` Jeromey for Mayor -- Platform
Logo for Jeromey Shafer for Mayor of San Leandro

My Platform

I am working on bold ideas for positive change to move our city forward. I want to build a safe, stable and sustainable community with responsible leadership, real world solutions and a fiscally sound budget.

Community Stabilization

Many in our community suffer from housing insecurity—they are not sure if they are going to be able to stay in their homes. Seniors and families are being displaced and forced to move further from the area or out of state and in some cases become homeless. I want to let everyone living in San Leandro know that I will fight to make sure that you can stay in San Leandro. That’s why I’m calling for the creation of the Department of Community Stabilization. The department staff and programs will be funded by a registration fee on rental units as part of a Community Stabilization and Homeowner Protection ordinance.

Rent Stabilization

Many cities around us have had rent control ordinance on the books for decades: San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. Richmond and Mountain View have added rent control ordinances in the last few years. These communities have proven that rent control works to keep families in their homes and is not a hindrance to new housing development. We can protect our tenants from displacement by tying allowed rent increase to the area Consumer Price Index and requiring landlords to register their rental units and rent increases.

Just Cause for Eviction

If you can get kicked out of your house for any reason, then it is hard to consider it home. We want our neighbors to feel at home. When a property owner puts their property in the rental housing market, they need to understand that what they are providing is a home. Evictions will not be allowed except for very specific reasons such as failure to pay the rent or breach of the lease terms. State laws protect property owners in case they want to move themselves or close family into the property, or if they want to remove the property from the rental market.

Foreclosure and Eviction Protection

We need legal advice and aid for homeowners facing foreclosure or tenants facing eviction. The city should aid in this process to keep our neighbors in their homes. We should investigate the feasibility of providing short term loans for our citizens in these situations. We should also look at first-time homeowners and renters to owners loan programs to help get people into homes.

Effectual Rent Board

A property owner has a right to a fair return and a tenant has a right to livable housing conditions. If these conditions are not being met by either party, they should be able to appeal to a body that can assist with binding arbitration. The Rent Board could arbitrate disputes and find mutually agreeable solutions or make a ruling on the dispute resolution. Unlike what we have now, this ruling or arbitration would be binding and enforceable.

Homeless Prevention & Support

We need to investigate additional ways and provide support to keep people in their homes. We should also be assisting the existing homeless population. They should not have to rely on police for support. We need to make day centers, that provide shelter and access to cheap meals, showers and restrooms, available to our homeless population. We should be working to get all our homeless population off the street at night and give them a place to go during the day.

Ban Non-hosted Short-Term Rentals

We must not have unregulated hostels and hotels in our neighborhoods. There is a reason that even the smallest motel has a person on staff, to check people in, and address disturbances. Non-hosted short-term rentals externalize this to the neighbors that surround them and to our police. While it might be a boon for corporate real estate interests and a way for homeowners to make some additional income, it is an untenable situation. It takes long-term rental opportunities and homes off the market. Hosted short-term rentals should be severally restricted, licensed and regulated and only allowed with notification of neighbors. Homeowners that want to let a room should be able to do so, but the incentive should be on providing long-term rentals. Violations should be met with increasing and prohibitive fines. Short-term rentals should not be allowed in multiple units with the same owner or in corporate owned properties.

Traffic and Parking

The bad news is that San Leandro was not developed for cars, our streets and driveways are a mess, our houses sit on major traffic corridors, and there are few options for efficient East-to-West transport through our city. We are segmented by freeways, train tracks and industrial areas. The good news is that we can use this as an opportunity to transition to a less car dependent city. We can develop car-share, bike-share and ride-share options to reduce the feeling of isolation if you are without a car, allowing people to give up a vehicle and decrease the need to utilize on-street and commercial area parking. We can work together to transition and build a real 21st century infrastructure. While we’re working on that we’ll make sure that streets are well-maintained and that impacts from new development are addressed early in the planning stages. I’d also like to explore options for better facilitation of pick-up from our schools. Major streets like Bancroft, Williams and E. 14th St. are heavily impacted during school drop-off/pick-up periods.

Build Community Engagement

Once we’ve stabilized our community, the next step is to engage the community with meaningful tasks to address our most pressing concerns. The city can actively support new co-operative and small business, community spaces, and civic and community groups. I believe to take-on the challenges we face, we must build a strong, connected, resilient and engage community. Isolated communities are impacted most by disaster. If we get actively involved, with the invitation and support from the city, we can chart the path our city will take, together.

Community Volunteer Program

By building a Community Volunteer support program we can pull together to address problems of concern for our citizens. The Community Volunteer Support Program could help organize and manage teams of volunteers in various areas including: neighborhood clean-up and beautification, neighborhood watch, emergency response teams, educational support, mentoring programs and much more. We are only limited by the time and skills our community is willing to contribute. The city can help to promote, recruit and organize these volunteer teams.

Better Education Experience

Creating a safer, and more stable and sustainable community will create a better education experience for all our students. When parents are secure in their housing and are being paid fair wages for local jobs they are better able to be actively engaged in their student's education, which leads to student success.

Crime Reduction

By reducing the stresses associated with housing instability and the potential for displacement, we can foster a more caring, engaged citizenry. We can reduce crime by drawing communities together to look out for one another and hold each other to account. Expanding local higher education, after school programs and labor market opportunities will help keep our young adults on the right path.

Leading on the Environment

San Leandro can be a leader on the most important issue impacting our state and world. We can move quicker to clean, renewable energy, invest and spend our money in socially responsible ways and make sure we’re meeting, or exceeding standards set by the state to reduce our environmental impact. We can develop community green and garden spaces, reducing our carbon footprint while bringing people together and serving as a model for other communities.

