5 Point Plan
My Commitment to You
People love living in Pleasant Hill. For decades, it has been a place to raise a family, to run a business, to get an education, to work and to play. Today, that spirit continues to draw people to come to Pleasant Hill and call it home. With that unprecedented population growth though, Pleasant Hill faces a number of challenges. We cannot be timid in our response. We need to renew that welcoming spirit and improve the quality of life by delivering concrete, common sense results. My commitment to you is to advocate for bold solutions that take advantage of opportunities to move Pleasant Hill forward. To do this, I am proposing a 5 Point Plan.
#1. A Healthier Pleasant Hill
With numerous environmental challenges, Pleasant Hill needs to be at the forefront of innovative solutions. I would advocate for an Environmental Sustainability Commission composed of a diverse array of community stakeholders. They would be tasked with advising the City Council on solutions to enhance the environmental health of the City and to work toward a universal goal of Closed-Loop Recycling.
As the population increases, Medical Care and Mental Health Resources need to be easily accessible within Pleasant Hill and throughout the East Bay. Pleasant Hill can encourage the development of medical services within the City and encourage Healthy Aging programs to serve the growing aging population. For facilities too large to be in Pleasant Hill, the City can develop transportation options for residents to get to medical appointments. Pleasant Hill already operates a successful Senior Van that is a robust model on how the City can transport residents to obtain medical and mental health care. This can be expanded to include vulnerable or under-resourced residents who need to see their health care providers.
#2. A Safer Pleasant Hill
A safer Pleasant Hill starts first and foremost with a properly resourced Police Department that includes the ability to address serious crime while also focusing on Community Oriented Policing practices to develop close relationships with schools, churches, organizations, and residents throughout Pleasant Hill. The City has a duty to provide residents with strong public safety resources, while ensuring that all people, no matter who they are, have a sense of safety throughout Pleasant Hill. I would strongly encourage the Police Chief to continue to operate the Chief's Advisory Panel to ensure that the Police Department is aware of the ongoing needs of all residents.
In conjunction with a robust Police Department, Pleasant Hill must also properly resource a Social Services Division that will work in close collaboration with the Police Department. The City should invest in Social Workers and Crisis Intervention experts that will intervene in situations that do not require armed law enforcement.
#3. A Revitalized Pleasant Hill
Pleasant Hill has the opportunity and obligation to expand and support the development of new and existing small businesses, which is crucial to any thriving local economy. Small businesses provide local jobs and create vibrant cultural hubs. I would encourage a stronger relationship between the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce to expand Business Mentoring Programs and Small Business Workshops so that small businesses are successful from the start and have the resources for continued longevity. I would foster a Choose Pleasant Hill initiative that would encourage the City to commit to Small Business grants and streamlining permitting processes that creates platforms for success.
I would advocate for the creation of a Business Districts Task Force composed of City leaders, Business leaders, and community stakeholders to focus on developing and strengthening core economic hubs. Pleasant Hill has the opportunity to develop a walkable and inviting Central District through a Main Street Initiative, while also developing the Oak Park / Library District, Contra Costa corridor, and North Pleasant Hill District. All Business Districts should have reliable networking infrastructure to encourage business growth and support the expanding flexible work from anywhere workforce.
#4. An Interconnected & Livable Pleasant Hill
Although affordable housing is a universal challenge, there are choices that Cities can make that have profound effects on the livability and character of the City. To preserve Pleasant Hill's small town charm, I would encourage the City to expand Missing Middle Housing, the type of housing that is only slightly more dense than single family residences, but avoids the congestion of dense high rise complexes. This type of housing would not only meet State housing requirements, but would preserve the character of Pleasant Hill. Developments should focus on walkability and have many interspersed age-friendly housing choices. The City should have an array of Aging in Place options to encourage seniors, who are 1/3rd of the City's population, to stay and age gracefully within the City. To accomplish this, I would advocate for a Joint Housing Task Force comprised of members of the Planning Commission, Architectural Review Commission, Commission on Aging and the Diversity Commission to bring housing solutions to the City for consideration.
I would encourage the City to commit to the basic design principles of the 8 80 Cities movement, where great Cities are designed around the needs of an 8 year old and an 80 year old. Any City where youth and seniors can live and move around freely creates healthier, happier, and more sustainable Cities that enhance residents' abilities to access healthcare and business services, to easily utilize parks and open spaces, and to transport children and youth to and from schools and educational facilities. The City should focus on creating an interconnected system of walking and bike trails and to improve infrastructure that enhances pedestrian safety and de-emphasizes the automobile as the center of mobility. The Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan should be completed on an accelerated schedule, rather than the decades it is currently scheduled for. The City should work with the County, the Parks and Recreation District, and other Agencies to interconnect all trails and government properties. Every effort should be made to remove unnecessary vehicle infrastructure and to create more walkable spaces.
#5. An Accountable Pleasant Hill
Local government works best when it is fully transparent in all fiscal and budgetary processes. I would advocate for a Community Budget Advisory Committee composed of community stakeholders and leaders who would provide focused budgetary input and recommendations. This Committee can offer important feedback to the City to ensure that financial decisions stay aligned with the interests of the residents of Pleasant Hill. I would encourage not only the publishing of budgets and financial documents, but to create office hours or townhalls specifically focused on explaining and answering questions related to City fiscal matters.
Pleasant Hill should be a welcoming City for all people. The City's Diversity Commission is a good first start in ensuring that the diverse needs of residents are advocated for and addressed. The City should also ensure that staff and the Council itself reflect the community that it serves. I would advocate for an annual Diversity Report that should include assessments and action plans on steps the City is taking internally and solutions they are implementing externally. This Diversity Report should take feedback from staff, City commissions, and the public at large so that a wide variety of viewpoints are included.