1. Why are you running to be the next mayor of Livermore?
I am running to be your next mayor of Livermore because I’ve dedicated my life to helping others. I want to give back to the people of Livermore and the city that gave me so much.
2. When did you leave Livermore PD and why did you leave?
Like so many of our first responders and public safety officers, I was injured on the job. In 2007, I got hurt while I was on patrol, after working a midnight shift. I had severe back spasms. I was taken to the hospital and spent the next few days off of work. I began to have continual back issues from wearing the 20 plus pounds of gear during every day as a patrol officer.
A few friends suggested that I get a real estate license, and 4 months later I did. After I had received my real estate license, I began selling 3-5 homes per year, as a side job. I fell in love with buying and selling real estate and on 3/2/2012 I left the police force to pursue my new career in real estate.
I now own and operate my own office in downtown Livermore and I am so grateful for the new found career that I love as much as being a police officer.
3. What are your top priorities?
• Access to more affordable housing
• Address Homelessness
• Maintain Public Safety
• Bring Living Wage and High Paying Jobs to Livermore
4. Do You Support the new ballot Measure P and Measure D?
Yes I do! Supporting these two new measures to extend the sewer lines into the unincorporated areas and allowing the facilities in the vineyard to expand will help our agritourism industry to grow. The successes of our vineyards will result in increased businesses and revenues for our city.
5. What is your vision for downtown?
• Designated downtown as a business district from First Street and Inman Street to First and P Street, between Railroad Avenue and 4th Street, including shops and dining as a destination for visitors and locals.
• Keep it open and inviting with an addition of a new beautiful park.
• Consider pursuing a boutique hotel to allow over night stay.
• A parking plan that accommodates a commercial district and avoids traffic congestion.
• Must incorporate the western cowboy heritage and culture into the design of our downtown because that’s who we are and how our community got started.
6. How are you different from your opponent?
• I represent today and the future, my opponent is the past.
• I am not a career politician, I am a community servant.
• I will be donating my entire salary to four nonprofit organization during my two-year term as mayor.
• I want to embrace technology to include an engage all residents, young and old, new and lifelong in the process and in planning the future of our great city.
7. What are some of your ideas when it comes to climate change?
Open space and parks help to green our city, reduce the carbon footprint and mitigate climate change. That’s why I support more open space and trails within our city. As a mayor, I would encourage walkable and transit friendly projects for people to walk or utilize other modes of transportation other than their vehicles. I would love to see more bike stations in downtown Livermore, where families can park their bikes and walk into our beautiful downtown.
I would encourage the city to place more solar onto the city owned buildings or properties and I am in support of requiring new residential and commercial properties to be equipped to run on electricity.
8. What experience do you have that you believe will be an asset to the city council?
Serving the Livermore community as a decorated police officer as well as starting my own successful real estate business demonstrate my experience in the community. I’ve dedicated my life to helping people serving Livermore for the past 27 years: 4th grade Assistant Soccer Coach, 8th grade Basketball Coach, Livermore police officer with honor, distinction, and compassion for 17 years, D.A.R.E. Instructor, Community Liaison between LVJUSD, LARPD and LPD, Chair of Livermore Rotary Club Mini Grants, Public Policy Committee Chair for the Asian Real Estate Association of America, and Vice President and Co-Founder of the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance. Now a self-made businessman, I help people realize the dream of homeownership while giving back to my community through multiple nonprofits.
My unique life experience that started in the killing fields of Cambodia to now having a piece of the American dream will hopefully inspire others that they can overcome obstacles to succeed in life.
I understand that I am the ‘outsider’ in the race because am not a politician, and I am proud of that. I believe that residents want the next Mayor to be a break from the past and that is more responsive to their concerns.
9. What do you believe are the three most critical issues facing the City of Livermore? If elected, how do you plan to address them?
Number #1: Increase affordable housing options within Livermore and the Tri-Valley region so that our working families are not unduly burdened with unsustainable housing costs.
Number #2: Create more living-wage, high-paying, and union jobs in Livermore so our residents do not have to spend their time commuting and can instead spend it close to “home” with family and friends, contributing to our community.
Number #3: Create and maintain a safe Livermore. We enjoy a quality of life in Livermore that residents hold dear. I have spent my career protecting our residents and as Mayor will seek innovative ways to continue that work.
10. How do you view the city’s relationship with the school district? Do you have plans to maintain, change or improve that relationship?
