I was recently asked the following questions and wanted to share my ideas and more about my platform
How do you plan to get new investors to dedicate to our city?
Monrovia needs to use its strengths as a historic real Mayberry-like small town. We need to join the business community with Monrovia’s history. Monrovia can attract new business by marketing its historic charm and character. As a member of Monrovia’s Historical Preservation Commission and as a MOHPG board member I recognize the asset that history is for Monrovia.
Old town is Monrovia’s front yard. I will work to maintain and improve the street fair, improve pedestrian safety, parking, and special events. In addition, I want to create a Route 66 committee to ensure Monrovia’s small businesses benefit economically so jobs can be created from the Route 66 centennial. Again this joins the business community with Monrovia’s history. Market Monrovia as the Route 66 destination worth the trip!
If you could implement your own project to the city of Monrovia, what would it be and why?
I would propose we create a committee on housing affordability and policy in Monrovia to make recommendations on how to deal with the high cost of housing and where Monrovia is going on housing policy.
I fully realize that the state government has taken away a lot of local control from us on housing matters. However, if we are required to build more rental housing why can’t we instead build entry-level condominiums that are affordable to first-time buyers.
The American dream is homeownership, as policy, we should strive towards this goal instead of just building rental units. However, we need to join with other cities in the San Gabriel Council of Governments and other regional bodies so that we are successful in overcoming obstacles that state government may pose.
In addition, I believe that existing Monrovia resident renters and veterans should get priority in any new owner-occupied housing units. Our children should not have to move out of Monrovia to find an affordable place to call home.
Other issues a committee on housing should look at include: inclusionary zoning ordinances, incentivizing homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (ADU’s), creating overlay zones, and committing to studying a community land trust. Community land trust allows ownership and equity to be built up for families that would otherwise not be able to do so. I want to see ownership in the American Dream, not lifelong renters, build equity, genarational wealth, retirement with no debt. Homeownership should be the goal.
Are there any plans or projects you have in mind to tackle the issue of homeless in Monrovia?
First, we need to fundamentally change the backward way we view and treat those who are homeless. Second, the problem is regional and statewide. It is not confined, begins, nor ends within the boundaries of Monrovia and the solution requires that we join with Los Angeles County. We can't do it alone. Third, those who are homeless are not a monolithic group, they include people who are down and out because they lost a job, go through substance abuse, suffer from mental health issues, and some just want to be left alone.
People don’t have shelter for a reason. Most had housing before but lost it due to some issue or problems. We need to treat the problem, I.e. substance abuse, mental health, lack of job training, opportunity etc. The solution is a package, one that includes treatment for the problems listed above. If the government just provides housing those other problems still persist, these are just a few factors that caused homelessness in the first place. Treat the causes.
The problem of homelessness affects us all. It is one beyond Monrovia’s borders and its financial resources to treat alone. The issue is regional and statewide. We need to recognize this and partner with organizations and LA County for a comprehensive solution that includes as stated previously, treatment for substance abuse, mental health matters, and job training-not just housing.
The homeless are not a monolithic group, they are as varied as the general population. We can and morally should help those that need help and are willing to enroll in treatments and programs. But we can’t force ourselves on those who do not want our help. It is not a crime to be homeless, we should respect those who just want to be left alone.
In summary, to answer your question on the homeless my thoughts answer the what, where, and who. Again:
What: we need comprehensive programs to focus on the causes of homeless and either treat them or provide opportunity
Where: the solution is on a larger scale than we see in Monrovia, we cannot face it alone
Who: identify those who want to be helped and start there
That would be my plan to tackle the homeless issue.
What do you believe to be the biggest issue concerning Monrovia as a city and the biggest problem concerning the citizens of Monrovia?
I believe public safety is the biggest issue concerning Monrovia and its residents.
According to crime rates online, “the chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Monrovia is 1 in 38. Based on FBI crime data, Monrovia is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to California, Monrovia has a crime rate that is higher than 73% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes” (Neighborhood Scout, 2022).
Providing public safety is the #1 job of government. We need to give local law enforcement and firefighters all the resources they need to perform the job. This is personal to me. In November of 2020, our home was the unintended victim of local gun violence. Luckily, no one in my family was hurt. We need to feel safe and secure in our homes and in our city.
Providing public safety is not just the job of law enforcement, it’s all our responsibility to help make our community safe. Just handing the police a blank check is not the answer. We need to meet them halfway. We all need to do our part. I have been a member of the Bradoaks neighborhood watch and encourage other neighborhoods to create their own neighborhood watch groups.
“Monrovia, CA Crime Rates.” NeighborhoodScout, https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/monrovia/crime.amp.