Q: When’s the last time you contacted your electeds? What was the issue you reached out on?
A: In July, I reached out to all County Supervisors urging them to renew funding for a safe parking program. The Vets Hall program had been very successful but had ended; thankfully, the County extended the program, although at a new location. More to be done…
Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child?
A: Jigsaw puzzle designer! Turns out architecture is a pretty natural progression from jigsaw puzzles.
Q: What is the biggest misconception others have about you?
A: That I’m short. I’m actually 5’-8”. hahahaha
Q: For you, what’s the best part about living in SLO?
A: The people. Locals are really committed to SLO and want to make it the best it can be. I’m not always in alignment with the specific issue people bring up, but I always appreciate that people are willing to jump in and be involved.v
Q: If you had a campaign theme song, what would it be?
A: Shake It Off. There has been a lot of negativity in social media and I’m trying to stay positive.
Q: Who has the best breakfast burrito in town?
A: Tonita’s, on Nipomo. I’m in there pretty frequently getting one for lunch.
Q: Knowing what we know now, would you have wanted to handle the city’s COVID response any differently and in what ways?
A: I think we handled the COVID response well. The County is charged with Public Health and we followed their lead, but also stepped out when needed, e.g., closing bars early and aggressively encouraging wearing of masks when their effectiveness became clear. In the future, we won’t have the learning curve with masks, so we can adopt mask requirements even sooner when appropriate.
Q: Are there any changes you’d like to make to the City’s Climate Action Plan? If so, how?
A: I think the Climate Action Plan for Community Recovery is excellent, especially with the added focus on using climate action as a tool to stimulate economic recovery and address economic disparities.
Q: Do you support Measure G? Why or why not?
A: Absolutely! No one likes taxes, but through outreach and conversations, it is clear our community loves San Luis Obispo and wants to support and maintain our unique character and quality of life. Measure G-20 will support economic recovery, sustain fire safety response, repair potholes, reduce traffic congestion, expand bike lanes, prot ect creeks from pollution, preserve open space, fund homeless prevention programs and more.
Q: With Black Lives Matter movements taking place across the nation and here in SLO, how do you propose to promote racial equality locally?
A: We have so much work to do to dismantle the historic systems of racism that continue to disproportionately impact the lives of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color through disparities in education, health, safety, and economic opportunity. We must prioritize the needs of the BIPOC community, which will support resilient economic recovery, strong actions for environmental justice, and improved quality of life for all members of our community. As a critical next step, I look forward to acting on the recommendations from the City’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force to work towards a SLO where everyone has the opportunity to flourish.
Q: What do you think is the city’s role in attracting more diverse, young professionals to live and work in SLO? What can the City do better?
A: One of the key roles for the city is to help make SLO more affordable for young professionals. We can do that through programs and policies that support more housing options, increased density, and more small units, among others. We can also continue to strengthen opportunities for biking, walking and transit, so residents have more car-free options, which supports climate action and is more affordable. And we must maintain a great quality of life with a thriving downtown, expansive open space, good schools, and engaging activities so that we remain attractive to businesses with head-of-household jobs.
Q: Do you believe adding density to the downtown core is one of the tools to help alleviate our housing crisis? What other tools should the City implement to make SLO a more affordable place to live?
A: Yes. I would like to see downtown become a residential neighborhood again, with smaller units on upper floors of mixed-use building. I think we have other areas outside of downtown that could also support more dense housing and walkable neighborhoods, including South Broad and Mid-Higuera. For the larger developments in the expansion areas (Avila Ranch, San Luis Ranch), we have already put in place requirements to provide a local preference, so more people who already work in town can afford to live in town. As mentioned above, we also need to provide car-free mobility options, both for affordability and climate action.
Q: How will you integrate the concerns of U40’s into your decision-making process? What is your experience with mentoring or amplifying the voices of younger generations?
A: Improving our community for the ‘next generation’ is foundational to my council priorities – housing affordability, climate action, racial and social justice, economic stability. Thankfully, U40’s are increasingly involved in many organizations with which I have a lot of interaction, including SLO U40, Chamber, SLO Climate Coalition, Sunrise, BLM, RACE Matters, ASI, Labor organizations and Downtown SLO, among others. Through our Advisory Body process, we have selected members to include diverse voices, including U40. As an architect, I often work with emerging professionals, including my own staff, with an eye on mentorship and their professional growth. Finally, as a parent of 20-somethings, I have ongoing opportunities to listen, learn and amplify. I look forward to working more with U40’s and imagine regular meetings or workshops to more intentionally identify issues and engage U40 voices.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges SLO faces over the next decade and what are some ways to address it?
A: Our challenges are intertwined, as are our solutions: We must address the climate crisis and economic disparity at the same time, and economic recovery and investment is our opportunity in this moment. We must focus on green jobs, improving the regional jobs/housing balance, addressing the public health emergency of racism, and provide environmental protection for open space and carbon sequestration.