I FEEL LUCKY WITH WHOM I HAVE WORKED WITH AND I AM PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
As a three-term City Councilmember, serving South Salinas, we provided opportunities to local small businesses.
Police patrols and firefighter numbers were increased. I understand the great responsibility of disbursing the taxpayer’s money and always tried to put Salinas neighborhoods first. I am also proud of being one of the biggest supporters of the Salinas arts community.
I Stand With Steve
"I have worked first-hand with Steve McShane for years and strongly support Steve for Monterey County Supervisor. McShane gets things done."
California State Senator
A FULL RECOVERY FROM COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on nearly every aspect of our lives, and we have all suffered through sickness, loss of family or friends, loss of social cohesion and economic devastation. And while the Coronavirus still spreads throughout the world, we have to look forward with hope — hope for an effective vaccine, hope for economic recovery, hope for getting our lives back.
Instead of accepting a new normal where our community is in a state of perpetual suffering, we must do everything in our power to protect Monterey County citizens from the harrowing devastation COVID-19 has foisted upon us all. I promise that within two years of becoming your Supervisor, Monterey County will be both free from COVID-19 and in a better economic state than prior to the pandemic.
There is no economic recovery without a full and effective response to the current pandemic. Every issue on which the Monterey County government has a say is inextricably intertwined with the effects of, and response to, COVID-19. And it is both our most vulnerable community members, as well as our most essential workers, who have been hurt the most. We must effectively coordinate every aspect of our response.
I propose establishing a County COVID-19 task force with leaders forming: (a) a small business recovery group who will work in conjunction with Chamber of Commerce coalition members; (b) a schools and learning institutions group who will work with Monterey County Office of Education to facilitate extra funding needed for the costs incurred from COVID-19 from county, state and federal resources; (c) an Ag/workforce group who will work with business owners, union reps, and other Ag professionals to implement aggressive testing and safety protocols to ensure our essential workers and, ultimately, our community is safe from COVID-19 spread; and (d) a healthcare group that will work with hospitals, doctors, and healthcare professionals to address the issues facing them with providing healthcare to our population.
Conquering COVID-19 starts from the ground up, and we must provide a roadmap for Monterey County to manage the current crisis in the short term, and deploy a swift vaccine distribution program in the long term to eradicate this physical and emotional virus from our community once and for all. We will come back stronger than ever, but it is going to take a concerted, community-wide effort. I am ready to lead that charge.
There are a few ways to get involved, your support is very much appreciated.
The chronic and heartbreaking issue of homelessness is a statewide crisis that we must solve locally. Yes, adding new housing is a must – but that’s just the starting point.
Through a combination of housing and services, I promise to effectively bring the homelessness rate down by 50% by the end of my first term as Supervisor. I have a proven track record in Salinas and intend to end homelessness in our county.
We can achieve this goal with a “Housing First” initiative, and I will commit Monterey County to provide housing for any persons in need who agree to treatment and work. This program promotes individual dignity and community safety, and we must commit to help our most vulnerable.
In Salinas, funding has gone to programs known to work such as outreach to those on the streets, emergency shelters, homeless prevention, housing navigation, and rapid rehousing. I was instrumental in creating the Downtown Streets Team, a volunteer work-experience program that works with the homeless to beautify the community in exchange for housing, food, cell phone use, and access to employment and case management services.
I implemented the first app for persons to find necessary resources and track important data to help them get off the streets, and the police department appointed a Homeless Outreach Team Officer to work directly with the homeless population and work on cleanup of highly affected areas.
I was instrumental in development of Moon Gate Plaza (88 affordable units of permanent supportive housing) and Hikari (49 affordable units of family housing), and Salinas has approved development and operation of a new homeless shelter at East Laurel Drive and permanent supportive housing on Natividad Road – as well as continuing our temporary warming shelter.
With an intentional focus on housing and services, we can – and we will – stamp out homelessness entirely and make our County a livable place for ALL of our community members.
