The Humane Party; Jose Caballero, Democrat running for Congress, California District 53. Founder of the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club
Why are you running for the 2nd District?
I am running because there are several major eminent problems that need to be urgently addressed, as I discuss below. I see where our current local government is at and I feel they are not doing enough. So I’m here to bring a strong voice for these issues and work hard to make the changes that need to be made.
What do you see as the biggest problem facing the 2nd District, and how do you propose solving it?
I see two crises that need to be urgently addressed or else there will be dire overwhelming consequences. First, there’s our climate crisis. The United Nations IPCC Climate Change Committee says we need to act urgently if we want to have any hope of fighting climate change. We can no longer rely on our federal government since they deny climate change is real. So we must act locally and individually. Long Beach should take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by moving rapidly to renewable energy. I will lead the drive for our city to use 100% renewable energy as Culver City and Berkeley have done. Our aging city vehicle fleet needs to be replaced by zero emission vehicles.
The second crisis is an affordable housing crisis. Even with the protections from the newly passed AB 1482, people in our community are still being evicted by commercial property managers with the sole intention of increasing their profits. Thus renters need more rights and protections and without such, they are near powerless to the whims of profit driven property managers.
What are your specific plans to address homelessness?
I am an advocate for the Housing First model, which offers permanent and affordable housing for those who are experiencing homelessness. Housing First also offers the support needed to keep people from returning to the streets. This model was implemented in Salt Lake City and resulted in a 91% reduction in chronic homelessness. Despite its success rate, this model remains on the fringe of homeless policy. I will raise awareness of Housing First among the city government and build support for its implementation here.
Do you believe there is a parking issue in the district? If so, how would you address it?
Yes, most of the Second District is parking impacted. For immediate and inexpensive relief, I propose that street sweeping changes from a weekly interval to a monthly interval. And street sweeping hours should start no sooner than 9am. These relatively easy changes would ease some of the parking strain by making more streets available for overnight parking. Long Beach makes nearly $1,000,000 from street sweeping violations, taking advantage of the impacted parking situation. I also support parking ticket relief for those who would prefer to donate their time to community service.
What, if anything, is wrong with the Broadway Corridor and how would you fix it?
I strongly oppose one of my vocal opponent’s desire to remove the new bike lanes. Traffic accidents have not increased since the road diet’s introduction, despite his claims. The bike lanes provide a safe and protected lane for those who travel without a car. However, there’s always room for improvement.
After speaking with store owners on Broadway, their primary complaint is a lack of loading zones, which have been greatly reduced in the new design. Also, motorists often appear confused by the road diet, not properly following the intentions of the traffic engineers. So I would like to see more educational outreach by the city, perhaps in the way of an instructional mailer about road diet driving safety, sent to every resident, as well as adding more loading zones to the Broadway Corridor.