ON THE ISSUES
“I want all residents to enjoy what I had growing up in Costa Mesa: safe neighborhoods, stable housing, beautiful parks, strong schools, and an engaged and friendly community.”
Making our streets and neighborhoods safe is my highest priority. All residents and businesses should feel safe anywhere in Costa Mesa, know their property is protected, and feel proud to call Costa Mesa home.
I am proud to have earned the endorsements of our Police and Firefighters Associations. As our safety challenges grow and change, I am committed to ensuring our police and firefighters have the resources, training, and support they need to do their jobs effectively, reliably, and efficiently.
The recent rise in homelessness is directly impacting safety and investment in Costa Mesa. Too many residents are uncomfortable walking in their neighborhoods and enjoying our local parks; too many local businesses are withholding investments in their properties. We need to:
Continue outreach efforts to make connections and help Costa Mesa’s homeless on a path to recovery;
Empower our public safety teams to prevent encampments by providing Costa Mesa’s allotment of 50 additional shelter beds;
Mitigate growth in the homeless population, by continuing efforts to regulate negligent sober living homes, working with organizations focused on at-risk families, and developing plans to protect existing affordable housing and grow appropriate levels of affordable housing;
Activate public spaces with improved lighting and landscaping and community events;
Establish permanent solutions for Costa Mesa homeless and push other OC cities to do the same.
We need to improve the safety of our streets for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. In addition to reducing accidents, safe streets can improve community safety and reduce vehicle congestion by encouraging more people to walk and/or bike to their destination.
I propose a crowd-sourced brainstorm of unsafe zones and intersections to identify all locations that would benefit from reduced speed limits, marked crosswalks, speed bumps, limits to cut-through traffic, improved lighting or sightlines, or increased traffic enforcement. I would prioritize areas at highest risk and those connecting residents to schools and parks.
Sober Living Homes
While providing an important recovery and rehabilitation service to address our national crisis of drug addiction, the high density and proliferation of poorly-managed sober living homes distressed our neighborhoods and strained city resources. Worse, some homes are abusing a system designed for recovery, taking advantage of a vulnerable population, increasing drug-use on our streets, and creating nuisances in neighborhoods. We must empower residents with the tools to help systematically report their experiences (to help us build a fact-based case for our need for more enforcement authority) and demand action at the state level to allow Costa Mesa more local control to regulate these homes.
OC Needle Exchange
I oppose the OC Needle Exchange Program. My position is consistent with our police department and my position on this and other public safety issues earned me the Police Association's endorsement.
In June, I walked door-to-door to talk to residents in affected neighborhoods, explained the proposal and why I oppose it, and encouraged residents to submit their concerns to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) during the public review period. I also submitted my letter of opposition at this time and spoke at the city council’s emergency meeting to support the council’s decision to join a lawsuit to stop the needle exchange.
Note: My opponents are attempting to mislead voters about my position on this issue, despite repeated affirmations of my position. All council members and candidates have expressed their opposition to this program and we should be acting in a united way to stop this program from opening in Costa Mesa. As the city is in an active lawsuit to prevent this program from operating in our city, it is important to stay focused on the facts.
Recent development decisions—including excessive variances granted to developers and adverse impacts on neighbors—have strained neighborhoods and infrastructure. While developers are important stakeholders to help upgrade and re-invest in our city, our City Council members must remember that they must be the voice for Costa Mesa’s residents. This is why I have not accepted any developer money in my campaign.
We must focus on smart development that protects current residents and neighborhoods, encourages a diverse housing stock and adequate open space, addresses traffic and parking constraints, and considers trends in technology, mobility, and sustainability.
We should continue to invest in signal synchronization efforts, monitor roads and intersections to measure performance and understand the sources of congestion, and improve road safety by enforcing speed limits and increasing traffic safety personnel (e.g., to crack down on red-light infractions). We should pursue planning strategies that reduce vehicle miles traveled in the city. For example, we should encourage walking, biking, and use or availability of public transportation.
Under-parked development projects, the high cost of housing, and poor public and active transportation options have created a parking crisis in many neighborhoods, especially in westside neighborhoods. Parking solutions—including permit parking, encouraging use of garages for parking rather than storage, increased utilization of existing parking (e.g., shared use of commercial parking overnight), and improving alternative transportation options–should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. We need to prevent adding to the problem by supporting alternative transportation options and ensuring that future projects have adequate parking.
PARKS AND OPEN SPACE
The benefits of open space, especially in an urban environment, include improved mental and physical health, locations for families and communities to gather, interaction with the natural environment, and protection of critical ecosystems. We already have a shortage of open space in Orange County, and as pressure grows for more housing and development, we must both protect existing open space and find opportunities to increase open space. I will support planning and development policies that:
enforce open space requirements on new developments;
identify and reclaim developed spaces as natural spaces (e.g., pocket parks); and
“re-leaf” Costa Mesa by encouraging the planting of trees.
I worked with other community members to protect Fairview Park as a passive, public nature park, and created this video in 2016 to help educate the public about the fight to Save Fairview Park. As the Parks and Recreation Commission liaison to the new Fairview Park Steering Committee, I support efforts to enhance Fairview Park through restoration of natural habitats, volunteer-based education programs (e.g., nature walks), and an active array of passive recreation (walking, jogging, biking, bird-watching, flying gliders, model trains, etc.).
I worked with other community members to fight a massive, high-density development project that would have adverse traffic and health impacts on our westside Costa Mesa neighborhoods, and created two videos (see the "About Arlis" section) to help educate the public and rally support to Save Banning Ranch. I support the efforts of local non-profit organizations to purchase and restore the 401-acre Banning Ranch as a public nature park for passive recreation and habitat restoration.
I support efforts to remove harmful pesticides from our landscaping practices—especially in parks, schools, and play areas. The city of Irvine has initiated a non-toxic program and Costa Mesa has initiated a pilot program at Luke Davis baseball field in Lions Park. We should learn from both efforts and move toward a toxic-free environment for all residents and visitors.