In these unprecedented times, I think it is critical to have someone on the city council with the sense of place, and the diversity, that I bring. I would like to contribute my voice to the discussion as someone who has lived in this community my entire life from the perspective of a Latino resident.
Becoming a city council member is the next logical progression in my life of giving back, and service, directed at helping to improve my community. Born and raised in Sebastopol, I have proudly served in numerous capacities and roles throughout Sonoma County. I have served as a Sebastopol Planning Commissioner for the last 10 years and currently am the Chairman.
The Planning Commission experience, combined with my economic development background and deep roots in the community, position me to be a great asset to Sebastopol. I want to be the candidate, and elected official, that gives you confidence. To not only do the job, but someone who you can reach out to and discuss the issues facing our community.
In the last three years we have faced extraordinary challenges. Our town has provided shelter from fires and floods. I am so proud of the way we have risen to meet the challenges. The pandemic and latest wildfires have put an exclamation point on our need to respond to global climate change. We must all do our part to ensure we are working towards sustainability and greenhouse gas reductions. I will work with the other council members to advance the city’s efforts in this regard.
In order to protect our children, who the future belongs to, I will collaborate to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Sebastopol, working cooperatively within our community to support programs that conserve our natural resources and land. We must also protect our growing senior population who built this community. Together, we have the opportunity to build a better tomorrow.
I’ve lived in Sebastopol for twenty years and raised my family here. I cherish this town and am passionate about serving it. I’m proud of my work here, as the Executive Director of the Sebastopol Community Center (2010-17), and in my many projects that have benefitted youth, business, seniors, the environment, emergency preparedness and more. The long-standing, trusting relationships I’ve developed reach across all aspects of our town. Transparency and accountability are core values for me, and I am responsible and ethical in all I do. I am by nature a collaborator, and my training and life experiences have helped me become an excellent problem-solver.
My priorities are City Services/Fiscal Responsibility: Providing quality services in the face of seriously declining revenue (as much as 20-25 percent) will be my main priority. We’ll need to pay close attention to revenue opportunities and to prioritizing City services while maintaining our core values.
Social and Economic Stability for businesses and residents: Improving the social and economic stability of our businesses, families and seniors in these starkly uncertain times is essential. At issue are business survival, distance learning, housing, jobs, social justice, policing, natural resources and more.
Hope/ Communication/ Engagement: Covid-19 has changed the entire world, including our small town. It has threatened our sense of hope and confidence in the future and our ability to tackle the more tangible challenges we face. My plan? More communication, collaboration and engagement in city decision-making, so we can all have a renewed sense that we have a say in our local government and can control our future.
I love Sebastopol. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve this wonderful town as a city councilmember, and to use my skills and experience to help move us through this new era successfully. www.electdianarich.com.