Listen to the experts:
We have a housing crisis, and promoting affordable housing is both a priority and a social justice issue. We need more housing and more diversity in our housing stock, and offering affordable housing for our local workforce is a priority. The average home price in Monterey County is $695K, a staggering increase of 8.6% from last year. With average wages and income down dramatically due to pandemic-induced unemployment, we must take aggressive steps to give County citizens the ability to buy homes and stay in their hometowns.
The more we pursue affordable housing, the more our community members can live in the region where they work, building community cohesion, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the gridlock in traffic caused by more and more people having long commutes across the County.
Monterey County needs more affordable housing for students, teachers, young professionals, and for those with growing families, as well as more workforce housing. However, development in Monterey County typically comes as a double-edged sword – with our open spaces and green lands being put at risk. We shouldn’t have to choose between either affordable housing or environmental protection. With smart planning, we can achieve both.
I propose that we cut the red tape and reduce the permitting time for development of more Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s), which can be built as an attachment to an existing home or garage or can exist entirely within the primary home. These units serve as an additional source of income for homeowners and an affordable place to live. But average permit application time is around 285 days. I will get that timing down to 60 days so people can build more granny and in-law units in their existing homes.
Each community – Seaside, Marina, South Salinas – has its own needs. Each should dictate its own solutions for affordable housing. But the County can spur development of inventory for housing we need the most: very low, low and moderate housing by rolling back fees and waivers.
By focusing on this type of development, I promise that the County will build over 1,000 new homes by 2024 and we will ease the burden on our community members to simply live in their own homes.
Listen to the experts and their ideas for Monterey County’s Affordable Housing:
DISTANCE LEARNING AND SAFE SCHOOL REOPENING
Just as we must find safe and responsible ways to reopen our economy, we must also work diligently to make returning to school safe for children and teachers. No child should ever have to sit in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant just to get Wifi to do school work. COVID has made disparities in our education system abundantly clear. Children with special needs or alternative learning modalities are also particularly challenged and underserved by distance learning.
I promise to put schools and communities first by making education resources and services a priority on day one if I am elected. I will work with cities, school districts, nonprofits, and parents to ensure we take all necessary action to safely reopen schools, and help every child get the highest quality education they deserve despite the challenges of distance learning.
LOCAL ISSUES — QUICK HITS
SUPPORT FOR OUR LOCAL ECONOMY
Our local economy is overarching and driven by agriculture and the hospitality industry. These trades are vital to Monterey County, and their health and growth are critical to our future. In addition to the growth of these industries, innovation must also continue to move our local economy forward. Innovation will continue to raise job and career creation in Monterey County, and we should continue to be first in line to adopt new methods and ideas. Salinas is fast becoming the world’s hub for agriculture and technology innovators. The Tech and Agricultural industries have teamed up to generate innovations in the way the Salinas Valley helps feed the world – From creating cost savings, increasing yields, and to making farming more efficient. We can do the same for the Hospitality industry –partnering with tech companies will help continue to revolutionize experiences that will make Monterey County a one-of-a-kind destination. As California and the world continue to battle the effects of Climate Change, we can strengthen our initiatives and align them with the four principal sectors of a clean energy economy: renewable energy and alternative fuels (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal, & biofuels), green building and energy efficient technology, energy efficient infrastructure and transportation, and recycling and waste-to-energy. Continuing these innovations is what will lead to the jobs of the future – with fair pay, benefits and sustainability.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Investment in public education is a moral imperative. It is an investment in the opportunities for our children, and an investment in our collective long-term well-being, as a rapidly changing world will continue to necessitate innovation and creative problem-solving. Monterey County can and should work closer with and support our public schools, specifically on social services and mental health. The need for this type of public education service, as well as the need for expanded early childhood education, hit me personally as my own daughter had a stroke at birth. She will be dependent on such services, and I will ensure they are provided to her and any other children in need. California’s future depends on the well-being and education of its youth. The evidence is compelling — for children to thrive, they need to be well supported from the beginning of life. Research in neuroscience has revealed that the very foundation of future development and learning is laid during the first five years of life. Stable funding for Early Childhood Education means universal preschool for 4-year-olds, a sliding scale to ensure affordable preschool for all 3-year-olds, and subsidized childcare on a sliding scale for infants and toddlers. New ECE revenue will allow low-income parents to receive home visits from nurses and other professionals who can help identify delays in development, and access to resources that will help parents be the best first teachers to their children.
