COVID-19 has left a mark on all of our lives.
The pillars of a community, the Claremont Colleges, have shut down. Businesses have shuttered. The school district has shifted to virtual learning, turning living rooms into classrooms and leaving parents struggling to find a work-life balance. City parks are closed. Seniors are separated from their grandkids, and low-income families are scraping by. Government officials look to Sacramento for COVID-related updates and state mandated guidelines to keep our community safe.
Meanwhile, a movement for Black lives has swept through Claremont, and thousands of people have taken to the streets after the murder of George Floyd. People of color from our neighborhoods have spoken out at Council and commission meetings about their experiences with racism and discrimination. High school students have shown-up to virtual school board meetings to share disturbing experiences of implicit bias from their school administrators and law enforcement. A city long known for its guiding principles of inclusion is taking a hard look in the mirror and asking if their Black, Latinx, LGBTQ and Indigenous neighbors truly feel safe.
Through it all, we are resilient. Businesses continue to diversify by selling online and setting-up curbside pick-up and outside dining. Neighbors are connecting and participating in virtual city events. The Human Services Department has set-up virtual activity centers to engage intermediate and high school students. Neighbors are volunteering to bring meals to our seniors. Parents are having tough conversations with their children on race and identity.
But we need to go further. The next Council is tasked with a heavy assignment to bring affordable living to a city with soaring rent costs. They will need to bring a multigenerational approach with an empathetic lens to community safety. At the same time, the Council is going to wrestle with a structural budget deficit while serving as ambassadors to attract fresh and exciting businesses to fill our empty storefronts on Foothill Boulevard and in the Village.
We crafted this policy after talking to hundreds of voters, city and elected officials, community activists, and business owners. Everyone agrees the city’s foundation is filled with promise and opportunity. They also agree this is not the time to peddle misinformation campaigns or relive old and divisive arguments that distract a community from implementing meaningful and positive change. What we are doing in this plan is laying a policy framework for a broad economic recovery and a just community.
Click on a link below to read more about policy foundation we expect to build on in our first term.