Pasadena is a great place to live, and the City should keep delivering high-quality services to meet everyone’s day-to-day needs. However, there are some significant, big picture issues facing the City and the region, and Pasadena can be part of the solution. We have a history of innovation – we can bring that creativity to solving the issues that Pasadena is facing today.
I am excited about the chance to work for the people of District 2 to take on some of the most pressing issues of our time. We must tackle our housing affordability crisis. We should – and we can – solve homelessness in Pasadena. We have a chance to expand our transportation options and improve our existing transit service. And while doing all of this, we cannot forget that climate change is real, it’s a generation-defining issue, and creating a sustainable future for Pasadena has to be part of all of our decisions.
According to the last homeless count, over half of our homeless population reported experiencing homelessness for the first time in the previous, and nearly 40% of the people experiencing homelessness report economic reasons as the cause. Federal, state, and local programs are focused on producing more supportive and affordable housing – which we need to do and which works. However, the only way to solve homelessness is to stop the pipeline into homelessnes. If elected, I would make sure the City is funding prevention programs, which include financial programs as well as educational programs. The City currently has limited funding for prevention, yet prevention programs work, and they are often more economical than the alternative. Many people at risk of homelessness are one medical bill or one car repair bill away from not being able to afford their rent or mortgage payment. Often all people need is some temporary rental or mortgage assistance to get past that financial crisis and back to stability. Private organizations are doing this, and it’s effective. I would make sure that we fund rapid-rehousing programs, provide rental assistance, and assist with job training and placement. The City has adopted eviction protection, but we also need to provide tenant and landlord education programs so people know their rights and responsibilities. We also need to forge partnerships with landlords to accept housing vouchers, and advocate at the federal and state levels to increase the rental reimbursement rate under those vouchers.
Creating Affordable Housing Opportunities
Pasadena can do more to ensure that we have housing affordable to all income levels. We are currently building affordable housing, and that needs to continue. It’s not enough to preserve or renovate existing housing to maintain the housing stock we have. We simply don’t have enough housing that is affordable to our workforce – our City employees, the people who work in our schools, take care of our children, or provide the services we all rely on. We need to create additional, affordable housing opportunities.
Housing our workforce will help us achieve a better jobs-housing balance in the City, which in turn can help reduce traffic impacts. Perhaps even more importantly, it can help preserve the economic diversity that makes Pasadena a vibrant community with opportunities for everyone. If elected, I would work to ensure we are getting the right kind of housing in Pasadena – housing that serves the people who want to live here, grew up here, work here, or who want to stay here but are getting priced out. We must update our zoning code to remove any barriers to “missing middle” housing, including by allowing for “form based” zoning that complements our neighborhood character while providing creative solutions for housing our workforce. I would also ensure that we are properly prioritizing affordable and supportive housing, especially at our train stops and along our major corridors. It’s been shown that low-income households have high transit ridership, so it makes sense to focus affordable housing near our high-quality transit stops.
Enhancing Transit and Transportation Options
We have an opportunity to give people options for getting around. We can increase the walkability of our neighborhoods, making it safe and pleasant for everyone to get around.
Because LA Metro is in the middle of implementing its NextGen Bus Plan, which is a plan to improve bus transit across LA County, Pasadena Transit has a unique opportunity to coordinate with Metro on a new service pattern and receive new grants towards improving service and improve amenities. I will work closely with Pasadena’s transportation department so Pasadena Transit can expand service and complement changes in LA Metro bus service as needed.
We are 5 years, or one third, into Pasadena’s Mobility Plan timeline. But the plan is not anywhere close to one third implemented. I will work to speed up the implementation of sustainable transportation components of the Mobility Plan and support related initiatives on City Council.
A safe, robust, and useful bike network is essential for Pasadena to meet the needs of residents and stated mobility and climate goals. Pasadena has been a city of innovation, and we can be creative now about how to use the public right-of-way for people who want to walk, bike, or roll instead of drive. But the process has some sensitivities that must be addressed before any changes are made. I see it as my job to convene stakeholders, to make sure community voices are heard, and to collaborate with and act as a sounding board for residents when mobility or street safety issues are raised in the community.
Creating a Sustainable Future
We can make Pasadena sustainable, by planning for the future of our environment and for the future of our City leadership. Pasadena has been, and can continue to be, a regional leader on innovative ways to solve the problems facing our cities and achieve smart progress. We should be thinking big, from committing to 100% clean, renewable energy, to reducing our reliance on single-use plastic to help address the problems with our recycling system, to becoming a carbon neutral City. We should also be looking at neighborhood focused ways to address climate change – like expanding our urban forest and combating the urban heat island effect. As
Pasadena moves forward to address the issues that it faces, we need to make sure we are grooming the next generation of leadership, not just elected leadership, but also leadership within our City Departments.
Learn More About Tricia and the Key Priorities
Pasadena Star News – Meet the City Council Candidates
ColoradoBoulevard.net – Know Your Candidates
SunriseSequoyah.org – Climate Action Forum
Pasadena City Council District 2 – Candidate Forum