Like you, I value our ocean, lagoons, and clean air, and am committed to a healthy environment. I understand the importance of our role as stewards of our environment and am committed to preserving natural resources for future generations.
Since I joined the City Council in 2020, we have made excellent progress in this area. We have passed a citywide Skip the Stuff Ordinance, rolled out a successful organics recycling program, eliminated single-use plastics at the city, asked staff to prepare an electric-preferred building ordinance, and retrofitted city buildings to be more energy efficient.
There is much work underway and more to do. I am working toward a stronger Climate Action Plan, a Sustainability Commission, walkable parks in Southwest Carlsbad, and closer collaboration with the State on issues in their jurisdiction and shared jurisdiction, like sand retention and lagoon maintenance.
We rely on outstanding first responder teams and community networks to keep us safe and support us in times of need. Carlsbad Fire, Police and emergency personnel have a well deserved reputation for professionalism and community collaboration.
I am pleased that since I have been on City Council, I have been part of the development of Carlsbad's first Police-Community Engagement Commission, and our city's Safer Streets Together Initiative, a three-pronged approach to traffic safety that allowed us to rapidly and efficiently provide resources and innovation in Engineering, Enforcement and Education. These efforts have both resulted in increased community dialogue, transparency, and relationship building. Our local Fire Station (#2) received my full support for a complete remodel and upgrade, and it opened earlier this year with beautiful stained glass doors, a public art element the community requested.
I will continue to work on improving street conditions, building continuous sidewalks and protected bike paths, and ensuring excellent first responder response times. I prioritize collaborating with neighboring cities and regional and state entities on traffic safety, emergency preparedness and building community through safety networks.
I am mindful of cost of living increases, including the lack of workforce and affordable housing in Carlsbad, and unpredictable utility rates. I bring both my lived experience and your input to the forefront when considering how the City Council can help lighten the costs of living in Carlsbad.
Since 2020, I have worked closely with my colleagues, the community and city staff to submit a Housing Element Update to the State that was accepted and certified. The City Council directed resources toward homeless prevention, a limited-stay hotel voucher program, the HOT team, and local non-profits that work with the unsheltered. We evaluated our 15% Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and ensured our Affordable Housing Trust Fund is wisely administered. We commissioned a fee study and decided to subsidize fees for residents in many areas.
While I coordinate closely with local nonprofits and personally volunteer with them, I also am focused on what more we can do to support residents struggling with rising costs. I will continue to look out for our residents and also support local entrepreneurs and "mom and pop shops."