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During the campaign, I committed to opening an office in South County.  I remember growing up on the showroom of South Valley Auto Plaza, my dad would come in every morning and start a pot of coffee and make sure there was sugar and cream. This brought out people who didn't necessarily need a car wash or a new car, but they would spend time sharing the news and the latest from town. It is important that we create that space and that our neighbors and friends feel comfortable knowing that a place exists to drop in and say "hi." 

Perhaps most importantly, this will provide an opportunity for more young people from the Salinas Valley to get internships that give them the experience they need to build a resume. I got my start in this field from the opportunity provided to me by Simón Salinas in the form of an internship.


Our office in Salinas is limited in space and I am excited to open a new office that will give the same opportunity to so many more young people from South County. 


To put it simply, we need more. Housing is essential for our families and their quality of life. If you don't have a safe place where you can really rest and recuperate each night, you won't find the success you deserve. Overcrowded housing and rising rent costs have been the norm of late and the only answer is to build more. We must improve our living standards and quality of life, to provide safety for our families and give every child a fair shot at success.  Each community in the Salinas Valley has its own desires for this need and I want to hear from more of you about how you feel we should address the problem in your community. We need all forms of housing, and the question of where we put those forms of housing should be put to a group of leaders from the Valley to come up with a specific, not general, plan about how and where our communities will grow. On a parallel track to that discussion a dialogue must be had about how we incentivize developers, non-profits, and other interested builders to develop in our communities. 


I believe every resident of Monterey County deserves the right and the expectation to be able to feel safe in their homes, on their property, and in public. A recent Monterey County court decision has limited the amount of sworn public safety personnel the Sheriff's department is able to put on the streets. They are being required to staff the County jail in larger numbers. This has limited the departments ability to put out additional patrols. With the recent creation of a cannabis tax that is being fed into the General Fund, I believe we need to prioritize enforcement actions against bad faith actors. This need presents a new opportunity to train more sworn personnel and offset the natural attrition rates and create a pipeline of new officers who are trained and know South County. 


In order to provide for our families and communities, we need the ability to chase the American Dream. That dream comes true when there are unfettered opportunities to grow and develop and elevate ourselves through hard work and well paying jobs. We are working on some new initiatives with different communities in the valley but I believe we can always do more. Agriculture will always be the economic engine of our local economy and we need to continue to embrace it as our past, present and future. We feed the world, and the opportunities within that industry are limitless with the quickly developing AgTech sector representing just the latest iteration of opportunity in this region. Our fertile fields can't be outsourced, but more importantly, neither can the specialized and expert farmworkers we are blessed with in our region. While new innovations continue to arrive, we need entrepreneurs and software engineers and innovative growers to continue the long standing tradition of innovation in this valley. 

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