It’s important to me that our City Councilmembers be able to represent the entirety of our community — because we all have a unique set of experiences that is valuable and makes us who we are.
Growing up, I never imagined I could one day help lead my community. That’s because, unfortunately, there’s never been a Campbell Councilmember who’s grown up in the communities where I come from. My experiences among all our different communities — and my story of going from a low-income local neighborhood to Yale University, the White House, and more — help make me a better leader. It’s those experiences that I’ll bring to the table every day in making the best decisions for our city.
Campbell is a welcoming and diverse place, and I know from firsthand experience that all our residents, no matter who they are or where they come from, care about bettering our community. I know that together, we can ensure that my story one day won’t be so extraordinary, and that any Campbell resident can grow up thinking they can one day help lead their community.
I will direct City staff to develop a proposal for community budgeting. Successfully implemented in nearby San Jose as well as in cities across the nation, community budgeting allows local residents to guide the budgeting process for their own neighborhood or region.
Since neighbors have expertise about the best way to distribute funds, allowing a portion of city funds to be spent in the way most needed by that neighborhood improves the efficiency of the city budgeting process and allows for our budget to truly reflect the needs of our diverse Campbell community.
I will establish a Human Rights Commission, modeled after similar bodies at the County level and in nearby cities. It would take inspiration from the mission statement of the County Commission, in this case advising the City Council “on issues that affect the human and civil rights of all County residents and advocate for and take positive action to eliminate prejudice and discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, cultural background, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or other factors.”
This would include issues of race and equity in Campbell, providing an evaluation on the equity of City policies and current access to City programs and services. It could also take inspiration from the models cities like Austin and Oakland have implemented in City Departments to combat institutional racism and improve the quality of life for their residents.
The Commission would, among other duties, draft and help execute an actionable plan to ensure all Campbell residents are receiving equitable support from our City government, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background.
In a post-pandemic world, I will ensure the City has access to secure and accessible digital systems to allow for City business and public accountability, as well as avenues for community engagement.
It is critical that the public is able to comment and actively participate in Council meetings, regardless of whether they are held in-person or online.
The City Council each year allocates a small amount of funding for reputable nonprofits that can help support the goals of the Council in the community. These can include groups working to reduce domestic violence, provide homelessness services, among others. I will carefully vet such funding, in addition to inviting a diverse array of groups into the process.
Communities of color have a higher probability of falling into homelessness or housing insecurity. The latest Santa Clara County Homeless Point-in-Time Count showed a disproportionate number of unhoused Latinx/Hispanic individuals.
We, as a community, have a responsibility to aggressively combat housing insecurity and affordability issues at their root. We must fight for housing policy that has the potential to make a transformative impact for Campbell.
One of the greatest challenges our community faces is attracting and retaining teachers, as many can no longer afford to live in Campbell or the South Bay. When teachers have to move out, it disrupts our children’s education and threatens the cohesiveness of our community.
I’ll explore the use of city-owned land or the possibility of land swap deals to tackle our housing crisis and support our teachers.
Previously, proposals for new housing developments in the City of Campbell have not maximized their potential to plan for public transit despite a number of individuals and families relying on this service as their only transportation option. This is partly because public transportation is a regional responsibility, while housing and planning is a municipal one.
Currently, proposals must include a “traffic impact report” — often leading to tense disagreements between the City and local residents about the true impact of developments on traffic. Proposals often include mention of nearby public transit, but do not account for the potential growth of new transit lines or potential cuts.
I will mandate that new housing proposals include a “public transit integration report,” requiring our City to communicate with Valley Transportation Authority to coordinate housing and transit needs.
Mental health is an issue identified by the Campbell Youth Commission as a major concern. Our youth especially have significant mental health problems over economic stress at home, caused by the struggles of working class families in Silicon Valley, the fear of losing family members to a broken immigration system, among other factors.
I plan to implement a citywide mental health policy, inspired by San Jose’s model, in order to raise awareness, increase resources for treatment and prevention, and reduce stigma associated with mental health.
Campbell’s current programs to assist small businesses are underutilized. For example, there is a Vacant Storefront Window Treatment Program in which the City partners with local artists to beautify a vacant property, stopping blight in the area and promoting the building to potential new businesses. I will proactively reach out to owners of vacant lots to help promote this program.
We’re in a moment of national reckoning on police use of force issues. I’m proud that in Campbell, much of the conversation this year has been led by cultural and faith leaders., but in my conversations with them, I’ve learned that they have not felt In the past, many of them shared that they had have never been consulted by City leaders on these issues in the past. This is a mistake —because Campbell is a diverse and welcoming community, and we need to engage all parts of that community to have a robust conversation around how to move forward as a city.
For example, important decisions, like the request to spend $250,200 on a military armored vehicle, were done largely out of sight and without significant public input or engagement from these community groups. This needs to change, and I plan to be part of that conversation. — something we must change.
I pledge to meet with every class of Campbell elementary schoolers and share my story — because everyone should grow up believing that they can succeed in their educational journey.