Several weeks ago, Sustainable City News released a survey to all Whittier City Council candidates. Not all candidates have participated. We will add profiles as responses arrive.
Cathy Warner, the incumbent council member in District 3, shared these written responses to our survey questions:
Why are you running for Whittier City Council in 2020?
I am running for City Council in 2020 so that I may continue to make decisions for the residents of Whittier that are in the best interest of the Greater Good. Additionally, I am running because of the passion I have for my beloved City and its residents.
What are your qualifications for serving on the Whittier City Council?
In general my qualifications are that I have extensive experience and knowledge of our governance process as it relates to Whittier and I have owned two small businesses in Whittier for many years. These two factors qualify me from both the public and private perspective with the skills and knowledge necessary to continue serving on the Council. Additionally, I have served and continue to serve on multiple non-profit organizations as well as a representative from the Whittier City Council to other public agencies. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a Master of Leadership from the Price School of Public Policy at USC.
What budget priorities will you promote for the City of Whittier as a member of City Council?
My budget priorities are 1. Public Safety; 2. City Infrastructure; 3. Services for Residents. These three general categories also include dealing with our current homeless issues as well as other challenges the City faces.
As a member of City Council, how will you increase meaningful participation in City governance by residents?
Meaningful participation in City governance by residents has increased dramatically over the past decade which is very positive for both residents, elected & appointed public officials. I have and will continue to assure that the Brown Act is followed in detail which promotes public participation as well as insure that the City continues to hold charretts and town hall meetings in order to include public participation in a meaningful manner.
As a member of City Council, how will you address the dual crisis in housing and homelessness?
The City has been addressing with the homeless crisis over the past two years by: 1. Creating a homeless plan; 2. Contracting with City Net for our own homeless count; 3. Negotiating with Orange County Federal Judge David Carter regarding the number of beds we need to satisfy Martin v Boise; 4. Disseminating an RFP for a Navigation Center to house the homeless; 5. Implementing a nighttime curfew at two parks; 6. Financially encumbering 11 beds at First Day (as of the date of this writing); 7.Negotiating with First Day for an additional 34 beds when their other contracts expire; 8. Encouraging First Day to apply for a revised CUP to allow up to 60 beds. In regards to housing, the City can use zoning waivers as well as disseminate RFPs for affordable development on City owned land.
As a member of City Council, how will you facilitate the creation of a strong local economy?
I will continue to utilize the strategies that have been in place for many years that support a strong local economy which are: 1. When we lost five car dealerships with the recession of 2008, the City responded by marketing itself to developers which has resulted in all five sites being repurposed; 2. The Community Development Department continues to have a team of officials to meet with developers to fast track plan approvals as well as permits; 3. Continue the relationship with the Whittier Chamber of Commerce who are our partners in developing a strong local economy; 4. Continue the economic development marketing & outreach that is part of the City plan. All of these strategies have resulted in 400 new businesses coming to Whittier over the past four years.
How can the City of Whittier make the most impact on reducing its carbon footprint?
Please see the CityofWhittier.org website for a listing of all the strategies the City has implemented over the past several years relative to reducing its carbon footprint. Additionally, electric charging stations are being placed within the new parking deck and infrastructure for electric charging stations is being placed in the new parking deck.
As a member of City Council, how will you help low-income, underserved, and at-risk residents gain access to the support and services they need to survive and thrive?
For several years the City has provided information for low-income, underserved and at risk residents to help them gain access to support and services. This has been done by: 1) Providing information in utility bills that explain available discount programs; 2) Providing information about discounts and services at both libraries and both Senior Centers; 3) Providing information at the Veteran’s Center at the Uptown Library about discounts & services; 4) Disseminating information through non-profits in the City about discounts & services; 5) Providing information at local events such as the Police Open House & Concerts in the Park relative to discounts & services.
What else do voters need to know about how your tenure on City Council will benefit Whittier?
I would like voters to know that because I have served several years on the City Council, I have the experience and knowledge to seek and obtain answers and services for our residents. Additionally, because of my experience, I am aware of and serve on other public boards that provide services to our residents such as the Los Angeles County Sanitation District which provides sewer hookups to all of us as well as the processing of our sewage and trash.