtown Fullerton has a drinking problem.
We need a council that will no longer turn a blind eye to the regular lawlessness that threatens the safety of residents and visitors and leaves behind an unpleasant environment for legitimate daytime businesses and their patrons.
Historic Fullerton is being chipped away project by project, decision by decision. We need to support our historic neighborhoods and preserve historic structures at every opportunity.
We need to restore the criteria for designating historic properties before we feel the detrimental effects of the City Council’s recent decision to add new burdensome hurdles.
The complete questionnaire and answers are available here.