The first and last impression Riverside has on our fellow residents and guests lie in the form of our roads, bridges, sidewalks, and trees. Infrastructure and community spaces that were renovated and restored during the Riverside Renaissance were not allocated the necessary funds for proper upkeep. Through two separate rate increases, Measure Z and Utility 2.0, residents of Riverside were promised more routine upkeep of our roads, pipes, electrical lines, and trees. Promises made must be promises kept.
I am prepared to look at infrastructure in a comprehensive manner. Residents deserve better than a ten year waiting list for tree trimming and street lights that are deteriorating faster than they can be repaired. Whether it is the historic towering cypress trees in the Wood Streets, the leaning street lights of Downtown, or the potholes that plague countless roads in all Ward 1 neighborhoods, I understand the infrastructure needs that cannot continue to be ignored.
Ward 1 must lead the charge in looking towards Riverside's future while using the knowledge of our past as a tool for new development. With the need for senior housing, affordable housing, more local jobs, and better quality jobs Riverside is not currently prepared to meet the needs of a quickly growing population. We must promote economic development by engaging businesses with the 55,000+ college students that reside in our city. Our intellectual capital is a coveted resource to many companies and organizations. Through these partnerships, we can build upon our specific assets and encourage high-tech jobs that are rooted in renewable energy and local investment.
I have made a name for myself in Riverside's historic preservation circles. While the value of our historic districts are ignored by city leadership that is willing to sell any parcel of land to any developer for any project, I am proud to stand firm in underscoring the importance of Ward 1, and Riverside, holding itself to a higher standard by ensuring every development makes sense in its surroundings. Developments that complement the area, make sense in the neighborhood, and provide strong job opportunities for Riversiders are projects that I am prepared to encourage.
Enhanced Quality of Life
A broad range from caring for our most vulnerable populations to having the necessary law enforcement to maintain a safe ward and city, quality of life issues continually remain at the forefront of local government obligations. Ward 1 is the center of Riverside's commerce, government, and recreation industries, and the Ward 1 councilperson must be prepared to work tirelessly at ensuring safe parks, safe business districts, and safe neighborhoods. I am prepared and motivated to go the distance to fight for a safer ward by witnessing first-hand the security issues people face in each area of Ward 1 and how residents are prepared to challenge the status quo.
Access to safe, recreation activities at all of Ward 1's seven parks is a challenge I am ready to take on by advocating for the addition of more accessible open lands for children and families to enjoy healthy, outdoor activities and Riverside's year-round sunshine. By advocating for the site of Old Chinatown, the Trujillo Adobe, along with the need for the preservation of the Northside's open lands, I continue to be at the forefront of many of these discussions.
As Riverside continues to be the fastest growing area in our region, the quality of life needs will continue to grow. We cannot continue to work in silos to address many of our greatest challenges. To adequately address homelessness we must engage in comprehensive, productive partnerships between the City of Riverside, local non-profit organizations, multiple municipalities and County of Riverside offices to bring positive results and long term solutions that address the underlying issues of homelessness, like mental illness, drug addiction, job insecurity, and lack of affordable housing.