A Closer Look at the
Issues that Matter Most
My plan is simple, let’s improve: our safety & traffic, our resilience and preparedness to deal with various circumstances, and our environmental and economic sustainability.
Safety is oftentimes a top priority when choosing where to live, work, and play. It’s also a major reason why many decide to move to Dublin in the first place. We’re fortunate that Dublin is a fairly safe place though we need to constantly explore ways to make our community safer for years to come.
A major area relating to public safety is accountability. Unfortunately, we fall short in this regard. Dublin needs to establish and implement an oversight committee with residents to greatly increase transparency. Transparency supports the goals of community-oriented policies and fosters a stronger sense of confidence that will lead to cooperative efforts with Dublin residents to proactively address safety concerns.
Safety within and around schools is critically important. We have to ensure our children, teachers, and staff feel secure at school and while traveling to and from school. As a city, we should implement technology and programs to make it easier and safer for students to get to and from school, and also explore ways to make our school facilities more secure through enhanced location technology and emergency response management solutions. We should also assess and then make physical improvements to our infrastructure with utilities including high visibility crosswalks, smart stop signs, and curb extensions.
Partially due to an increasing number of Dublin residents and partly due to traffic from neighboring cities, traffic is surging within and surrounding Dublin. As a city, we need to push for smarter solutions like intelligent traffic lights as part of a larger vehicle traffic control system that combines traditional traffic lights with sensors and artificial intelligence to intelligently route vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Alternate paths/routes and timings are also necessary, in addition to expanded bike routes and alternative modes of transit.
We all need to work together! Remember the saying that it takes a village? With responsible leadership, citizens, and neighbors engaged, we can and will maintain and improve safety and traffic in our neighborhoods.
Dealing with COVID-19 and the fires which appear year-over-year sheds light on our lack of preparedness. We need to spend time and resources identifying and filling these gaps so we can deal with these challenges quickly and efficiently, and be proactive for the future.
Generally, these recent events highlight the critical role of strategic, timely, and effective communication in these sorts of circumstances. Specifically related to the pandemic, the realization that both communication and science are essential to promoting and protecting the health of the public was a major milestone in the emerging needs of public health communication, reinforcing its vital role.
I share the concern of many residents who found it difficult to locate real-time information during these fire crises. We need to create clear communication resources like real-time alerts on city webpages, mobile applications, and SMS/phone services. Critical notices such as evacuation notices should be disseminated quickly in order to minimize harm. Established evacuation plans and safe meeting places, for instance, should be widely known and accessible.
Based on my science, healthcare, and technology training and experience, we can leverage multiple solutions to address the communication gap as a priority.
It’s important to increase our economic sustainability in order to become more viable and thriving as a city. An equally valuable tool would be to promote environmental sustainability through a more bike-friendly, livable city, where residents can meet their needs without having to continuously rely on a car. A mixed-use and accessible downtown with housing, retail, restaurants, green spaces, etc., would further provide a valuable center of activity for the city, acting as a catalyst to direct growth within our existing urban footprint, and promoting more active and sustainable lifestyles.
Over the past decade, Dublin has been one of the fastest growing cities in California. While we have been quick to add new housing, commercial development has been slow to catch up. To build a vibrant environmentally and economically sustainable city, we need to have a balance of both homes and businesses – to both promote a healthy and sustainable walkable/bike-able city, and also to keep tax dollars within Dublin to support the needs of the city.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, many businesses will have to make the very difficult decision to close their doors. After the economic downturn in 2008, I was able to help businesses rebuild and thrive. I will apply the same principles and learnings to help rebuild businesses in Dublin, making them stronger! The city will need to provide the right type and amount of incentives to ensure businesses, particularly small businesses, can successfully reopen.
We also need to diversify the businesses within Dublin. Relying too heavily on a particular segment or industry leaves us vulnerable. By creating mixed use spaces, we can attract a variety of commercial and retail businesses. To ensure that Dublin can grow into the vibrant, economically sustainable city we envision, it is critical that the City Council, staff and residents set the tone for future development through thoughtful land-use planning and zoning.