We need to find an appropriate balance between protecting public health and restarting Dublin's economy. I take COVID very seriously and support the CDC’s recommendations for masks, social distancing and cleaning. I also recognize the importance of keeping businesses running during COVID-19, while acknowledging that businesses may need to operate at reduced capacity to operate safely. I support asking businesses to make reasonable accommodations to help contain COVID-19, such as improving interior air circulation. Keeping our workplaces safe is essential, but supporting businesses through this extremely challenging time is essential, too. We should also prioritize our healthcare resources on the community members who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
I object to Alameda County’s practice of imposing COVID-19 restrictions that apply countywide. Those restrictions generally reflect conditions in the County’s worst COVID-19 “hot spots,” thus punishing businesses in communities like Dublin where COVID-19 is less problematic. Each city’s COVID-19 restrictions should reflect the COVID-19 situation on the ground in that community.
During spring 2020, I spearheaded an initiative to lobby County and city officials to allow Tri-Valley fitness businesses to offer outdoor classes, which at that time County regulations prohibited. As part of this effort, I assembled a coalition of about 15 fitness business owners, including some of my competitors. The effort was successful, and outdoor fitness classes are now available throughout the Tri-Valley. I will bring this same collaborative, results-oriented and pragmatic approach to City Council.
Also, because the medical community is learning about COVID-19 “on the fly,” Dublin leadership must stay closely attuned to the latest research and findings and be extremely nimble about adapting to best practices.
Health & Safety first
We must take reasonable precautions to protect our teachers and students from COVID-19. Teachers need to feel comfortable about returning to the classroom.
I believe we need to reconfigure some of our schools' basic operational procedures (placement of children's desks, cafeteria seating, bathroom usage, lining up, etc.) to keep COVID-19 under control. I also believe we need to make certain physical plant changes (install plexiglass shields, install fans to increase air circulation, etc.) to make the schools safer.
I believe that a "hybrid" instructional approach, with virtual learning combined with limited in-person instruction, is appropriate as soon as our Alameda County moves to the State’s next tier.
Collaborative & Community First
It is essential to give Dublin residents a strong voice in future development initiatives; development must be community-driven rather than developer-driven, and community members must have an opportunity to provide input from the outset of each project. I understand that involving community members in the development process might slow projects down; moreover, I understand how challenging it can be to build consensus from an extremely diverse community. However, soliciting community input -- through forums, surveys, workshops and other feedback mechanisms -- is the most effective way to ensure that development meet the needs of our broader community. Additionally, there must be absolute transparency between City Council and City staff on all development projects.
We must also be extremely mindful that our infrastructure capacity – particularly schools, roads, water, and sewer – keeps pace with development activity.
Supportive and Creative
As a small business owner, I am especially sensitive to the challenges that small businesses face, and aware of the vital contribution that small businesses make to the local economy. I will be an extremely strong advocate for small businesses. My priorities will be to streamline the process for businesses to open and to reduce the regulatory barriers that can hinder businesses from operating successfully.
I will focus on making Dublin’s vibrant retail sector more attractive to both locals and out-of-towners by implementing sales tax holidays, encouraging cross-marketing between businesses, promoting Dublin as a shopping destination, starting a Dublin shopping “passport” program and other measures.
I will explore negotiating lower rates with delivery companies such as Doordash to reduce the financial burden that delivery fees impose on our restaurants.
Law Enforcement Outreach
I will encourage proactive outreach from Dublin police personnel to our community members, particularly our schools, youth and minority groups, as a means of building goodwill and promoting law and order.
I believe in the effectiveness of a community driven law enforcement where peace officers are actively driving engagement and promoting a positive and peaceful approach to dispute resolution and social issues within our community.
Vacant Commercial Space
One of the likely impacts of COVID-19 will be a substantive increase in vacant commercial space due to closures and workers transitioning to work-from-home arrangements.
We will need to be extremely creative and resourceful in soliciting new tenants and creatively repurposing the spaces to add value to our community.
New High School
Shepherding the development of Emerald High School in Dublin will also be key to our growth and development as a community.
We will need effective and open dialogue throughout the build out process so as to ensure that we mitigate impacts on the surrounding environment, traffic, homeowners and businesses.