SLO City Council
I'm Emily Francis
I am running for San Luis Obispo, City Council on November 8th, 2022. I bring a passion for civic connection and decades of experience as an educator.
Our city is a wonderful place, and I plan to work with the council to create an inclusive community, a resilient and just economy, and a focus on citizen engagement.
We all love our city. There is so much we can all agree on that will make our community stronger, kinder, and more resilient as we move through the challenges that the last few years have presented. I look forward to hearing from you about your hopes for our community.
Every decision we make as a city should be centered in an acknowledgement that our history has been one of legal and implicit discrimination in housing and employment and that we need to continue to make a concerted effort to center diversity, equity and inclusion in our city decision making if this generation is to do better.
Housing For All
As a teacher, I experienced first hand the challenges of finding affordable housing that could accommodate our growing family and elderly dogs. It nearly led to us choosing not to take jobs in this community. We must aim to have more of our neighbors living near their place of work so we can have a more robust community and healthier environment. By focusing on solutions such as income-specific homes and workforce preference housing, we can work to ensure that all members of our community have a place to call home. These solutions will help businesses retain workers and ultimately lead to a stronger community by giving our neighbors the support they need to live and work in SLO.
Improving our transportation infrastructure through more responsive bus routes and safer bike infrastructure are two of the most important ways we can address climate goals and make safe routes to work and community more accessible to more people. We need to address traffic and parking concerns to make sure SLO residents still enjoy spending time in our downtown and can easily patronize local businesses.
Quality Jobs and Economic Vitality
I will continue to focus on fiscal responsibility at the city level as well as the recruitment of jobs that can support families in SLO. As a union representative during my tenure as a teacher, I am glad to see the city moving forward on Community Work Force Agreements with the local trades upcoming city projects. I would like to see our city follow the model of Fresno and other California Cities in expanding Project Labor Agreements to uplift organized labor, support our local workforce and ensure that workers on local projects can afford to live where they work. Additionally, we will support small business owners who make this city vibrant. Covid brought many challenges but also a shift towards streamlined innovative solutions and experiments that bolstered support for local business. We need to keep nimble and responsive to the needs of our business community.
Investing in Affordable Childcare
One of the biggest barriers to gender equality in the workforce is accessible, affordable childcare. My own experience having a child in SLO was that the lack of childcare kept me out of the workforce for more than a year, leading to economic challenges for my family. We must expand access to childcare by encouraging onsite childcare options, subsidizing childcare businesses and raising wages to attract and retain qualified caregivers and help them provide for their households. Childcare is central to ensuring families in SLO can earn sufficient income to provide for themselves and ensure that we have sufficient workforce to keep our local economy healthy.
Our city has some of the most ambitious climate goals in the country and we should be proud of the progress we have made. SLO's target of carbon neutrality by 2035 means we need to continue to attract clean technology companies and focus on reducing our city's environmental impact. I plan to work with the next council to ensure we meet those goals and develop innovative solutions moving forward.
Priorities include expanding our open space portfolio and adapting to changing climate conditions including longer drought periods.
Resources For The Unhoused
Our most vulnerable neighbors need our support through innovations in transitional housing and an expansion of social services. The shortage of affordable housing in our community compounds the numerous factors that lead to someone becoming unhoused.
SLO has shifted significant resources towards transitional and long-term housing solutions as well as additional funding to Grants in Aid to nonprofits who serve the unhoused community. The city's mobile crisis units through both fire and police responds to our neighbors who need medical and mental health assistance and should be expanded if the model proves successful.