I've raised a family two doors away from the soup kitchen here in District IV, for nearly twenty five years. I am very proud of my two oldest kids who went through the Newport Mesa USD system, scholarshipped into UC Berkeley, and are now in the work force making their way in life.
I have worked with City Hall over the last ten years, and have been heavily involved in issues central to District IV. Sometimes I've worked with them, and sometimes it seems like all I do is fight City Hall and beyond!
I have led my neighbors, building coalitions when needed, across age groups and ethnicities. Together, we have cracked open problems and worked to solve them, at both local and state agency levels.
I am not 'for Republicans' or 'for Democrats' - I am for Costa Mesa. District IV and Costa Mesa deserve better than the partisan dogma that not only divides us, but hides our real problems. Swept under the carpet problems don't get solved.
So often, the obvious solution is the right and legal one. Costa Mesa policy-making has become dominated by special interests that get preferential above the law treatment. We need leadership that won't undermine the law for 'friends' & 'donors'.
In the last decade, I and others have watched city policy making at work in the City Council. Gone are the days when local decisions were made for the good of the community. In recent administrations, elected officials increasingly and openly divide themselves into parties. And increasingly, those divisions are funded by special interests that need city approvals.
City Council decision-making driven by partisan and special interest funding, backroom deals, and politics have negatively impacted District IV, and the city. It is time to have leadership free from party constraints, and that can make decisions good for the community.
The problem with extremist-driven, politics-driven, and special interest driven decision making, is that these form policies that effectively blind our City to the problems they create. This lowers the standard of living and quality of life, impairs property values, and hurts our businesses. I've identified and fought against all of these.
Many things in law are automatic. There is no gray area, unless there is a paid attorney there to poke at, make, or claim loopholes. All of these occur now in our City and District IV has suffered the brunt of many of these. Now that our District has the opportunity to seat a representative on the City Council, we need leadership that supports non-extremist decision making.
Cooperation among locally-elected officials belonging to different parties is necessary for the good of the community. This is missing in Costa Mesa in many instances. Many matters that come before the Council result in split votes, and those splits reflect divisions between the philosphical differences between the two parties.
Local decision making should be non-partisan. Costa Mesa, and District IV, needs leadership that puts the community before political affiliation. Both sides of the aisle have taken turns leading our City down a negative path. It's time to put a stop to this.
Before I decided to run, I met with ALL the other candidates. It was easy to see that they meant well, were young and enthusiastic, and each had party backing. It was very disconcerting to realize that all the other candidates were very partisan. In Costa Mesa, like the vast majority of cities across the U.S., local elections (ballots) are non-partisan. In Costa Mesa today, that is in name only.
And that is a problem. District IV and the Westside have serious problems. Much of these are the result of mistakes, oversight, or outright preferential treatment. When young politicians cut their teeth in this kind of environment, it was easy to see that local problems would continue to get the same-old treatment. And those young politicians are being led, not by constituents, but by party leadership. District IV and Costa Mesa need better and deserve more.