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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of EurekaCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Susan Seaman

Susan Seaman

Program Director
4,092 votes (45.55%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Create an economic development strategy that supports Eureka now and into the future
  • Engage and retain young professionals, from tradesmen to the creative class
  • Set a tone for Eureka that is positive and pragmatic

Experience

Experience

Profession:Program Director
Program Director, Arcata Economic Development Corporation (2008–current)
Commissioner, Eureka Economic Development Commission — Appointed position (2016–current)

Education

Humboldt State University Journalism (current)

Biography

Eureka is my home, not only because I live here, but because I love it here. I have been an active community member in Eureka for 27 years. My husband and I bought our home here, raised our family, and both of my children attended Eureka City Schools. I’ve been involved in local organizations from the Heritage Society and Humboldt Roller Derby, to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Food for People.

 

I have worked in economic development in Eureka and the region for over ten years. I currently sit on the City’s Economic Development Commission, and I am the Program Director at the Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), located in Eureka. Central to my job is working with local governments and leaders to find opportunities to support businesses, and talking to business owners about their successes and struggles. This has encouraged me to dig deeper into issues of workforce, housing, and infrastructure.

 

I have committed myself to building collaborative relationships and I have a wealth of ideas to build a stronger Eureka. We need to create an economic development strategy that supports Eureka now and into the future, and gives special consideration to engaging and retaining young professionals. I believe that a healthy economy and workforce are the critical first steps to any sustainable future. I will work with the city and our partners to ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable housing. Finally, we need to continue to foster safe neighborhoods by ensuring we have optimal police coverage, embracing neighborhood-focused solutions, and working together to address vandalism, blight, and property crime.

 

Eureka is facing challenges, but I believe in the importance of building off of our strengths. When I look around our city, I feel excited that we are starting to realize our potential: we have a new waterfront trail; our parks are seeing upgrades; and we have a recently appointed Cultural Arts District. I believe the Mayor sets the tone for the community, and I have the ability to set a tone that is optimistic, motivational, and pragmatic to move us towards a better future.

 

We need to solve complex problems common to big cities, but with small community resources. We also get to witness community pride that is often foreign to larger communities. That’s the spirit that motivates me to make this city even better. I hope you will join me.

 

 

I am endorsed by the following organizations and individuals:

  • Humboldt County Democratic Party
  • Humboldt County Green Party
  • North Coast People's Alliance
  • Humboldt County Progressive Democrats
  • Humboldt Del Norte Central Labor Council
  • Operating Engineers Local 3
  • AFSCME: American Federation of State and County Municipal Workers
  • United Food + Commercial Workers Union
  • Building + Construction Trades Council of Humboldt + Del Norte Counties
  • Richard Marks, Humboldt County Harbor Commissioner
  • Mike Wilson, Humboldt County Supervisor
  • John Woolley, Former Humboldt County Supervisor
  • Neal Latt, Eureka Resident + Division One Director, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District
  • Elizabeth Murguia, Eureka Resident + former representative to Congressman Mike Thompson
  • Peter LeVallee, Former Eureka Mayor
  • Julie Fulkerson, Eureka Resident + former Trinidad Mayor
  • Linda Atkins, Eureka Resident + former Eureka City Council Member
  • Leslie Castellano, candidate for Eureka City Council (Ward 1)
  • Eric + Viviana Hollenbeck, Owners of Blue Ox Millworks
  • Dennis Rael, Founder of Los Bagels
  • Peter Jermyn, Founder of Los Bagels
  • Shawn + Dena Powers, Owners of Living the Dream
  • Mike Moses, Owner of All Mighty Carpet Cleaners
  • Nicholas Kohl, Eureka Resident + Business Owner
  • Jennifer McMahon, Eureka Resident + Business Owner
  • Steven Santos, Senior Planner, Artist + Eureka Resident
  • Jessica Pettit, Eureka Resident + Good Enough Now Diversity and Social Justice Educator
  • Monica Topping, Eureka Resident + Member of the Eureka Arts and Culture Commission
  • Jenna Catsos, Organizer of the Eureka Street Art Festival, Eureka Resident + Business Owner (Pen+Pine)

See my website for a full list of endorsers

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Humboldt County Progressive Democrats
  • Humboldt County Green Party
  • Humboldt County Democratic Party

