Economist’s across the country agree this is the worst recession since the great depression and just because we don’t see people standing in food lines does not make it any less real. Look at your own home’s value, check your own 401k, and look at your own savings and medical costs. There are those who would have us believe that if we simply just wait long enough, the economy will come back, the tide will rise and somewhere over the rainbow, Blue birds fly and the dreams that you dreamed of, Dreams really do come true. Which might work in the land of OZ but not in the land of Brentwood.
Our homeowners drive an average 1 ½ hours round trip for work because we have done little as a city to attract or support our Business sector. We have buildings that have never been occupied since the day of their ribbon cutting ceremony three years ago and many are in foreclosure. I recently counted no fewer than 28 business storefronts that have closed, may they RIP.
Through it all, the city has been eerily quiet, as they have tried to adjust to the new realities of making more from less and speechless as to how to help their citizen’s or if they should even try. After all, normally most communities don’t get involved in the plight of the businesses or citizen’s, when it comes to economic issues not effecting the operation of the city directly. But these are not normal times and our citizen’s and businesses economic health and well being is as much a part of our shared quality of life as our schools, police and fire protection and agricultural environment.
I chose to run for the City Council because our citizen’s need leadership to set a course out of this situation. Our property values would not plunge every time the national economy coughed if we had a substantial business and jobs base. We need to stop admiring the problem and set about to chart a new course focused less on growth and more on supporting our local businesses to greater profitability, job creating prosperity and attracting new cleantech industries.
I would move to support the following changes in my first month:
Eliminate the price of a business license and the city tax revenue for non-retail SME’s, of less than 30 employees, for the next 12 months.
Move immediately to contact each of the 4,000 active Business License holders to secure their e-mail addresses, as the current license form does not require it and take advantage of tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Monster.com,YouTube.
Organize a small business summit for license holders at the Rave Theater to exchange ideas and view successful business solutions from other communities.
Launch the “Brentwood Challenge” an online International awards event focused on Economically Sustainable Agriculture in association with UCDavis and the Big Bang event to promote entrepreneurship.
I have done it before and together we can do it again.