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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of OceansideCandidate for Council Member, District 1

Photo of Esther C. Sanchez

Esther C. Sanchez

Councilmember, City of Oceanside/Attorney
4,137 votes (32%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Aggressively address our city's homeless and affordable housing issues for our workforce; our homeless issues must be resolved at the state and regional levels, including Orange County cities which have pushed their homeless into our city
  • Push back on bad planning agenda of majority council resulting in urban sprawl and loss of farming and parks, such as El Corazon; and push forward smart growth - development along transportation corridors - maintaining our quality of life
  • Attract and ensure livable wage jobs and that businesses hire local, especially if Measure X, the 1/2 cent sales tax, is passed by Oceanside voters

Experience

Experience

Profession:Council Member for the City of Oceanside/Attorney
Council Member, Oceanside City Council — Elected position (2000–current)
Commissioner, California Coastal Commission — Appointed position (2009–2013)
Deputy Public Defender, San Diego County Public Defender (1989–2008)
Deputy County Counsel, San Diego County Counsel (1987–1988)
Law Clerk, Richard Castillo, Esq (1986–1987)
Law Clerk, La Raza Centro Legal (1985–1985)
Law Clerk, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County (1984–1984)

Education

University of California, Hastings College of Law Juris Doctorate, Law (1986)
California State University, San Diego Graduate Studies, Urban Planning (1985)
University of California, San Diego Graduate Studies, Urban & Rural Studies (1985)
Brown University Bachelor of Arts, Urban Studies (1978)

Community Activities

Board Member, Consultant, Eastside Neighborhood Association (1999–current)
Chair, Noche Mexicana Committee (2003–current)
Board Member, Oceanside Boys & Girls Club (1999–2000)
President, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (1997–1998)

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (15)

  • Sierra Club
  • SEIU-UHW
  • San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action
  • Rancho San Luis Rey Mobile Home Park HOA
  • Oceanside Manufactured Homeowners Alliance, Inc. (OMHA)
  • North County Labor Alliance
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers
  • Mexican American Business & Professional Association
  • Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League PAC
  • Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League (GSMOL), Chapter 708
  • Friends of Loma Alta Creek
  • Communications Workers of America
  • Citizens for the Preservation of Parks and Beaches
  • California Nurses Association
  • ACTION

Elected Officials (6)

  • Jerry Harmon, Former Mayor, City of Escondido
  • Pam Slater-Price, Former Supervisor, San Diego County Board of Supervisors
  • Mona Rios, Council Member, City of National City
  • Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Council Member, City of National City
  • Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, California State Assembly
  • Toni Atkins, President Pro Tempore, California State Senate

Individuals (2)

  • Jason Mraz, Farmer & Rock Star Extraordinaire
  • Nancy Cuellar, President, Eastside Neighborhood Association

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters North County San Diego (3)

Do you support increasing the housing density in your district of Oceanside? What other options might there be for improving the City's supply of affordable housing?
Answer from Esther C. Sanchez:

I support increasing densities along major transportation corridors. I do not support higher densities in existing neighborhoods that would impact the community's character and also negatively impact parking and traffic. According to a recent independent study, there is sufficient in-fill properties to satisfy housing requirements for Oceanside until 2050. The issue is not land, but how to make it happen. Current in-lieu fees and on-site options, even with state density bonus requirements, do not even begin to build the number of affordable housing necessary. We need to take a serious look at increasing in-lieu fees and increasing onsite options from 10% to 15-20%. We also need to determine whether accessory dwelling units will be able to satisfy a small portion of the need for affordable housing.

We probably also need to look at the effect of short term vacation rentals on the availability of affordable housing. Cities like San Diego are taking a lead on addressing reasonable regulations. The Planning Commission is in the process of studying potential regulations; they will be making recommendations to the city council, and the council will need to balance TOT revenues generated versus the need for more affordable housing units.

Do you approve of the City's current approach to addressing the problems of homelessness in Oceanside? What specific changes, if any, would you make?
Answer from Esther C. Sanchez:

I believe we need to be more aggressive in our approach. There is sufficient evidence to explain the recent spike in homeless to be partly due to Orange County cities pushing their homeless from their streets and the Santa Ana River southward, into Oceanside. While Oceanside needs to take responsibility for its homeless communities, it should not be responsible for those of other cities. Oceanside's homeless has traditionally included families who are un- or underemployed, youth, the mentally ill and drug abusers. I would focus on regional and state level solutions.

In the early 2000's, Oceanside was faced with a homeless crisis. A program in Vista proposed a regional shelter, with each city paying into the program, which included services to address drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues, and job training and job interview/resume preparation programs. We should look into this regional approach again. 

Do you advocate any changes to the City's current policies regarding recreational and medical cannabis businesses? Please explain.
Answer from Esther C. Sanchez:

I believe we need a more inclusive discussion on medicinal cannabis, to include parents, teachers, youth, the medical profession, those working with at-risk youth on drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, etc. Safe access needs to be safe for all, especially ensuring regulations are in place to protect children and youth. While I voted for medicinal cannabis deliveries, cultivation for small farmers, manufacturing, distribution and testing, we must place dispensaries and a tax on the ballot in order to pay for impacts to public safety and our communities. There was an ad hoc committee that met for over eight months that did not include the larger community in the dialogue and did not include any city personnel such as city manager, city attorney, police, fire, economic development, etc. The ad hoc committee did not recommend placing a tax on the ballot, either for 2018 or 2020. I would re-start the dialogue, which would be inclusive and citywide, to include relevant city personnel, and prepare a ballot measure for 2020 that will include a sales tax, much as what the cities of San Diego, Lemon Grove, and Chula Vista have done.

Just about everyone I've talked to is not interested in recreational pot shops. As to medicinal uses, they mistakenly assume that dispensaries would create significant revenue for the city, which is their major reason for supporting dispensaries. They are not aware that a tax would have to be placed on the ballot and adopted by the voters in order for Oceanside to receive any revenue. It is still unknown whether the city would actually benefit from a dispensary sales tax, as we have still not determined with any certainty actual costs to the city, in police personnel, victims, and increases in drug abuse by youth/children, especially since it is still a cash and carry industry.

Videos (1)

Esther Sanchez for Oceanside City Council Candidate Statement — October 9, 2018 KOCT, produced by Rena Marrocco

This video addresses the accomplishments of Council Woman Esther Sanchez, from reducing the crime rate and achieving community policing and reduced public safety response times, to transforming the city's then stagnant economy to a vibrant one. It also discusses our critical challenges going forward, especially with respect to ensuring the city's environmental and economic viability.

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