Organizations (6)

  • Building + Construction Trades Council of Humboldt + Del Norte Counties
  • United Food + Commercial Workers Union
  • AFSCME: American Federation of State and County Municipal Workers
  • Humboldt Del Norte Central Labor Council
  • North Coast People's Alliance

Elected Officials (6)

  • Linda Atkins, Eureka Resident + former Eureka City Council Member
  • Julie Fulkerson, Eureka Resident, former Trinidad Mayor
  • Peter LaVallee, Former Eureka Mayor
  • John Woolley, former Humboldt County Supervisor
  • Mike Wilson, Humboldt County Supervisor
  • Richard Marks, Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner

Individuals (8)

  • Dennis Rael, Founder of Los Bagels
  • Steven Santos, Senior Planner, Artist + Eureka Resident
  • Jennifer McMahon, Eureka Resident + Business Owner
  • Nicholas Kohl, Eureka Resident + Business Owner
  • Eric + Viviana Hollenbeck, Owners of Blue Ox Millworks
  • Leslie Castellano, candidate for Ward 1 City Council
  • Elizabeth Murguia, Eureka Resident + former representative to Congressman Mike Thompson
  • Neal Latt, Eureka Resident + Division One Director, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My experience working in this area has taught me many things, but most importantly it has instilled in me the importance of addressing the big picture and working holistically to better our city. Everything in Eureka is connected, and we cannot simply pick one issue to fixate on while ignoring the others. We must have a broad vision with a focused plan to achieve lasting success. I believe focusing on creating a cohesive economic development strategy can be catalyst for lifting Eureka up and giving us the resources to address many of the other issues in our community.

Economic development is at the heart of my platform for two reasons. First: I have knowledge and experience developing our local economy. Second: I believe that building a strong economy in our region will help bolster all areas of our city. When I listen to the main concerns in our community, I hear a lot about lack of quality healthcare providers, empty storefronts and blight, and an overworked and understaffed police force. Energizing our local economy will help bring additional funds into our area, which will bring money to support our police force. Also, if we create a desirable community where people want to live, we will have an easier time retaining area professionals, including doctors, nurses, teachers, and police officers. And naturally, if we grow our economy, we will have an easier time filling storefronts and developing vacant lots.

My economic development strategy has three main components:

  • Improve processes to make it easier to do business in Eureka, from zoning updates (already in progress) to updating and streamlining the permitting process.
  • Strengthen and diversify Eureka's economy by nurturing new and growing industries such as cannabis and tourism, opportunities to improve broadband infrastructure to nurture tech businesses, and regional economic development opportunities like the potential wind energy projects - when any area in Humboldt improves, Eureka benefits.
  • Engage and retain young professionals by creating a community that attracts and retains them.

As I mentioned before, everything in our city is connected. Therefore, to implement all of these economic development strategies, we must also address the shortage of housing in our community, our city's infrastructure, and issues in the area that may make Eureka less desireable for some people to live (like public safety concerns and the high percentage of people facing houselessness and addiction issues). I support our city's current zoning code update to help aid in the creating of more housing for middle-income families, and I support seeking additional grant funding to support the upkeep and revitalization of Eureka's roads and parks. On the subject of addiction, I support bringing additional services into our city, and working with the county to find locations for these and qualified staff to run them.

With the issue of houselessness, I always like to say that this is just one issue, is it as least a dozen, and they are all connected yet distinct. I also like to note that these are our people: statistics say more than 75% of our area homeless are local. This makes sense when you look at our ACES, or childhood trauma scores, being the highest in the state. This is what happens when children with trauma grow up. To address the houselessness crisis in our city, I plan to do three things right away:

  • Create a day center so that people have a place to go and recieve all of the necessary services
  • Find solutions to help our most vulnerable neighbors through the creation of additional transitional housing
  • Support programs that provide opportunities for children to be resilient, including the City's Parks and Recs programs, so we can break the cycle.

I believe that being a strong Mayor is not about always having the answers prepared, but rather knowing the right questions to ask. I have spent my life building relationships in this community and I have a strong network of local experts that I can turn to for support and advice. I feel prepared to be your Mayor.

Please visit my website for my full issues profiles.

 

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