"I come from a proud family that has been involved in community service for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you. We need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety a top priority. With nearly a decade of small business experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate complicated agencies, and get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
NO MORE TAXES!
The budget issues that have blighted the City for decades to continue to plague our streets. 2020 has ushered in a new Utility User Tax increase on the ballot this November, with the nearly full support of City Council (4 out of 5 votes!). This tax hike will affect our water, power, gas and communications bills with a 2.5% tax increase for those services.
The timing of this ballot measure is not coincidental. It aligns with the unveiling of the new budget for 2021-2022. It demonstrates the inability of the current administration to creatively generate revenue in the City. The Downtown Hawthorne Specific Plan continues to be stalled, resulting in devastating blows to our local economy.
With the combined $8 million from the 2018 sales tax increase and the new $3.5 million revenue from the Utility Tax, the City Council has fleeced residents a total of $11.5 million annually in new taxes. With more than 30% of American households missing their July housing payment and nearly 30 million people unemployed, I say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
Every election ushers in a new hope for Hawthorne residents. I vow to end the tax hikes and work toward replacement plans for the increased sales tax. I am committed to resurrecting transformative projects like the Hawthorne Shopping Plaza and Robert F. Kennedy Hospital. I will work to streamline business licensing for new and existing business. I will encourage new business development with moderate tax incentives, while ensuring large corporations like SpaceX and Marriott pay their fair share.
A vote for Amie Shepard this November, is a vote to Rebuild Hawthorne!
HAWTHORNE MALL PROJECT
Multiple administrations have tried, and failed to develop the mall. With my unique experience in real estate, I have the business experience needed to bring the developers back to the table.
The City of Hawthorne is a crowned jewel in the South Bay economic arena, home to major corporations like SpaceX, Tesla, and Amazon. We are on the precipice of a business renaissance and the former mall site is a diamond in the rough. For decades, our defunct mall has been an embarrassing blight to the City and a drain on our resources. I am motivated to work with the developer to bring a quality project to our neighborhood, worthy of a home in our City.
As a council member, I resolve to work diligently to ensure an ethical, transparent project that involves the community at every level possible. It is my goal to preserve the integrity of existing businesses along Hawthorne Boulevard, while progressing the City forward with new development.
As a Councilmember, I will move to initiate groundbreaking at the former mall location within 18-24 months.
For current information on the Downtown Hawthorne Specific Plan & proposed mall project, please link to my social media page here.
As a councilmember, I resolve to continue working with the Mayor and City Developer to maintain a balance between our bread-and-butter small businesses and large corporations. Shuttered storefronts are not acceptable!
I am committed to "Shop Small," a movement to encourage local, small business shopping in our communities. As a council member, I am dedicated to helping small businesses flourish. By creating tax-based incentives, generating a pipeline of micro-investors & raising the economic spending power of our neighborhood, we can create job growth & prosperity for our residents and business owners.
As a council member, I am committed to ensuring the long-term economic growth of our city. I am challenged by the opportunity to work with local business owners to preserve the economic integrity of our city, while we broaden the financial horizons through commerce, development & construction.
Failing schools are unacceptable! One of the biggest issues facing our City is low reading and math proficiency from our high school graduates. Only 54% of our students are reading at grade level, and an abysmal 15% are proficient in grade level math. What good is a diploma if the students can't read or write?
For far too long, I have listened to previous City Councils separate themselves from the happenings of the School District. When elected, I resolve work with the Superintendent and School Board, along with the teachers unions and parents to change the perception of our school district. It is my goal to not only graduate students but also ensure they have the math and reading skills they need to succeed in life.
It is my commitment to the residents of Hawthorne to work with our teachers, administration & school board to improve test scores, increase access to extra-curricular programs & to remediate problems within our school budgets.
POLICE & BLACK LIVES MATTER
The City of Hawthorne celebrates its vast diversity. With recent events in the media surrounding the systemic racism that is prevalent across the nation, our first responders in Hawthorne have a heightened level of commitment to our neighborhoods. Residents have had the opportunity to peacefully protest throughout the City, with support from HPD.
Hawthorne Police & Fire Departments are some of the best public servants in the country. Our current Police Chief Mike Ishii is committed to community policing programs that build relationships between police and residents.
It is my goal as a council member to ensure that the police & fire departments retain their ability to respond to our City's emergencies, with adequate resources and funding. Additionally, I support the investment by our City in programs that continue to build unity between police and neighbors.
Check out a few words from Hawthorne Police Department's Lt. Robbie Williams on fighting racial injustice while serving and protecting by clicking here.
The world has been devastated by the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. When elected, I will stand by our doctors, researchers and scientists in developing safe, efficient ways to return to normalcy.
As business owners and workers struggle to adapt to the new health and safety regulations, I will work diligently to help businesses create safe environments for employees and customers. I will work to streamline re-opening plans, encouraging business owners to get back to work safely. I will support creative, adaptive ideas put forth from business owners to help in expediting return to work.
Many parents have expressed concern in returning to school. As your elected official, I will support the Hawthorne and Centinella Valley school boards in their re-opening efforts to ensure a healthy, academic environment for students. I will continue my work in public-private partnerships to get schools and students over the hurdle of budgetary restrictions left by pandemic devastation.
For the latest information on COVID19 in Hawthorne, click here.