I stand with the firefighters and police officers that keep us safe from harm. There is room for improvement in reimagining aspects of how we approach community policing and training. As Supervisor, I will welcome and encourage community dialogue to improve community safety. I do not think defunding our police is prudent nor palatable. I believe in a well-supported police force and that our Sheriffs’ offices need adequate community support personnel. As a result of my leadership, Salinas has seen an 80% reduction in murders and violent crime since I became a Councilman, and I will bring this leadership to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Nothing gives a better indication of why we must support our local firefighters than the recent barrage of fires our brave women and men worked tirelessly to hold at bay, and I promise to deliver a reasonable EMS contract. Stand with me in standing with the public servants and first responders that make us safe.
Investment in the arts is an investment in our collective ability to create, innovate and ultimately, problem solve. As a City Councilman, I created a fully funded Arts Ordinance with an Arts Commission. As Supervisor, I seek to do the same for the County and our other incorporated Cities. Arts provide not only a creative outlet, but also an essential public service and a means to build community identity and unity by celebrating the unique gifts our community members have to offer.
Monterey County has thousands of miles of roads. Many of those roads are in bad shape, and as they deteriorate, they become more expensive and more difficult to repair. We need to set up an ongoing percentage of our local budget, matched by a percentage of Measure X funds and efforts, to seek matching by the State and Federal Governments to address troublesome roads and streets. I propose a special fund where targeted areas are prioritized with grant money and private support.
Fort Ord was shuttered with the promise that the re-use of the base would balance jobs, housing, and environmental preservation. Although there has been some success with CSUMB and single-family homes in Marina, much more work and opportunity remains. Fort Ord represents a unique opportunity to empower the cities of Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey and the County of Monterey to enhance housing and opportunity while protecting the environment. Fort Ord needs an advocate that sees opportunity and someone that can build bridges to aid efforts to develop where designated.
FRACKING, OIL AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
Monterey County has at its disposal the intellectual and natural resources, as well as a commitment to ecological preservation, to be a national and world leader in the area of green and renewable energy, and I support county-wide initiatives to further that goal. I stood up to PG&E and led the effort to create Central Coast Community Energy, which has already saved over 300K metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and invested over one million dollars in local energy programs. I firmly oppose any fracking or off-shore drilling in our community. And I believe it is essential to get Monterey County and our society on a renewable and non-petroleum-based energy source. I've taken steps to do that personally (solar / EV) and as a policy maker (Air District / Central Coast Community Energy), and I promise to make this a priority on the County level.
Monterey County needs a stable and long-term solution to our water source that does not deplete our natural resources or overburden taxpayers. I believe that our most viable option to manage Monterey County’s water needs is Public Water Now. The Pure Water Monterey Expansion is clearly the solution to our water shortage, and would give us enough water to meet the Peninsula’s growth demand for 40 to 50 years, even at twice the historic average of the past 20 years. I also strongly oppose any redevelopment of the Cemex plant, as well as any development of slant wells or desalinization by Cal Am. The voters overwhelmingly passed a measure to place Cal Am under public control, and we must be good stewards of our environment if we are to obtain the long term solution we need.
I am a strong supporter of Monterey County Free Libraries. I see libraries as centers for learning and personal development. I seek to enhance and expand library resources through joint development with our community colleges and school districts.