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Issues

Actively Listening to You

Issues

We Can Do Hard Things

Promises Made, Promises Kept

During my time as Mayor, I promised to bring forward the voice and vision of our community by taking action. Together we have turned promises into policies.  

  • Sustained fiscal responsibility during unprecedented economic challenges, supported local small businesses in the heart of our community with our Open SLO program, and adopted a local hire policy for the largest infrastructure project in the city’s history (now with over 70% local working people!)
  • Increased housing that working people can afford by approving projects with smaller units, gave out the first legal tiny home permit in the state of California, and repealed the Rental Inspection Ordinance that burdened our community.
  • Led on environmental stewardship by joining Monterey Bay Community Power, built a robust electric vehicle charging plan, created a pathway for  fossil fuel free living in new buildings, and committed to the most ambitious carbon neutrality goal of any city in the United States.
  • Invited more people to enjoy our open spaces by creating equitable access, and reimagined and reinvented public space in a time of COVID-19.

In my four years as your Mayor I can say with confidence, “promises made, promises kept”. Including the promise to continually show up for the community in our most challenging moments and am honored to have won a second term with overwhelming support from the community (and Best Elected Official four years in a row in the New Times Best Of poll! Thank you SLO!). 

And there is more work to do.

I’m asking for your vote so that we can create the city we want while preserving the SLO we love – a community that provides safety and wellness, social and economic opportunity, and a sense of belonging for all. 

With your vote, I pledge to continue to work tirelessly on your behalf.

Heidi Harmon

People: Next Generation Housing

What we’ve accomplished together:

  • With my full-fledged support, this council has approved environmentally friendly projects that will yield increased housing for our next generation, working people, and lower-income residents, while preserving the character and ambiance of the city we love.
  • I have ensured these projects have local workforce preference clauses so that these homes stay locally owned.
  • I have ensured that residents can actually afford these homes by having down payment assistance, maximizing deed-restricted affordable units, and similar programs.
  • I have consistently urged Cal Poly to build more student housing as I am looking forward to the facilitation of their commitment to do so in their Master Plan.

What we’ll accomplish next:

  • Through the Housing Element Update, we will incorporate a diversity of community feedback to ensure that we are building housing that is affordable to working families, seniors and young professionals, including our currently unhoused community. We will integrate new ideas about ways people want to live in the coming years including micro units, communal living and other creative solutions to our housing crisis.
  • Listen carefully to residents for innovative ways to solve difficult challenges, such as upgrading our roads where needed, and improving parking and other issues that directly impact our neighborhoods.
  • We must partner with our county and state level partners to ensure we all do our part for the most vulnerable among us. Expanding the available housing supply, continuing to support new and existing local shelters, encouraging the county to move forward with urgency to provide resources for those living with substance mis-use, and fostering a supportive community are all steps that will be taken to work towards a future where no one falls through the cracks of society.
  • Collaborate with neighboring cities and regional institutions to address our challenges on issues such as traffic, transportation, water and head of household jobs.

Planet: Environmental Stewardship

What we’ve accomplished together:

  • I’ve led the effort for Community Choice Energy, so that our residents have a choice of energy providers which can encourage innovation, access to more clean energy, improved pricing, and local control with local funding opportunities.
  • While I have been mayor, this council has approved significant purchases of additional open space, growing our community’s most important environmental asset, our green belt.
  • We have the most ambitious carbon neutrality goal in the United States so that our next generation can experience the SLO we cherish while being a magnet for national innovation and clean technology business.
  • We have moved forward with major upgrades to our Water Resource Recovery Facility, including a provision to require local workers on the project, and developed one of the best water portfolios in the state in the face of drought and climate change.

What we’ll accomplish next:

  • Preserve and expand our open space.
  • Continue to transition to a net zero city with a focus on sustainable energy sources and green jobs. 
  • Further ensure we have the water we need for future generations.
  • Increase alternative transportation options so that our city has safe choices for all residents, whether they drive, bike or walk.
  • Make decisions through a lens of recognizing that housing plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Prosperity: Fiscal Responsibility & Local Jobs

What we’ve accomplished together:

  • While mayor, this council continued implementation of the Adopted Fiscal Responsibility Philosophy which Includes informed decision making, shared responsibility, increased transparency, aligned investments, diversified and aligned revenue sources, long-term unfunded liabilities, continued efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Led the effort to keep our jobs local by requiring contractors on a major infrastructure project to hire local workers first.
  • Acted swiftly to adapt to the economic challenges of COVID-19 by creating an economic recovery and resiliency plan, which enacts a lean city organization, and focuses on actively engaging in economic stability and recovery efforts in partnership with residents, business and community and regional partners while building long term resiliency. 
  • Founded the Open SLO program that reimagines public space with a lens for supporting local business.
  • Received a national award for city budget presentation and have worked diligently to maintain and invite new voices into our participatory budget setting process in collaboration with a wide variety of community members and groups.  

What we’ll accomplish next:

  • Continue to meet the fluid challenges of COVID-19 by implementing and adapting our city economic recovery and resiliency plan.
  • Partner with the SLO Chamber of Commerce and Downtown SLO to amplify our major city goal of Downtown Vitality in this crucial and challenging moment for business in the heart of our community.  
  • Provide support for employees and employers to keep businesses safe and operating successfully under COVID-19 guidelines.
  • With the guidance of our economic development direction we will increase business’s ability to navigate local, state and federal programs to maximize access to covid related business support. 
  • Through the CARES Act and the potential passing of SLO Forward we can create a much needed loan/grant program to retain local small businesses. 
  • Creatively address the impacts of the Diablo Canyon transition with regional partners.
  • Further pay down our city’s unfunded pension liabilities.
  • Support the creation of better paying head-of-household jobs for our workforce by partnering with local agencies such as REACH, The Community Foundation, the SLO Chamber of Commerce and business leaders from around the region.

An Inclusive, Sustainable Vision

Additional Issues Important to You

Proactive Community Engagement

While we recognize that not every policy will please every person, we will ensure that the voices of all residents are heard regarding the decisions made by the City. Through community gatherings, public meetings, and events we will bring people of all backgrounds into the political process.

Effective Solutions to Homelessness

We must step up to do our part for the most vulnerable among us in our community. Expanding the available housing supply, continuing to support new and existing local shelters, and fostering a supportive community are all steps that will be taken to work towards a future wherein no one falls through the cracks of society.

Expanded Alternative Transportation

To address the climate crisis and growing traffic concerns we must create safe walking opportunities, bike paths that are open to all levels of cyclists, work to make SLO a more walkable city by making our streets safer and more enjoyable to traverse, and work with our local and regional partners to ensure a transportation system that is accessible for all.

Cultivating Civility and Good Governance

We may not always agree, but we can still meet at the table to continue to work together to form bold policies that truly solve the issues facing our community. A culture of civility is pivotal to progress on every level of the political spectrum, and together we must continue to create an environment in which all voices are heard with respect.

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