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.
Magdalena Barragnon Moe, who is running for election in District 1, shared these written responses to our survey questions:
Why are you running for Whittier City Council in 2020?
I am running for city council because I live in a diverse community and I believe strongly in equal representation for all. District 1 is 85 percent Spanish surname and I believe that I can be a great representative to all of my community. I am bi- lingual and I can communicate well with my constituents. This is important because I can understand their wants and needs. I believe that district 1 is the most underrepresented district in the city of Whittier and together we can work as a community to change this unfair practice of inequity. Our district is in great need of lighting so that we can feel safe in our neighborhood and when we go out and spend money at our local businesses. This is an important issue. Our streets and sidewalks are in need of repair. We have many valued seniors, disabled and special needs people who live in district one.
What are your qualifications for serving on the Whittier City Council?
Ii have lived in Whittier my entire life and have always been a community volunteer. I believe in mentoring people as I have been mentored by the local organizations that I belong to like Whittier sunrise rotary, the Whittier regional symphony and the Whittier voters coalition. I have been an interpreter for the people since I was a young girl, helping Spanish seniors write letters in English and vice versa with communications in Spanish for English speakers. This has been beneficial.
What budget priorities will you promote for the City of Whittier as a member of City Council?
Priorities will include investing in our cities lighting for residential and commercial areas including our Greenway trail. Monies for repair on our sidewalks and streets. Affordable housing provided by any developer who wants to develop in Whittier. We must finish the uptown specific plan and start building housing for young families, single occupancy and for veterans. We need to be proactive for the homeless and working with nonprofit organizations that are successful with dealing with the homeless problems. We must address the problems that we have, or it will get worse. We can partner with owners of transitional housing and be successful into helping people be independent. There are many buildings that used to have budget housing and we need to look into finding solutions for affordable housing. There is a great project called Marvin’s gardens, a housing community for homeless families which are beautiful and successfully managed. I know a lady who lives there, and she lives there, happily with her family.
As a member of City Council, how will you increase meaningful participation in City governance by residents?
Yes, this is the key to a successful community. Our community needs to be engaged so we can participate and work together as a team. I love to identify leaders and thrive on their ideas and enthusiasm. I’m going to call it team Whittier which will consist of leaders of important issues that affect our city. For example, the senior population, our climate change, going green ideas, a better farmers market with organic foods, disability accessibility and a community garden for the young and the seasoned seniors like me. Is garden that will be used as an educational classroom.
As a member of City Council, how will you address the dual crisis in housing and homelessness?
Affordable, creating single residential, offering grants to transitional and partnering with the county and the state for monies for nonprofits who are successful in providing beds for the homeless now not tomorrow.
As a member of City Council, how will you facilitate the creation of a strong local economy?
We need to invest in our community with lighting and beautification of our shopping areas. Invite new businesses to come like organic and real healthy eating restaurants, innovated ideas like broadcasting and sound studios, changing the zoning laws to permit warehousing in Whittier so we can have manufacturing and jobs in Whittier. I would like to propose an energy efficient shuttle on weekend to go to the Whittier hills for locals and visitors. They can be taken to uptown Whittier to eat at our different eateries, breweries and coffee. They can come and shop at our local businesses but first we have to make it attractive and beautiful. I envision sitting areas for people to relax with a water fountain and to enjoy their families and pets.
How can the City of Whittier make the most impact on reducing its carbon footprint?
It starts in our home and local businesses. We can see what other cities are doing like the city of Brea who just got an award. We can use Led lighting to conserve energy on our streets, homes, businesses and city buildings. The city can provide incentives for new developments to build green buildings and use solar panels to save energy. We can plant drought resistant gardens to conserve water. We can have more efficient and energy vehicles for our city fleet and have more charging stations.
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?
We provide the community access to all programs that are and will be available. We partner with nonprofits who are successful in helping our community. We get grant writers to reach out to see what we can be attainable. The limits are endless if we work together as a community.
What else do voters need to know about how your tenure on City Council will benefit Whittier?
I lead with enthusiasm and positive re enforcement of people abilities. We are all different and have different talents. We put all of our talents together and come up with a beautiful melting pot of ideas and we put them to work. I love my community and have been endorsed by the Whittier daily news as an advocate for my community. This is my testament to growth in my life and others around me. We only live once. Let’s make it happen by unity and good will.