Get informed before voting in Costa Mesa's first district elections.
Steve is not a politician, he is the Westside neighborhood activist. with a long and proven track record of identifying and solving problems that have negatively impacted the Westside. Despite government policies, he has fought to improve the quality of life in District IV. He has championed causes at both local and state levels. Read more about Steve here.
4 million pounds of clattering glass echoed through Westside homes before our City abated a rogue recycler. Steve led residents through multiple public hearings. The local waste stream recyclable recovery increased 99%, saving residents money.
Bar owners partnered with a Ponzi ran an illegal and unsafe venue until our City redtagged the building as the band arrived to play. Steve identified this problem and persisted with city officials until this unsafe and law-breaking venue closed down.
Steve Chan identified a Wall Street backed business harming the community using predatory business practices in District IV and over 20 other locations throughout California. He stopped them after city officials looked away. Read about the Lost Decade on W. 19th Street.
"Local politics is supposed to be non-partisan. But we live in an era of political extremes. I've watched both 'sides' lead our city down the road of bad policy, preferential treatment, and dogmatic power lust. Costa Mesa politicians seeking the #bigLife have negatively impacted quality of life in our City. ."
Our City Council proceedings and decisions are widely viewed by the public as partisan, and even unethical. Mistakes are not being made, bad decisions are. In Newport Beach, this is openly labeled 'corruption'. I pledge to support ethics training and an ethics policy for all commissions and the City Council.
Too many city council members claim transparency and open door policies. The reality is special interests and those that share the same, usually extreme, ideas get preferential treatment. District IV has felt the brunt of this. I pledge to have an open door policy, and to base decisions on the hearings, and not in the secret meetings before them.
*+One pocket park on Shalimar
City Council Voting Power*
*Six Districts & Mayor
Two Costa Mesa voting districts, IV & V, host many roots that provide an outsize impact on the entire City. Like a canary in the coalmine, what is good for District IV is good for Costa Mesa.
One of our City's policies, rightfully so, is to protect and foster our business community. This makes great sense, especially since our City is home to some powerhouse businesses and industries. But our policies can't be blind, or worse, selective. District IV hosts some businesses that go rogue, and hide the negative impacts they make under fresh paint. If elected, I will advocate the city continue to foster free market policies, as long as businesses operate within the law. When local businesses go rogue and operate above the law, their negative impacts are local, and harm honest competitors and the community. The City cannot be allowed to be blind to this. Read about the rogue behavior that led to a Lost Decade on 19th Street.
State prison reform, a national opioid crisis, the locally operating residential treatment industry, and a homelessness crisis, have all combined in Costa Mesa to create a perfect storm. The most visible effect is a homeless and transient population. Our first responders, fire and police, are both stretched, understaffed, and policy-bound. As few as ten years ago, most of the homeless in Costa Mesa were to be found in District IV and District V in an arc stretching from Talbert Nature Preserve, over the Soup Kitchen and Lighthouse, and then to Lion's Park. The problem now is city wide.
District IV and V residents no longer have to face these societal problems 'alone'. The high profile problem reveals that many cities in Orange County are not sufficently engaged in these problems and rely on 'sucker cities' to solve them. Recent events reveal that Costa Mesa is doing more than its fair share in providing social safety nets. If I am elected, I will suppport Costa Mesa continuing to 'pull its weight' in this area. As society gets a handle on this program, evenutally Costa Mesa can start pulling back as other cities step up to do their fair share.
I will oppose expanding services focused on these troubled populations in this district AND the city.
District IV is densely populated. In fact, the density of over 21,000 people per square mile is higher than that found in West Hollywood or San Francisco. The district is completely enclosed on three sides by the much lower density District V, and "walled off" on the north with (fenced-in) open space. There are a few arterial streets and these are loaded with commuter and cut-through traffic especially during the rush hours. The district contains a large amount of small to medium sized apartment properties.
Many District IV residents recognize traffic speed on surface streets as a problem. Pomona and Placentia are frequently cited, and both have long stretches between lights or stop signs to build excessive speed.
Parking congestion is a problem all over Costa Mesa. It is particulary acute in District IV. Many residents complain of apartment dwellers using scarce street parking, sometimes blocks away from their homes. There is anecdotal evidence some apartment properties are charging extra for parking spaces, with tenants opting to park on surface streets in lower desnity residential neighborhoods.
If elected I will advocate for measures to mitigate these issues.
District IV's small area, high population, and rental property density are unique in Costa Mesa. Many neighborhoods have their own character and do not have the scale of the larger neighborhoods in other districts. Many residential properties zoned R2 are owner-occupied.
Development standards throughout the city are governed by the General Plan. Since District IV has so many unique characteristics, if elected, I would work toward revisiting the General Plan with an eye to input from within the district itself. A one-size fits all set of development standards isn't appropriate when taking into account the great differences in density in District IV and other city districts.
Every Costa Mesa voting District should have an equal seat on the City Council. The current system, approved by THREE voters, is six district council members, plus an at-large elected mayor. This setup allows ONE district where the at-large elected mayor lives, to have half (2 of 4 votes) of any majority vote on any matter. This district only needs to get two more votes to reach a majority. Every other district only has one-fourth of the majority required - to reach a majority, a District Council Member where the at-large elected Mayor does not live, must get three more votes to reach a majority on any matter.
The portion of each district's population that registers to vote, and participates by voting, critically factors into the ability of any one district to get behind and elect an at-large elected mayoral candidate. Districts with lower voter participation are at a distinct disadvantage in a system that favors a mayoral candidate that simply runs strong in their own neighborhood.