Supporting and fostering the healthy development of children into the responsible adults of tomorrow is the most important thing we can do as a community.
Taking into consideration the profound impact of COVID-19 and the expanded movement for racial justice and equity, what do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
The pandemic has altered the way children learn, exercise, and build connections with others. The rapid switch to online learning presents many new challenges for parents, children, and teachers. High-speed internet access is more important than ever with the demands of the pandemic, yet many residents have limited service options. Moreover, the increase in online screen time has come at the expense of exercise and social development, and may increase feelings of isolation and loneliness. To address these issues, there are concrete steps our Town can take: 1) encourage increased competition amongst high-speed internet providers in Town; 2) continue to pursue increased recreational opportunities and facilities for our residents; 3) encourage the development of safe, outdoor, socially-distanced recreational activities for the duration of the pandemic.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
Ultimately the Town has a limited budget and limited revenue sources. As a Town Council, we should prioritize the needs and interests of our residents, and make sure that our spending is well aligned to those priorities. With 1800 residents under the age of 18, the Town needs to ensure this demographic is adequately served and that the Town is making the appropriate investments to foster the safe, healthy development of our children.
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?
As a member of the Los Altos Hills Town Council, I would not be making direct decisions related to public education funding, but I support efforts to increase opportunity and availability of programs for all children.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
While my role as a member of the Town Council may not give me the direct ability to influence inclusion and outcomes for those with special needs or disabilities, I believe strongly in the importance of inclusion and equality for all children, and I support allocation of resources to this end.
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?
All children deserve equal opportunity. In order to encourage their development into responsible, well-adjusted adults, we need to address the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional needs of all children.