Children and families represent the foundation of our community. I will continue to work to support safe, healthy and happy families.
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
The second is public health. Often, the lowest income families suffer from the worst health in nutritional deserts of the city. Gilroy has to work to provide more nutritional offerings to all its citizens, and work to bring County resources to the southern-most city in the Bay Area.
The last issue is that of traffic relief and road repair. Our lowest-income workers often commute the furthest to work. Time lost sitting in traffic is time that parents are away from their families. We must continue to leverage Measure B and SB1 funds to improve driving conditions, and speed travelers to their destinations.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
Budget reflects priorities. As we set our budget for the city, it will be essential that we allocate financial resources to the goals above. It is critical to remember that these investments will actually produce savings down the road.
What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?
Gilroy is the southernmost city in the Bay Area, and our geographic isolation often exacerbates existing problems. We need to work with the County to help ensure that we are getting our fair share of resources for childcare and pre-school programs. There may also be opportunities to partner with our Parks and Recreation Department to leverage the work they are already providing in after school programs.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
An important starting point is to understand the scope of the problem. The first thing that I would do is to conduct a study to ensure that we have hard data for where we are falling short in inclusion for children with special needs or disabilities. Then, I would have the City work with regional chapters of groups that support these students to craft solutions for how we can improve.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?
The East Side of Gilroy has some of the greatest challenges for opportunity in the County. As the sole bi-lingual member of the Council, I have previously held meetings in Spanish on the East Side to directly engage with the Latino community. This will remain a regular feature for this community as I continue to serve.