Our county is an exciting place to live, work, go to school or simply retire. It is brimming with beauty and compassion, yet there is urgency for responsive, experienced leadership to ensure every member of our community has the opportunity to thrive. My duties as a Supervisor will range across many disciplines to address the many needs of our diverse population. My priorities include:
As a child of a once undocumented immigrant family from Iran, and a woman of color, I know economic, gender and racial inequities first-hand. As a mom to biracial boys, I believe the work starts at home.
I will work to expose and speak out against racism by bringing together members of our community including the Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander populations to learn, grow, and amplify community-led solutions.
As a Santa Cruz City Council member, this has been my commitment and I will continue this work on the Board of Supervisors. I am interested in ensuring culturally responsive commission memberships and hiring practices that are reflective of our community. I will encourage (or champion) the need for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings for every staff member, commissioner and Board member. I will also encourage funding decisions that support diverse individuals, vendors, organizations and businesses. Social equity spans issues across our County; I am committed to shining the light of social inequities on those issues.
Housing is a public health and social equity issue. I have supported housing projects that increase our housing stock, maintain the integrity of our community, and improve our downtown
Our county policies and processes are outdated and need to be improved and streamlined. I will focus on policies and programs that increase the housing stock without impacting the quality of life or the natural environment and improve our internal systems to allow for expediency of rebuilding for those who have been impacted by the fires.
As a city councilmember, I worked on policies that set parameters on time, place and manner for encampments and oversized vehicles while successfully advocating for services such as safe sleeping, transitional shelter, and safe parking. I will bring this same commitment to creative approaches as your voice on the County Board of Supervisors.
I believe that the County should take the lead on solving our homeless problem; the cities have neither the resources nor the proper jurisdiction to address the complexities involved in addressing the needs of the unhoused. There is no one easy solution. It will take partnering across our jurisdictions, aligning the focus of city and county departments and leveraging all available resources. Our approach will have to be nuanced and holistic. We must simultaneously address the crisis of street homelessness while working upstream to prevent homelessness and increase housing options.
Emergency Preparedness &
The CZU fire devasted parts of our county. It is not a stand-alone event. With the growing impacts of climate change combined with population issues, we need to be prepared with quick response and supportive recovery. We also need to our communities to be prepared. I will work with our emergency response professionals to identify areas of vulnerability and concern.
I will support community members impacted by the CZU Lighting Complex fire and fight to remove barriers to rebuilding and make sure we are setting up the infrastructure to prepare for future events. For our fire danger, this includes actions such as fuel mitigation, more reliable roads, more sources of power and water, and more accessible first responders.
Economic Vitality & Recovery
I will work across sectors to help revitalize and generate a vibrant economy and workforce. The pandemic has changed the face of our economy. We will need to rethink and rebuild. I will advocate for:
Building up our workforce with systems partners, through apprenticeships and workforce training initiatives;
Targeting economic development of inclusive businesses within high-opportunity industries (such as the tech industry);
Increasing access to financial services and supports for prospective first-time business owners who are from marginalized communities; and
Removing administrative barriers for starting local businesses.
Children, Youth and Families
As an advocate for the County’s Thrive by Three, City’s Children’s Fund and a lead council member of the City of Santa Cruz’s Children and Youth Bill of Rights, I will continue to prioritize children and youth as a Supervisor by:
Increasing financial security for our children by promoting matched savings accounts to invest in their futures;
Investing in Cradle to Career initiatives that support children and families from prenatal to adulthood;
Supporting programs that impact the early years of a child;
Supporting subsidized and low-cost childcare ;
Ensuring broadband and internet access to low-income communities;
Investing in youth programming, youth leadership and civic engagement;
Protecting and investing in our parks and open space;
Prioritizing neighborhood safety; and
Focusing on workforce and affordable housing.
Health & Mental Health
Mental health issues are a local and national crisis. I will make addressing these issues a priority by advocating for increased resources and for a county coordinated response network that addresses the needs of all, including those with most acute crises.
I also serve on the Central California Alliance for Health Commission, Community Health Trust of the Pajaro Valley, and Dignity Health Community Grants Committee which has enabled me to gain an in-depth knowledge of our local, regional and state healthcare needs and the opportunities to act on these needs. I see the gaps in our existing services and available resources and I will work to find additional resources. We need more county-wide effective responses to the growing mental health crises such as increased treatment beds, forming a County Hospital District, and support for our healthcare workers and the families of those in need.
Climate Action & Environmental Stewardship
We must be bold and forward thinking in our climate action planning and response. I will advocate for:
Equitable renewable energy programs such as microgrids and solar;
Adopting innovative water conservation initiatives;
Ensuring access to rebates and incentives for all income brackets from homeowners to renters;
Developing a conservation academy and green workforce;
Prioritizing walkable communities; and
Supporting sustainable transit options that address Santa Cruz’s County-wide number one source of carbon emissions.
I will ensure the County delivers on its Climate Action Plan with ambitious strategy and goals, and will work closely to support the attainment of necessary resources for our Office of Response, Recovery, and Resilience department (OR3) to be successful in all areas of emissions reduction, climate change impact mitigation, and ongoing recovery to existing climate-induced catastrophes including flood, fire, and infrastructure repair.