Let's Move Forward, Orinda!
LATIKA ON THE ISSUES
Create a Vibrant Downtown That Builds Community
We need a downtown that showcases Orinda’s natural beauty and charm and offers modern amenities. Imagine a vibrant, connected downtown—walkable from Orinda Village to Theatre Square—that includes a restored creek side, buried power lines, and thriving, well-supported businesses. Imagine more local choices in grocery, dining, and shopping, and expanded community spaces inviting to children, seniors, and all residents. Imagine a downtown Orinda that enhances our quality of life and encourages surrounding communities to buy local, while increasing Orinda’s tax revenue. I support moving forward sensibly but promptly with smart, sustainable growth that builds on Orinda’s existing splendor to create vibrant, bustling community spaces.
Fiscal Accountability And Enhanced Resident Services
If elected, I will ensure that the City assertively pursues additional state and federal grants and other available funding to enhance resident services. I support an open, transparent budgeting process, including town halls devoted to budget development, where all stakeholders can voice priorities and concerns about how community tax dollars are being spent.
Quarterly Town Halls and More Community Engagement
An elected representative serves as a steward of the community. The Council should expand its efforts to engage all stakeholders when making decisions. I will initiate quarterly town halls on select issues of importance, increased Council presence on social media (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), increased outreach to youth and young adults, and other opportunities to welcome resident input and participation.
Wildfire Mitigation, Prevention and A Well-Communicated Evacuation Plan
Like many of you, concerns about protecting my family and community from wildfires keeps me awake at night. Engaging residents to plan for wildfires must be done year-round, not just during fire season. I support:
Increased City collaboration with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District so we can support our firefighters in keeping our families and communities safe.
Ensuring that Orinda is doing all we can to properly maintain vegetation and mitigate fire hazards on all City properties.
Helping residents form and implement wildfire mitigation plans.
A clear, concise, well-communicated Plan of how alerts will be given and what to do if an evacuation order is given.
Orinda Deserves Choice: Community Choice, A Clean Energy Alternative to PG&E
Would you like greater local control of your energy provider? An alternative to PG&E? Better options for renewable energy? Most Contra Costa Cities, including Moraga, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek, already have that choice, but Orinda does not. In other cities, the second energy provider usually offers cleaner electricity than PG&E either at the same price or less. Your bill will look exactly the same; but you will be saving money and improving our community. Let’s bring community choice energy to Orinda!
Infrastructure: Fix All Our Roads and Drains, and Improve Coordination With Partner Agencies
I support efforts to fix all our roads and drains, as well as a long-term strategic planning process to address all of the City's infrastructure needs, so that expenditures are careful and efficient. I will initiate greater collaboration with utilities and other community partners, with the shared goal of improving resident services and safety. With additional coordination, we can continue needed repairs while better accommodating residents.
Justice and Equity
Presently there is talk about making Orinda more welcoming to all, but more action is needed. For me, Orinda has been a caring, welcoming home, and working together we can take concrete steps to broadly share that spirit of inclusion. I support thoughtful and data-driven police practice reform and meaningful equity education. There’s value to justice and equity.
Working Together for a Happier Community
I support creative, entrepreneurial measures that bring us together to further justice and inclusion. The City could engage youth and school-age parents through joint programming with the School Districts, could host a speaker or art series in conjunction with local business, or could create volunteer-based resident committees to study and recommend more equitable city practices. Let’s seize the opportunity and inspire local talent to work together for a happier community.