City of Gilroy
Children and their families, however they coalesce, and whoever they consist of, absent of abuse or neglect, form a foundation upon which everything in a child’s life is built. Abuse and neglect are societal ills that enter the home and undermine what human beings value most.
In a recent poll by Choose Children 2022 of likely general election voters, more than half of parents with children under age 18 say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how will you make our region a place where all families can thrive?
I believe the cost of housing, the availability of affordable daycare, and a lack of amenities within safe walking distance are factors that drive families to relocate. For a city to address the cost of housing, it should provide rental protections and affordable homes. Cities should use city-owned property to provide low cost daycare service. We should also provide parks, activities, and programming for youth that are a safe distance for walking or riding a bike.
As we have learned over the past three years, without quality, affordable, childcare, parents can’t go to work. What will you do to address challenges accessing childcare and preschool programs in our diverse communities?
I would look to set up daycares and preschools in school buildings that are recently made vacant by low enrollment. The facilities would be more than adequate, well located, cost-effective to maintain, and could save on overhead expense.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the opportunity gap that children in low-income families and children of color confront (e.g., lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors, and enrichment activities). If elected, what will you do to increase equity of opportunity?
I want to build a community center that is within walking distance for low income families. It would have sports facilities, a pool, work-out equipment, and could provide programming and services that meet the needs of low income families, such as tutoring, art and music classes, and access to healthy food.
What steps will you take to support inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities and their families to be fully included in our community?
I would seek to expand youth programming in the city that is inclusive of, or directly caters to, kids with special needs and their families. Special needs housing will be among the affordable homes that we build downtown, where there would be easy access to amenities, transportation, and chances to interact with the public.
There is a mental health crisis among children, youth, and those who care for and educate them. If elected, how will you use the resources of your new role to improve access to mental and behavioral health services?
When you have a mental health crisis, it’s important to provide social/emotional support of various kinds (restorative justice, psychological services, methods of self-expression, etc.), but it’s equally or more important to consider what brought on the crisis and consider ways to mitigate such crises in the future.