Together We Thrive
Vote Lesle Castellano For City Council
Leslie Logo-07.jpg

Platform

Together We Thrive


ECONOMY

I will continue to work to strengthen the economic development plan for Eureka. Local, independently-run businesses are anchors to our town centers. Money from local businesses stays directly in the community. By growing local businesses, we directly grow our local economy. I plan to work with city staff to create a plan that addresses the needs of local businesses. At the same time, I recognize that businesses flourish when the whole community flourishes. As a community, we can offer opportunities for local businesses to grow with city support. There are models similar to this in existence, such as the Northern California Community Loan Fund and the Economic Development and Community Financing Corporation in Mendocino, that could provide some working frameworks. Publicly supported business incubators could play a pivotal role in the success of promising new businesses.

 I will work with community members to develop cooperative economic models, from publicly owned banks to worker owned co-ops. Additionally, I plan to continue advocating for living wages. I support a living wage for all workers. I plan to continue to advocate for higher wages for home health care workers. This is one of the fastest growing industries in Humboldt County. When people receive a living wage, the local economy grows exponentially. I plan to work to develop jobs that benefit a variety of people. I will work with county and state agencies to develop more jobs for road maintenance and safety, and I plan to help develop better technological training opportunities in Eureka. In addition, I fully support the unions as working people standing together. Unions directly benefit our economy and quality of life.


PARTICIPATION

I will actively work to create pathways for participation in government that are accessible for everyday people.

I plan to create town hall meetings, barbecues, and informal gatherings where we can meet together to develop and strengthen community in Eureka.

 I have years of experience in creating partnerships between organizations and citizens. As Vice-President of the Board for the Ink People, I have had the opportunity to create collaborative events and activities with many different cultural groups in Eureka. I plan to use these strengths to build opportunities for collaboration and growth.


ENVIRONMENT

I will guide Eureka towards the adoption of a sustainability plan for long-term thinking. It is possible for Eureka to implement a mandate that city purchasing policies must prioritize choices that are ecologically sound, local, and with fair labor practices. I will work to ban single use plastics and styrofoam containers in Eureka.

 As someone who is familiar with Humboldt Bay, I value the relationship between natural resources and human impact. We need to develop plans that create sustainable uses for Humboldt Bay while addressing the changing human patterns over time.



HOUSING

Eureka needs more housing options for low-income, homeless, and marginalized people. Many of Eureka’s most vulnerable people- the elderly, those with mental-health challenges, those with limited or no consistent income- have compromised housing situations. I will work with people from all walks of life to help create innovative approaches to housing.

I would like to build coalitions of people who currently work to support people on the street to develop strength-based strategies in order to develop housing and service models that address the variety of reasons that someone may lack housing. We need to work together and learn from what we are doing right rather than work in a way where one or another group is being torn apart. This only costs valuable time and resources and takes away from the work that people could be doing.


YOUTH

I plan to create programs for youth participation.  Youth in Eureka need places to socialize that are accessible and safe. I plan to work with local businesses and youth organizations to create programs where youth feel inspired to grow. From conversations with youth, I realized that Eureka needs more spaces where youth feel welcome and empowered. I will work with local businesses and youth organizations to create youth-centered activities in Eureka.

We need to offer our next generation of leaders meaningful opportunities for engagement. I will also work to create a youth advisory council for Eureka. Youth should have a voice in decision-making. We are making the world that young people will live in, and we need to show that we value their futures. In addition, I plan to host an annual youth caucus in City Hall, bringing new perspectives into politics. We need to provide opportunities for youth to practice developing skills to articulate their perspectives on society.


Parks and recreation

I plan to work with city officials, community members, and local artists to make all of our local parks welcoming sites for play and neighborhood gatherings. I am excited to work with community members to adopt-a-park in order to actively grow sites for community building.


Creative Thinking

As the artistic director of Synapsis, I am well experienced in developing new models for participation and innovative approaches to community. I also value deep listening as an integral tool for cultivating long-term strategic thinking. I am ready to listen to the people of Eureka as we develop dynamic strategies for addressing our community’s needs.


When more people participate, we build more resilient societies.
— Leslie Castellano

community safety

It is important for people to feel safe in Eureka. I plan to work with community members to create more opportunities to work together to build relationships. When people are encouraged to adopt biases towards another class, ethnicity, or culture, it undermines our entire community. We need more ways for communities to gather where all people are welcome. I plan to support existing community centers, such as the dynamic Jefferson Community Center, and I plan to find ways to support the activities taking place there. I hope to work towards establishing more community centers in Eureka.

We need to create partnerships for multi-faceted approaches to the national opioid crisis. I plan to seek better supports from the county and state-level and advocate for Eureka. It is difficult work and I plan to acknowledge the people working hard to make a difference. Every program has successes that can be shared and celebrated. By understanding what works, Eureka can become a model for best practices in challenging situations.

 I plan to create more opportunities for de-escalation training/anti-bias training for city employees in order to build equity and to give our employees better resources for doing their important work.

 In addition, the Sanctuary movement is an important component of community safety. I fully support the Sanctuary County movement and have held performances and public forums to help build dialogue around this. I plan to continue to advocate for the Sanctuary Initiative on the November ballot.


Art and Culture

Eureka has more artists per capita than any other town in the United States. I am proud to work closely with artists of all types to celebrate the beauty and diversity present in Eureka. I will advocate for artists to receive recognition and compensation for their work. I will continue to develop opportunities to enrich our lives with vivid cultural expressions. I also am actively working with community members to develop a local artists’ guild in order to create better a better support system for artists. I have been in active dialogue with the City of Eureka Development Department about the ground-breaking Strategic Arts Plan. I recognize that technology is a language of culture. I support developing sites for public internet access in Eureka and the ongoing fight for internet neutrality.


Working together

I will work to highlight the successes of local Eureka businesses, community groups, and organizations. There are numerous people in our community who are working hard to make a difference. I will use my position to recognize the often unseen efforts of our local heroes.


neighborhood improvement

I will work to clean up Eureka’s streets, plant trees, reduce blight, and create opportunities for meaningful neighborhood activities for youth and adults. I believe the concept of “neighbor” is one that can be developed to create a sense of belonging and appreciation of place. This reduces crime and establishes spaces where growth and opportunity excels. The Jefferson Community Center is a shining example in Ward 1 of this type of work.