First, let me welcome today’s Juneteenth Day of Observance. It’s so important that this is now our nation’s 12th federal holiday.
Progress can feel slow and then happen all at once – in this case with an unusual and unexpected bipartisan U.S. Senate vote, a quick House vote, and President Biden’s signature to create our first new holiday in almost 40 years.
Juneteenth recognizes June 19, 1865, the day enslaved Black Americans in Galveston Texas learned from Union soldiers that they were free and could no longer be legally kept as property, owned by others. This event happened two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, two months after the end of the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination.
Over the last year-and-a-half, we have had a national conversation and open focus on the ongoing reality of discrimination and injustice in all its forms. Healing, recognition – and ultimately a more just, safe, and equitable future – come from understanding our past.
Our new national holiday is a critical step, and I hope you join me in recognizing its importance during this first annual Day of Observance.
Thank you for your survey responses!
Earlier this week, I asked for your help in expressing your opinions about what our local and state priorities should be. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I was blown away by the hundreds of you who took the time to complete my survey.
As promised, I personally read each of your responses. The amount of thought and effort that went into them wasn’t surprising, based on what I already know about the quality of my subscribers, but the sheer variety of the answers was impressive.
Climate change (including drought and fire danger), homelessness, affordable housing, and pandemic recovery were your most common concerns about California, but I’ll let your actual comments speak for themselves:
What do you think are the most important issues facing California?
- Affordable housing, homelessness, food insecurity
- Climate change
- Drought & fire danger
- Lack of mass transportation
- Water, climate, San Onofre, access to quality education and healthcare
- Preserving voter rights and democracy; infrastructure
- People back to work and kids in school
- Corporate greed
- Mental health, equitable economic recovery
- The quality of life plus crime
- Gun control
- Traffic & roadways
- Equality in immigration, education, economic opportunity, and housing
- Coastal erosion, police brutality
- Environment, water, hate
- Child Care, Minimum wage needs to increase, Would love to see more support for post HS training, or college
- Domestic terrorism
- Safety from aggressive people… lack of tolerance
- Special interests control state government
- Opposing the gubernatorial recall effort
- Creating caring communities/loneliness, walkable/bike commpunities
- Getting people vaccinated including children
- Institutional racism
- Well educated youth
Many of the same concerns listed above for California came up in your thoughts about your neighborhood or local community. Here are some of the additional local issues you shared:
What do you think are the most important issues facing your neighborhood or local community?
- Far right extremism – neighbors who seem “out to get each other” because of politics
- Goodson project, fire threat
- Lack of E-bike regulations. Parking at Olympus park
- I cannot find a place to park near my home
- Preserving tree canopies, open space and natural habitat
- Homeless vehicles at Moonlight Beach
- Too rich (white, privileged etc,)
- No sidewalks, Cardiff cliffs have no sidewalk or benches just people’s old patio furniture
- Construction projects that outpaces infrastructure
- I’m living in Sweden, a friend send me your almoust weekly inform from your campaign, so don’t give up you’re in the right tracks
- Keeping 101 downtown family friendly, more cross RR track options
- The need for additional fire safety access in Olivenhain
- My neighborhood is on Earth
- TRAIN NOISE and nighttime loud bar music noise
- Too many people with a not in my backyard attitude
- High taxes, traffic, not super bike friendly, terrible public transportation
- Lack of good paying jobs
The answers to this next question were of personal interest to me because, unlike issue-related thoughts, they concern the character of the person who will hold the office of state senator. These reflections also spoke volumes about the impressive character of most the folks who responded.
What qualities are most important to you when choosing a state senator?
- Integrity, responsiveness, experience
- Progressive ideas – focus on inequality, race, compassionate approaches to homelessness, lgbtq, and also environmental activism
- Fiscally responsible and somewhat socially liberal
- Someone who listens and is a problem solver
- Integrity, vote the issue not the party
- Transparency, honesty, compassion
- Experience and the commitment to be pragmatic and practical regarding our state
- Outcome based policies with measurement to follow up and stay accountable
- Boldness to stand up to the system and produce the appropriate changes to today’s challenges
- Having a vision for the future
- Get rid of mandatory housing
- No party affiliation
- A focus on all constituents, not just ones with money
- A flow of communication to the community
- Follow through with campaign promises
- Work w Governor Newsome
- A senator who makes decisions based upon scientific evidence and evidence based best practices
- Balls to take on the established government and the associated political parties
- Truth – I can handle it!
- Business policies
- Represents majority and stands up for good stewardship of natural resources
- You would be perfect
- Street smart, book smart, business experience, parent skills, well educated, strong inner compass, efficient, effective, inspiring
Here are more survey responses:
How important is it to you that we preserve California’s natural beauty and open space for future generations?
This one was as close to a slam dunk as you can get. On a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being the most important, the average from among the hundreds of replies was 4.76. Nice to know that there’s still agreement from all sides of the political spectrum!
