PRIORITIES & POSSIBILITIES
I am grateful for the improvements seen over the 11 total years I’ve lived in District 4 (also lived in Downtown Pomona for seven years). We know we have a long way to go to get our District where it can and needs to be. While we have seen practical fixes throughout District 4, a broader vision for sustainable long-term success in our District remains unseen. I've spoken with many families, individuals, businesses, and even visitors about their concerns and know it is possible and we must go even further.
ART & BEAUTIFICATION
While I am grateful for those who have spent countless hours continuing to beautify and clean up Holt and other high traffic areas through the Mayor’s Pomona Beautiful cleanups, we must push for the use of trash cans in areas of high trash and traffic like Holt (many cities are successfully implementing solar trash compactors on streets that notify the City when they are full). We need to embrace public art in District 4 to beautify blighted areas and celebrate our cultural diversity through the Pomona's in-lieu Art in Public Places funding or with the newly approved Temporary Mural Permit. District 4 has not seen any new public art within the last 4 years. We must increase our environmental impact by finding more opportunities for urban farming, community gardens, tree planting, and other means of sustainable beautification for years to come, especially on vacant properties.
We have many phenomenal establishments in District 4, but we've failed to truly support them. We must highlight our numerous eateries (Mariscos Jalisco, Hilltop Jamaican, Pho Ha, Cachanilla, and more), mom and pop shops (AJ’s Super, iCandy Party Supply, Valley Indoor Swap Meet, Curly’s Locksmith, BMW 2002 AD, and more), franchises (McDonald’s, Walgreens, Tierra Mia, Fallas, Michoacana, and more), community resources and non-profits (Parktree Community Health Center, God’s Pantry, Pomona Hope, African American Museum or Beginnings, America’s Job Center, Assistance League of Pomona Valley, Kennedy Austin Foundation, and more), and so many more by establishing an ongoing Shop District 4 resource. It's time to craft a strategic plan and partnership with our Pomona Chambers and network to bring more support to these establishments.
Home ownership and housing stability are an important part of the success of Pomona. Equal access to housing is fundamental to each person in meeting essential needs and pursuing personal, educational, employment, or other goals. In recognition of equal housing access as a fundamental right, the federal government and the State of California have both established fair housing choice as a right protected by law. The City of Pomona commits to providing equal housing opportunities for all residents. While our City is in need of increased economic development, with it comes the potential for displacement and housing challenges. By providing first-time buyer programs for current Pomona renters, fair housing protections for tenants and landlords, and incentives for rental property owners to offer rent-to-own programs, we help support our community with the tools they need by creating a sustainable path toward economic stability and growth.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, part of our team has been working tirelessly as part of the Mayor’s COVID Action Committee to help raise over $140,000 in supplemental funding through the Pomona Compassion Fund to come alongside the Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Service Grant funds awarded the city to provide rent relief, homeless prevention, and food relief. These funds don’t just create a moratorium, but actually help pay rent during the moratorium, which is a win-win for both tenants and landlords. The Pomona Compassion Fund was also set up as a supplemental relief for our undocumented families who are not eligible for federal dollars.
Urban parks were intended to be places of solace, recreation, and community fun. However, many of our parks are underused by the community because of crime, vandalism, and cleanliness. We have four city parks in District 4 (Garfield, Montvue, Jaycee, Lincoln, and even the community park at Holt Family Apartments) all desperately needing an increase in strategic activities and community engagement from Communities Services, nonprofits, and placemaking groups. Bringing together youth programing from Parks and Recreation, PUSD, charter schools, and community youth non-profits, will ensure our youth have increased support. Introducing activities like tai chi, yoga, jiu jitsu, reading clubs (with more free little libraries), homework clubs, outdoor fitness zones, walking paths, gardening, and more will help activate our public green space and discourage unlawful loitering and other crime.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
We have to relook at our neighborhood watch programs, possibly increase programs like PD’s Citizen Volunteer in Patrol (CVP) to increase response times for suspicious activity and report taking; what good is watching a crime happen if we lack the support to get a patrol there to do something about it. We also need to create more opportunities for neighbors to build community and communication with each other; good neighbors take care of each other. We must reimagine our work to eliminate human trafficking within our District and find better solutions for mental and physical health, sustainable living solutions, and job opportunities for those in our unhoused community working to get back on their feet.