MY PRIORITIES

Income Inequality

OUR POLICY:

There is a growing gap between those who are thriving and surviving. I see a great deal of classism toward our neighbors in Pomona; toward renters; toward those of us who live "below the train tracks" in District 5; toward affordable housing units and those who reside there. We cannot be "one Claremont" until the city is equitable to us all. District 5 has nearly twice the renting population of any other district, so I pledge to scrap any policy that widens the gap between those who are struggling and those who have more to give.

 

HOW WE DO IT:

-Income-based fees and fines so that violations and licensing equitably and proportionately impact people

-Provide free financial literacy programs and job training services

-No regressive taxes. No new taxes that impact households making less than $200,000 per year

-Decriminalize poverty by undoing restrictive zoning in certain areas of Claremont and removing the overnight parking fee

Policing

OUR POLICY:

The official stance of the Movement for Black Lives is to abolish the police and criminal punishment system. If we are to stand with Black residents of the United States, California and Claremont, then that must be the goal. As an abolitionist, I imagine a future without policing as it exists right now; 52% of Claremont's general fund is spent on policing while we see cuts to health and human services during a global pandemic. I favor a large-scale reallocation of the budget and bold, piecemeal progress toward abolition.

HOW WE DO IT:

-Transfer specific duties from police officers to unarmed professionals in the fields of mental health, homeless advocacy, traffic and more

-Transform our police commission into an oversight committee with disciplinary power

-Invest the money from defunding police into funding community programs, rehabilitation, housing, education and jobs, treating the disease instead of the symptoms

covid-19 response

OUR POLICY:

This year has been devastating for so many of us -- physically, economically, socially and psychologically. I am concerned for the working class and the small business owners who were barely getting by before a global pandemic. I applaud the Claremont Al Fresco and Claremont Emergency Small Business Grant programs, and I believe the long-term human-centered benefits of doing "too much" outweigh the short-term costs.

HOW WE DO IT:

-Subsidize childcare and other community programs for struggling families

-Protect renters with a citywide moratorium on nonpayment evictions until the end of the pandemic

-Provide mask dispensers in the newly-mandated mask ordinance zones in Claremont to ensure our unhoused residents and others avoid further financial distress 

-Re-fund organizations like AgingNext to protect our seniors, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus

Small Businesses

OUR POLICY:

Claremont's small businesses give our city so much of its character. Our charming Village and beyond is at risk due to COVID-19 and its economic ramifications. We must do everything in our power to preserve this downtown -- through relief efforts, but also through intelligent development that does not threaten the city's feel or longtime shop owners. The struggle between progress and conservation requires a delicate touch and an understanding of what makes Claremont unique, desirable and attractive.

 

HOW WE DO IT:

-Protect the look and feel of our Village and Village expansions by maintaining variances that keep out big corporations

-Attract and support Black business owners via matching grants from national organizations and programs like MBDA and CDFI

-Defer payments on licenses, rent and fees for small businesses struggling due to COVID-19

OUR POLICY:
Black, Indigenous and other residents of color in Claremont feel unsafe or fear for their children's lives, arguments over national politics sow local division, and our community suffers. Our city is not immune to racism and bigotry. P
olicy is not race-neutral -- in its effects, it is either racist or antiracist. Claremont can take the lead to implement antiracist policies across all sectors of governance. I'll continue to use my privilege to fight for this.

 

HOW WE DO IT:

-Housing justice is racial justice. Provide affordable housing (see below)

-Climate justice is racial justice. Combat climate change (see below)

-Economic justice is racial justice. Make Claremont equitable to lower-income residents (see above)

-Amplify BIPOC voices with community-sponsored events

-Increase representation in leadership roles

-Require ethnic studies in schools

-Defund the police (see below)

racial justice 
Housing

OUR POLICY:

We are in the middle of a housing crisis in California. Renters are suffering fears of eviction due to the financial impact of COVID-19, homeowners who have lost their jobs worry about keeping their house, and  restrictive zoning has formalized the "Not In My Back Yard" feelings that have their roots in segregation and classism. We must create more affordable housing, eliminate restrictive zoning that creates unequal access, and grow into a future where young families can live comfortably and children that went to school in Claremont aren't forced to leave where they grew up.

HOW WE DO IT:

-Set specific standards for developments like the South Village that require a minimum of 40% affordable housing units and LEED certification

-Approve housing that does not lie within 500 feet of airports or major freeways in order to protect future residents from emissions and noise pollution

-Upzone across Claremont while retaining the look and feel of our beautiful city

OUR POLICY:

As an environmental professional, I've helped plan and executive fundraising events for organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Greenpeace, California Native Plant Society, City Plants, LA Food Policy Council and many more. I want to expand Claremont's sustainable legacy into one rooted in climate justice, which is tied to racial and social justice. Our efforts must be holistic and bold -- climate change isn't taking a day off, and we can't rely solely on state and federal statutes to combat it.

 

HOW WE DO IT:

-Employ a full-time arborist for our 24,000-tree urban forest and a city sustainability coordinator

-Support transit-oriented housing, electric intracity shuttle, full bike lanes, limited parking for new developments and other policies that reduce air pollution and emissions 

-Re-fund programs from Sustainable Claremont

Climate & sustainability
FISCal responsibility

OUR POLICY:

It's no secret that Claremont has a budget crisis. While I may have progressive ideals, I'm also deeply pragmatic -- having run a multi-million dollar small business with 10 employees answering directly to me will do that. Our city needs to address our lack of revenue generation, unfunded pension liabilities ($50+ million in CalPERS) and structural deficit in a way that doesn't reduce vital services during a global pandemic. 

HOW WE DO IT:

-In new revenue generation, create limited-use funds that are strictly for future pension obligations and other employment benefit payments 

-Increase our transient occupancy tax (TOT) to 15%, earning an extra $660,000 per year for the city while only impacting visitors and tourists

-Defund police, using curtailment of benefits to pay the pensions of our officers for their past work, not future earnings

Paid for by
Bennett Rea for Claremont City Council 2020

ID #1429608