Shared Community Space

If we are to pull together as a community, we need shared community space—places where we can come together as neighbors, committees or community groups to share activities. The city can help develop these spaces with non-profit and community groups. Online reservations systems and reduced fees for residents will help ensure that less well-funded and newer groups are able to easily navigate the process.

Integrity of Government

We need an inclusive, transparent government that is beholden to only the people of San Leandro. That is why I will not take campaign contributions from corporations, developers, apartment associations or special interest lobbyists. I am also limiting my campaign contributions to $99 per individual. We need reforms to our local election process and to make sure there is not impropriety in the way special interests lobby the City Council or staff. I’m calling for the creation of a Public Ethics Commission.

Public Ethics Commission

To keep our government accountable to the people I call for the creation of a Public Ethics Commission. This commission will consist of residents passionate about fair, open, honest governance. They will develop and monitor rules on campaign finance, government ethics, lobbyist rules and oversee public ethics complaints.

Campaign Contribution Limits

Setting limits on campaign contributions will help insure that we have a city government dedicated to the citizens of San Leandro and not beholden to individual contributors. We can look to other cities in the area to help determine caps that would allow for campaigns to get enough funding and make provisions to reduce the number of potential loopholes.

Publicly Funded Elections

We have had several uncontested races for City Council recently. Part of the problem is that ordinary citizens, that want to make a difference in their community, are daunted by the amount of money it takes to run a campaign. Considering we only have city elections every two years, funding or partially funding campaigns that adhere to certain restrictions would be a low-cost way to encourage more voices to be present in our city elections.

Interest Group Transparency

When a lobbyist or representative for an interest group meets with the City Manager, Staff, Council Members or Mayor, that information should be transparent and available to the public. By publishing meeting dates, times, subject matter and attendees we can insure that the public is aware of who is influencing their decisions. All meetings should be conducted in a responsible manner in an appropriate venue.

Balancing the Budget

I will work with the City Council, City Manager and listen to Staff to make sure we have appropriate staffing levels to cover the city’s needs. By empowering leadership at all levels of staff, we can create a high-performance government. This will engage our staff and reduce the need for top-down management and bureaucracy. I have experience making this work. We will investigate areas where we can enhance revenues that do not include sales tax increases. We will also examine potential alternate service delivery methods and develop strategies for more effective systems. Our front-line staff have the knowledge and experience to lead the way in reducing wasted time and money.

Community Development

I see a real opportunity in San Leandro to develop housing, commercial and public space that does not do it on the backs of the single-family neighborhoods or our renters.

Zoning and Industrial Use

About a quarter of our land is zoned Industrial. Some of it very near BART. A lot of that space is warehouses and not manufacturing that produces local jobs. Having one of our primary industries be storing stuff for distribution to the Bay Area is wasting a lot of opportunities. Let’s develop housing, commercial and live/work spaces that can help us build our tax base.

Housing for All

As we open areas to development or develop ourselves with for-profit or non-profit partners, we can bring in market-rate housing that will subsidize affordable housing. We need to make sure we’re creating opportunities for middle and middle-to-low income housing as well.

Growing San Leandro

We have an opportunity to develop an arts and tech community that helps support and enliven our community. We have a special opportunity in San Leandro because we don’t have to build in single-family neighborhoods or displace renters to do this. We can learn from the mistakes of how San Francisco and Oakland have developed and do better. Welcoming technology sector workers will help us to meet income criteria and workforce needs for businesses looking for a place to open.

Higher Education Opportunities

I would like for us to bring in or create an Arts and Technology college and a robust Chabot College extension campus to support higher education locally and draw in the people that will help us build San Leandro as a city of innovation. If we are going to support the arts in San Leandro, we need more artists. If we’re going to support innovation, we need more innovators. And bonus, we’ll probably get some good restaurants too.

New Restaurants, Cafes and Stores

The city should activity work to bring in new businesses to ensure a range of services and more community-oriented meeting spots and eating options. We can streamline the process for opening new businesses that serve the communities interests. Surveys and dialog with the community will establish what the residents feel they could use more of. We can also support community co-op, worker owned/managed co-ops and non-profits to develop the spaces we need. Trader Joe’s might not see the value in locating here, since we just go to Alameda, but we could build our own Rainbow type cooperative grocery store with community support. By creating more options at home, we increase our local spending and our tax revenue to fund important city services.

Arts and Entertainment Options

When I moved here, we had the California Theatre down the street from my house. That has closed and despite requests to use the space by theatre groups, the space was deemed unusable. Now we’re planning on updating to use as a police conference room. If we are to attract artists and technology workers to our city, we need to have arts and entertainment options. We should actively develop theatres, live-music venues, art museums, and nightlife and make sure it’s done in areas and in ways that don’t negatively impact their neighbors.

The Knowledge, Experience and Skills to Make it Possible

As a manager and student of technology, civic engagement and civil systems I have studied how these parts can come together as a whole. I’ve always been interested in, studied and planned for the development of systems that can empower local communities. We can look at best practices from innovative cities to tie together comprehensive solutions. By engaging the staff and community in this process we can find solutions that work for our community and proactively address issues of concern. The residents of San Leandro have knowledge, skills, resources and ideas that can be utilized in finding these solutions. Together, we can build a Spectacular San Leandro.

My First 100 Days as Mayor

During my first 100 days as Mayor, I pledge to:

  • Introduce a Rent Stabilization Ordinance
  • Hold several town halls and community forums
  • Resolve Short Term Rental Ordinance and other business if unfinished by last Council
  • Review staffing and budget with City Manager
  • Introduce creation of Department of Community Stabilization
  • Introduce creation of Public Ethics Commission