How important is it to you that California provide more affordable housing?
Obviously, a controversial topic across the state, so I was pleased to note that the average response was very high agreement on the 1-to-5 scale: 4.05. The desire to be good neighbors is strong amongst us.
Do you support Governor Newsom’s $100 billion California Comeback Plan to help the state recover from the effects of COVID-19?
55% of you said yes, 22% voted no, 10% marked “don’t know,” and 13% didn’t answer. Sounds like we have some serious work ahead to let people know exactly what measures are being taken to stabilize our economy.
Any other comments you’d like to add?
- Thanks for caring enough to ask these questions!
- It seems petty, but while you are still a mayor, some corners in Encinitas need some red paint‚ people make turning corners dangerous by parking on them. For example, the corner of Jupiter and 101. Hey, you asked.
- Hold a Summit to address safety concerns regarding e-bikes
- We have had a homeless problem since the beginning of time as a big blue lake to the west and our beaches is such an attraction to transient lifestyles. I appreciate what was tried with the parking lot. Quite obviously there are a number of people angry that what they perceive be a homeless shelter was put in their backyard. It is now obvious they have a vendetta against you and are doing everything they can blame you for anything and everything that goes on much of which had always been there. I find this very unfortunate and just want to add my thoughts as another supporter those people are mean spirited and unkind
- Before you leave, could you get the traffic light at Birmingham AND San Elijo changed to audio. I’m losing my eyesight
- Thank you for all you have done for Encinitas!
- Will you support my vision, to mandate financial education for college graduates?
- The density in encinitas is unsustainable. Traffic is gridlocked and more developments are being built
- I support the direction Catherine has taken Encinitas toward. My concern is that some of those initiatives will be undone under a new mayor and/or council.
- You have done a great job as mayor. I’m not happy about losing you as mayor, but hopefully you can continue your contributions to a better life for all Californians in Sacramento.
- The open space on La Costa ave – Piraeus St and Skyloft overlooking the lagoon is a critical piece of natural habitat that supports the lagoon wildlife, including several threatened and endangered species, needs to be preserved and protected from development
- Was a big supporter but was disappointed in the failure to enforce covid restrictions in Encinitas, Encinitas became the “go to” place for people wanting to flaunt restrictions and city did little to stop it. Have not decided yet whether I will continue to support Blakespear after this
- If you are elected, I hope you will remember how the heavy hand of state government can sometimes make life miserable for local governments. The state legislature does not always know what is best
- Plastic packaging for lettuce and cherry tomatoes cause me concern
- Vote for the removal of people who promote gun shows at the Del Mar Fair
- I hope that Catherine will represent the 40% (or so) of conservatives in her district and not cave in to leftist demands.
- My husband and I live on Hillcrest Dr in north Leucadia, not far to the east of Vulcan Ave. For some years now I’ve felt that Vulcan Ave north of Leucadia Blvd hasn’t received the same positive attention from the City Council as the section of Vulcan Ave to the south of Leucadia Blvd.
- I was thrilled with your election to City Council and have often shared your newsletters with friends in Carlsbad and Oceanside, bragging about how fortunate we are to have a forward thinking person at the helm of our city
- As a Democrat, I cannot support your ideas on homeless deserve to live here free. Living in cars/ vans parked everywhere. Cannot support affordable housing over residents. Must get drugs out of CA. Happy you support trees though.
- Design Review Board!!!
- I think you already have a solid grip on pressing issues.
- Would be helpful to better understand role of Senate vs House in CA. We rarely hear about the Senate, but Catherine has been a very good Mayor so I trust her to do the same in the Senate
- I’d like to thank you for putting the kabosh on the bus bench removal.
- I do not know all the details in Newsom’s plan yet, so I do not know what parts I support or not at this moment in time.
- Thanks so much for the weekly newsletter! I really appreciate getting a chance to be informed of what is going on in the city. I hope you can keep the communication going when you are a senator
So there you have it.
I must thank you again for your input and let you know that you’ve given me a lot of food for thought. In fact, I’m enjoying a veritable feast of helpful opinions – most positive, some not so upbeat.
The entire spectrum of your views is important to me, since I aim to represent all the folks in Encinitas, and hopefully State Senate District 36 after the general election next year. Nobody’s perfect, and I’m always striving to improve.
Your thoughts have inspired me and presented me with a more sharply focused understanding of your priorities. I plan to take your compliments and criticism to heart in the decisions I make as your representative.
By the way, it’s not too late to participate in the survey. If these responses have gotten you thinking about these issues, I enthusiastically invite you to join in!
It feels good to know that so many of you care enough to take time to let me know your thoughts on these critical issues in these tumultuous times. With your support and community engagement, I truly believe our best days are ahead of us.
With much gratitude and respect,