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The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School

Expressions

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Expressions Gets to Know City Council Member Andy Pease

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Photo courtesy of San Luis Obispo City Chamber of Commerce.

With the election inching closer and closer, our local races have been getting more and more attention. Now, more than ever, San Luis Obispo High School students have realized that these local elections impact them.

Two seats on the City Council have an opening this year, as many are already aware of. San Luis Obispo City Council Member Andy Pease is an incumbent, running for re-election. She has been endorsed by notable groups, like the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party.

Expressions sat down (virtually) with Pease to get to know more about her and her campaign.

Expressions: What’s your background? What inspired you to go into politics?

Council Member Andy Pease: I’m a green building architect, committed to environmental activism. But I felt limited on influencing other issues including social justice and economic disparity so I ran for office in 2016 and was elected to city council

Expressions: What are the core beliefs of your campaign?

Pease: Economic recovery, housing affordability, climate action, addressing homelessness, and diversity and inclusion.

Expressions: What ideas do you have for how to handle the homelessness crisis in SLO?

Pease: We have strengthened partnerships with the county and non-profit agencies to support the homeless services center and provide services in the field. We must do more, and I support developing transitional housing, deploying social workers to those in crisis and advocating for mental health services for all who need it

Expressions: What should be done about reforming/defunding the police in SLO?

Pease: We must assess how we spend our public safety dollars and re-direct funds in ways that make our entire community safer, supported, and more inclusive in the future. The City is not funded to provide public health and other critical service programs, so we will partner with organizations, advocate at the County, State and Federal level and work deeply and creatively about our city work programs. We have so much work to do to dismantle the historic systems of racism that continue to disproportionately impact the lives of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) through disparities in education, health, safety and economic opportunity. I am committed to that work and will continue to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of the city.

Expressions: Do you support ethnic/cultural studies being necessary to graduate in SLO?

Pease: Yes.

Expressions: What are your plans for economic recovery from COVID-19?

Pease: Over the past few years, we have tightened our city budget and planned for long-term fiscal health, putting us in a stronger position for recovery. I will work to retain local businesses, support head-of-household jobs, and help provide child care for working families, while maintaining essential services for all residents. I’m proud of the work we have done so far, including parklets for restaurants, stream-lining permitting process, micro-grants and dedicated staff time to support all local businesses.

Expressions: What do you think are the most effective ways to deal with the climate crisis at a local level?

Pease: Everything we can! We have an aggressive goal of carbon neutral by 2035 and a Climate Action Plan to get there. We have already converted the entire city to carbon-free electricity through Community Choice Energy, leading the region to join as well. We are working on transitioning all energy away from fossil fuels and reducing transportation impacts by promoting housing near jobs and car-fee options. And we are working on urban forestry and carbon farming for sequestration.

Expressions: What legislation are you proudest of with your time in office so far?

Pease: I am proud of the housing that will be coming on line over the next few years because we included requirements that will make it more affordable to the local workforce. Good housing addresses all critical issues: environmental, economic and social justice.

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