I know firsthand how, in an instant, you can lose everything. My family painstakingly saved up to buy a house after renting in the Campbell community when I was growing up. But in the Great Recession of 2007-08, we were foreclosed on and lost our house. Today, tragically, I see my story reflected all around us, as a pandemic-induced recession threatens our neighbors with eviction and homelessness.
Luckily, there are untapped resources the City can leverage to reduce homelessness. That’s because in 2016, the County of Santa Clara passed Measure A, a county-wide ballot measure that created a $950 million affordable housing bond. This created an unprecedented opportunity to alleviate homelessness and support our unhoused community members. Despite this important step forward, not a single Measure A site has been built in Campbell to date. Our City must do more to become a leader in supporting our unhoused neighbors.
Currently, zero low-income housing developments have been built in Campbell under Measure A, despite the fact that it creates a County bond to fund such developments.
I will direct City staff to prepare a report identifying a list of appropriate sites and present it to the City Council, allowing us to move forward in partnership with the County.
The City of Mountain View has implemented a program to allow unhoused individuals to park their cars in designated spaces overnight so as to reduce disruption to the community while combating stigma around homelessness and increasing safety for those who may not have a place to sleep.
I would implement this in partnership with local nonprofits and faith organizations with unused parking lots they would like to designate for this purpose.
I will also support smart state legislation such as Buffy Wicks’ AB 1851 — the “Yes in God’s Backyard” bill.
While we must do more to leverage existing Measure A funds, the County of Santa Clara has also expressed an openness to reform the Measure A fund to ensure more of our unhoused population can be cared for. As Councilmember, I will explore these avenues to ensure the City is making use of every opportunity to reduce homelessness.
The City of Campbell ought to rely on the expertise of local organizations such as Destination: Home, as well as other nonprofits and faith organizations, when considering public policy to reduce homelessness. I plan to work together with these groups and actively engage them in the policymaking process.
As Councilmember, I will institute a City-led donation drive to increase resources for our unhoused residents in partnership with local nonprofits, foundations, and other organizations. I will also personally support other regional efforts to reduce homelessness.
In order to keep our small town feel, we have to ensure Campbell families can continue to live here instead of being priced out. That means continuing to approve new housing stock so that we can have a place for all those who want to make Campbell their home.