Good schools make good communities. As a police officer, it was so important to have a relationship with the schools and students, so that our kids and communities felt safe. As a Realtor, I see firsthand the clear connection between vibrant neighborhoods and great schools. Although the City of Livermore and the school district operates independently, I do think that they have a good relationship now. However, there is always rooms for improvements and more opportunities for collaboration and partnership. It does neither the school district nor the city to be at odds, they must work together in their capacities to ensure we have quality school communities. I would encourage increased collaboration, especially regarding new housing and the impact on the schools. One example of that is how can the city and the school district work together to provide more access to affordable and work force housing for our teachers.
11. What are your thoughts on the city’s draft Climate Action Plan? How can Livermore most effectively meet its future objectives in terms of reaching carbon neutrality?
The Livermore Climate Action Plan from 2012 is currently being updated. The goal of the plan was to reduce GHG emissions by 2020, and while all mitigation measures were to support the CAP, not all actions were quantified. The revisions will further plan for adopted reduction targets for 2030 and 2045. Among the changes the city has been reviewing are requirements for NEW construction, which I think is essential to meet our targets.
Climate change is here and mitigating the negative effects that come along with it will require urgent action from everyone. I support transforming our infrastructure away from using natural gas and toward electrification in both our buildings and our vehicles. Working urgently and identifying resources to accomplish these goals will put us on the path to reaching our goals for carbon neutrality.
Cities can set goals, but we must include residents in the solutions – they hold the key to change. As mayor, I would engage residents with education, ensure equity and inclusive participation, and work to establish partnerships with community organizations and businesses to meet our goals.
12. What do you believe Livermore’s (or the county’s) plan for future solar power generation should look like?Do you believe the county should establish a solar policy before proceeding with large developments on open space? Whether yes or no, please explain why.
In Livermore there are many opportunities for solar on public and private buildings to increase our energy independence. I think the greatest potential for the future of solar in Livermore, and the county, lies in placements on homes and commercial buildings and not solar farms in our existing open spaces. I will support a County policy that is in alignment with this vision and will advocate to keep our open spaces open.
13. What are your thoughts on the city’s draft Housing Element?
We need more affordable housing options in Livermore and in the Tri-Valley region. As Mayor, I welcome new neighbors to contribute to our vibrant community. I also understand that our grown children, our teachers, our firefighters, our police, need housing they can afford in their hometown. I support the current smart growth policies governed by the city’s Housing Implementation Program (HIP). It is possible to balance our need for growth and also maintain the voter-approved Urban Growth Boundary and the Scenic Corridor policy.
Livermore, like all cities, needs to address the need for affordable housing in our communities. I will work with the State and the Attorney General’s office in good-faith. There are locations in Livermore that are appropriate locations for more/new affordable housing that fit within our neighborhoods.
14. How can Livermore best serve those experiencing homelessness?
Something that many don’t know is that the un-housed in our community are Livermore residents. Multiple studies have verified that typically between 65% – 80% of homeless in any given city were formally locally housed residents of that same city. I understand what it means to be homeless having lived in war-torn Cambodia until I was six years old and then as a refugee in a tent city until I was ten years old.
We must act now to help the unhoused in our community. We need to coordinate efforts between the local non-profit and faith-based community and the Livermore Police Homeless Liaison Officers to increase our impact. We must work with Tri-Valley and regional leaders to coordinate resources effectively. I am supportive of tiny homes that include wrap-around services, especially after seeing a successfully run effort in Austin. Our local Goodness Village is modeled after their success.
15. On Eden Housing: If you do support the current location of the Eden Housing development, do you think the referendum should have been rejected? Why do you think the project should remain where it is on the Lucky site? Do you support the $7.8 million loaned to Eden for the acquisition of the property, the $5.5 million given to fund the park and the $4.3 million to address the sit contamination – totaling $17.6 million?
If you don’t support the current location of the Eden Housing development, why? Would you have asked the city to place the referendum on the ballot? If you favor the relocation, how do you believe this could be accomplished now that the property has been sold?
The Eden Housing downtown development deal has created real divides in our community. The process getting us to where we are has left a significant part of community feeling unheard. The City rejected the thousands of signatures on the referendum on technical grounds and in doing so created more strife and division in Livermore.
While I do not support the current location, I feel that the time to heal and move forward. Now that the property has been sold and there are still two litigations over the property, the fact is that there is limited recourse to pursue a relocation that isn’t litigious, costly, and will not further divide our community. As mayor, I will review all of our legal options and move forward within the boundaries of our legal obligations. My goal is to find a win-win solution for the people of Livermore.
16. What do you want citizens to know about you as a candidate that you haven’t already shared here?
I would like the citizens of Livermore to know that I am running to move Livermore forward, to bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the City Council. I will work to create a local government that is more responsive to the needs and desires of ALL our residents.