Crime & Violence Prevention "Bridging the gap"
Our current policy to addressing crime and violence has sometimes trended towards an ineffective approach while ignoring the underlying cause of our problems. What we should be looking into is the willpower to invest in violence-prevention programs. As residents, we know from experience that violence and crime prevention in our communities can be drastically addressed differently. We have the available resources, although financially challenged our community along with our police department can make positive changes both internal and external. Our police shouldn’t be an adversary but, a friend. Moreover, to fight blight, I'll support a modernization and improvement project for one of our most important corridors-Holt Ave. This is intended to be an impetus for business activity to return to the street and drive away crime. It’s time for the problems on Holt to be addressed differently.
Our city government can support violence prevention through funding, but also through ethics, and working together with our community. Most recently, the City of Pomona was presented with a petition for a Police Oversight Commission and while some members of the community may see this as a negative approach on the contrary I view this as an opportunity to bridging the gap and increasing communication. What better way to understand one another while working together and all parties sitting at the table?
Business Development “It has not been okay”
Everyone talks about the invisible red tape. What can we do as a city to bring, sustain and inspire business to Pomona? The term “Red Tape” at City Hall seems to be the definition for doing business. Small businesses are the backbone of our community, they have been critical in creating jobs while improving the quality of life for residents. I’ve heard from our business community that our city leadership do not prioritize small businesses and instead turn the focus towards large well-funded businesses or selected developers.
> Consistent unsatisfactory results with City Hall.
> Lack of customer service and bilingual services.
> Lengthy or inconsistent permit and license approval process.
> Outdated city policies and regulations.
The following needs to be strategized:
> Establish a better communication which includes our bilingual community for all applicants.
> Resources and regulations should be presented and made accessible online, in writing and through various channels.
> Setting a clear and detailed timeline for approvals.
> Working with business owners and developers, not against them.
> Stop relying on fines, this is not a business-friendly approach.
Cannabis “Let’s embrace it”
I’m not against it, and I do support having cannabis in Pomona. Currently we have two measures coming up on the November 2020 ballot:
1.) Pomona Regulate Cannabis Act of 2018
2.) Commercial Cannabis Permit Program
While they both have a vested interest to bring business to our city one guarantees that there is a generated source of revenue.
What I’m against is the hypocrisy of discriminating solely against Cannabis. The Process Integrity Standards for Commercial Cannabis was well intended, however why was it only considered for cannabis and not across the board?
“Standards: No Ex-Parte Contacts: An applicant and its representatives shall not attempt to contact or initiate contact, in person, by phone or by electronic means, with the Mayor or any City Council Member.
No Campaign Contributions: An applicant and its representatives shall not make a campaign contribution or loan of more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) to the Mayor or any City Council Member.”
Ethics and transparency should apply at every attempt towards city government and I do not see these same standards for developers, businesses and special interests’ groups other than cannabis.
The real question should be raised, “Why do we have more liquor stores than coffee shops?” Our neighborhoods are affected by drinking behavior, especially in disadvantaged areas where liquor stores are over-concentrated. Alcohol seems to be influenced and promoted by commercial interests.