Joe Ayala On the Issues
Issue statements by candidates are quoted from public media statements either direct or edited for brevity.
In response to COVID-19, Mayor Mashburn has chosen to do the absolute minimum, paying lip service to state and county health advice while also making it official policy to not enforce health directives. That policy places the burden of protecting public health entirely on the shoulders of essential workers, their managers, and business owners, without any police or city backup. This has policy had deadly consequences: Week after week, we’ve ranked second or third in per-capita COVID-19 cases in all of Ventura County.
Government transparency and accountability
The current lack of transparency from City Hall hurts all of us and is something that must change. As Mayor, I will work to raise the standards of accountability to Simi Valley taxpayers through an inclusive vision of City Hall. As a union representative and an experienced negotiator, I understand that secure jobs and healthy businesses go hand in hand. The old way is clearly not working. Our Simi Valley Town Center is failing, small businesses are struggling, we have the highest unemployment in Ventura County. We have a budget deficit crisis, housing is unaffordable for those who work here, and our city is deeply divided along political and racial lines.
Too many individuals and families are struggling with housing issues and too many many businesses find it hard to attract quality workers in such an expensive housing market.
Community Service Equity
Community service programs have been given low priority in the best of times and cut back even when their loss caused hardship. Fiscal challenges often require hard choices, but it’s ridiculous to always tilt the scale in the same direction. Simi Valley’s most vulnerable residents are just as worthy of respect and support as anyone else in our city, and supporting them strengthens our entire community. Looking beyond our current challenges, everyone will be heard, everyone will have housing, everyone will have equal rights, everyone will have a living wage and everyone will be welcome.