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      2 male and 2 female candidates

      Alhambra: Know Your Council Candidates

      ColoradoBoulevard.net presented three fundamental questions to the five candidates for the Alhambra City Council.

      By Editorial Board

      We received responses from four candidates; David Mejia (Incumbent) did not respond. (Candidates are in alphabetical order).

      Question #1:

      What are your thoughts on climate change and how it affects the City?

      decorativeKarsen Luthi (District 4):

      Climate change is real and it is happening at a quickening pace.  My biggest concern is the resurgence of a virus, e.g. smallpox, or other bacterial disease that has been locked away in the thawing Siberian permafrost.  If what I suspect is coming does arrive, we will have an event that makes Covid-19 look tame.  We can prepare on a local level in case of an outbreak, but real action to address climate change needs to be a cooperative international effort.

      decorativeJeff Maloney (Incumbent, District 3):

      Climate change is the top challenge for our entire society, including Alhambra.  We already are suffering the effects: extreme heatwaves, forest fires, and toxic air quality.  The Council recently approved my proposal for our first Sustainability Action Plan, to enact real environmental reform in Alhambra. We also adopted a tree protection law and planted over 900 new trees since I took office.  I will continue to lead our community in these efforts.

      decorativeChris Olson (District 3):

      Extreme heat affects the health and wellbeing of our community, with a disproportionate impact on low-income people, seniors and the unhoused, who have less access to air conditioning.  We now average 32 days per year with daytime temperatures above 95 degrees.  Last month we experienced the worst air quality in over 25 years.  Alhambra must face this challenge as a climate emergency – including an aggressive tree-planting campaign, reducing urban heat islands, and mitigating traffic impacts.

      decorativeSasha Renée Pérez (District 4):

      Climate change is real. Alhambra residents have been impacted by nearby wildfires, poor air quality, excessive heat, and drought. If elected, I will propose a Climate Action Plan to establish benchmark goals for reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions and carcinogens. I will work to increase green space, create alternatives to driving, streamline EV charging station permitting, and propose programs to reduce waste, encourage gardens, and plant trees.

      Question #2:

      How do you intend to address the housing and homelessness crisis in the City?

      Karsen Luthi (District 4):

      This is a very complicated issue, and it is difficult to address in just a few words.  There are three components: economic (that is the easy fix), mental health, and substance abuse.  It is going to require a public investment ($$$) to fix, but I would also include “contact tracing” relatives of those in this group-parents, children, siblings–who should be required to share in efforts to get this fixed.  No relative of mine would ever be in this situation!

      Jeff Maloney (Incumbent, District 3):

      I support an “all of the above” approach to homelessness and housing.  Alhambra has led on homelessness outreach, connecting those in need with resources.  People suffering housing insecurity are our neighbors, and they should be treated with respect.  I’m proud the affordable housing ordinance was recently approved, and I support building new affordable housing projects.  As always, we must also mitigate the impacts of new projects and consider the interests of current Alhambra residents.

      Chris Olson (District 3):

      I will advocate for the creation of more affordable units for sale and rental.  I will work with nonprofit developers and social service providers to create safe, effective, and well-designed permanent supportive housing programs that can provide homeless families a successful method of transitioning from living on the street.  I will encourage support for the creation of affordable workforce housing by large employers in the SGV, enabling employees to live locally while also building equity.

      Sasha Renée Pérez (District 4):

      I will work to pass multiple protective ordinances that will provide affordable housing, renters’ protections, and displacement prevention. I also will work to expand federal, state, and county homebuyer programs to Alhambra so that low- and moderate-income families can access homeownership, and I will advocate for ways to stretch the impact of our existing HUD/CDBG funds. These measures will protect the stability of our communities and enable us to do our part in solving the regional housing crisis.

      Question #3:

      How do you intend to fund your campaign?  What is your strategy to win?

      Karsen Luthi (District 4):

      I did not seek or accept any campaign contributions or endorsements. Both come with strings attached—at a minimum, either access or influence.  I think they both corrupt the process.  As to my strategy, I would be happy to discuss that after the election

      Jeff Maloney (Incumbent, District 3):

      My campaign is funded by contributions from friends, family, and colleagues.  I am NOT accepting campaign contributions from developers, City contractors, or special interests.  I support and helped to draft Measure V, which includes a ban on contributions from these special interests. My strategy is to run a clean, positive campaign focused on the issues.  The voters of Alhambra reject negative campaigning, personal attacks, and innuendo.  They want to talk about the issues.  I agree.

      Chris Olson (District 3):

      I made a commitment to Alhambra voters that I would not accept campaign contributions totaling more than $250 per person or business.  My vote on the Council will not be bought or influenced.  A grassroots campaign like mine depends upon a skilled and committed volunteer team, walking precincts and meeting voters, strategic use of mailers, social media and phone banking to tell my story, and 30+ years of developing relationships of trust within the community.

      Sasha Renée Pérez (District 4):

      My campaign is funded through grassroots supporters, including hundreds of Alhambra residents, labor organizations, and community leaders. I have not taken any contributions from developers or anyone with contracts before the City. My strategy to win is simple – get my message out to as many voters as possible.

       

      About Our Election Coverage:

      Candidate Questions
      ColoradoBoulevard.net offered every single candidate in nearby cities a free opportunity to answer questions we provided.
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      Separately, candidates are offered the opportunity to advertise in our print and online editions, in which some do and some opt not to.
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      ColoradoBoulevard.net ethical standards dictate that our investigative reporting is independent from advertising revenues. No story will be suppressed, removed, downplayed or boosted depending on advertising revenues. That’s what distinguishes our publication from the rest.
      Op-ed
      One op-ed is allowed per candidate (regardless of the writer, be it the candidate or a supporter). Op-eds will be copy-edited and sent to the writer for final approval. ColoradoBoulevard.net reserves the right to publish, or not, if standards are not met.
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      To Our Readers
      We will remain vigilant, guarding the truth and exposing corruption in our communities. The more ‘fake news’ shouts you hear, the more you know we are on the right track. Some local politicians have been running mudslinging campaigns, taking unethical contributions and engaging in corruption for more than thirty years. Finally, ColoradoBoulevard.net is here to expose and educate. The ultimate decision lies with you, the reader; your honest vote is your last, and final, defense against corruption.

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