The Issues & How to Solve Them

Community Engagement

The building of an inclusive city begins with an engaged community. Alexandria wants to be a representative that her district can engage with and know that their concerns will not just be heard but also acted on. After all, its one thing to be listened too, its another thing entirely when your desire for change is supported.

 

With a background in non profit work and as a community organizer, Alexandria knows that meeting people where they are is important for anyone who wishes to be involved in leadership.

 

Alexandria grew up in Downey, in a busy working class household that has immigrant roots. That perspective is needed on City Council to bring about greater community engagement in policy that affect our every day lives.

Pre Covid-19 days you would find Alexandria working at her laptop at 3rd St Coffee. During Covid-19 you can find her volunteering at Downey Food Helps on Saturday mornings or at the Farmers Market doing her weekly shopping.

You can always reach out to Alexandria for your ideas on what community engagement can look like. If you want to have a conversation with her, let her know! She wants to hear from you.

 

 

Housing

As a renter, Alexandria understands the struggles that comes with finding a safe, affordable place to live. Due to COVID-19 homeowners and renters alike are experiencing threats of housing instability. To keep the people of Downey healthy and stable, we need to ensure that people stay in their homes. We need to expand the rental assistance program to include homeowners so people who have fallen behind on their rental or mortgage payments can have relief. and pass stronger moratorium ordinances on evictions.

Downey also struggles with accessible & affordable housing to everyone who wishes to call Downey home. We can bring affordable housing to the city. We need to fast track the process for homeowners to easily convert their garages to ADU's or build ADU's on their property. By having a variety of pre-approved designs and streamlined application process, we can empower homeowners to make important decisions for themselves, while bringing affordable housing to the city.

 

ADU's open the possibility to having loved ones to live with their family or for homeowners to rent out their ADU for supplemental income. ADU's are also a great solution to overcrowded living conditions and due to the low cost of building or conversion, they can be a source of affordable housing within the city.

Another way to ensure that Downey has more affordable and accessible housing is through the formation of a housing authority to better protect the renters who call Downey home.  Renters in Downey compromise roughly 50% of the population and they deserve representation on City Council just as much as homeowners.

People who live in mobile homes, who own their home but not the land they place their home on, are also at risk as many protections for renters & homeowners do not extend to mobile home owners. When there is a larger discussion of renters rights and homeowner protections, we can't leave out the mobile home owners who call Downey home as well.

 

We need change in our housing policy for younger generations, renters, homeowners and mobile home owners so they can keep calling Downey home.

Urban Safety
Environment

Alexandria's vision of urban safety is the prioritization of all people moving through public space safely and free from harm. Whether the harm is from other people or from cars.

 

Public space must be accessible to children, the elderly, families, the disabled, and everyone else in order to promote a safe environment for Downey. Alexandria is an advocate for a variety of transportation that moves people through public space easily, safely, and comfortably. But in Downey, those forms of transportation are already out of reach. There are little to no sidewalks in the part of Downey where she grew up, which made it difficult to play safely with the other kids in the neighborhood when she was a child. Her street has hardly changed since. Her story is not unique. According to a study, that appeared in the Downey Patriot in 2018, "Downey is home to several of the most dangerous intersections in California."

 

Downey must and needs to reshape our urban infrastructure to make our community safer. Protected bike lanes, a reimagined Downey Link, and accessible walking infrastructure should be the standard, not a goal. We can have that kind of city if there is a political will for it. 

Downey's air quality faces inherent challenges due to the highways and freeways surrounding our city. Helicopter noise and pollution from air traffic above have already harmed our community when jet fuel from a Delta airplane rained down on homes in Downey.

While some factors of pollution are out of our control, we can do more to limit how much pollution we create and allow in our city. With the development of protected bike lanes, prioritized walking paths, and a restructured Downey Link, the city can minimize its carbon footprint which would not only improve our air quality but would combat climate change. 

 


Alexandria is a staunch opponent to all freeway expansions in Downey. Currently there are plans to bulldoze through Unsworth Elementary, Dennis the Menace Park and over 500 homes in and around Downey to expand the 605/5 freeway interchange.  Alexandria has already begun to organize community opposition to this plan and has taken this issue to city council directly, and the organizing is working. She pressured the City Council to release a press release on the project but she won't stop there until the project is completely halted as its in the planning stages.

 

Hard working families who have bought their homes will have generational wealth taken away from them, the small businesses that provide for the local neighborhood will suffer, traffic and carbon emissions will dramatically increase and valuable community resources like Unsworth Elementary will be taken from families who live in Downey. 

Alexandria's grandparents had their home taken away from them by Cal Trans for a freeway project, she grew up on the North side of the 5 freeway, attended Unsworth Elementary and spent many days playing at Dennis the Menace Park. For her, this fight is personal. Freeway expansions have harmed communities of color in the past and continue to do so today. If you want to get involved in the fight to stop this freeway expansion please reach out to the campaign.

There are ways we can ensure that the generations coming after us can have cleaner air to breathe, safe water to drink, and live in a green city. We just need someone who will not only make it a priority but will make it happen

The 605/5 Interchange Expansion Plan

Local Business

We all know and have heard the stories of people beginning small businesses in their garages or kitchens and becoming successful entrepreneurs later in life. But unfortunately for smaller Cottage Food Businesses this dream of beginning your small business at home is not allowed in Downey.

 

Downey currently makes it illegal to operate Cottage Food Businesses despite it being legalized by the state. With the pandemic ongoing and small businesses struggling, allowing for the licensing of Cottage businesses would allow for greater diversity of businesses. This is something Alexandria want to bring to Downey because she believes that we should allow people to have greater flexibility in their pursuit of happiness.

Another way we can protect our small businesses is by passing moratoriums on evictions for commercial businesses who are doing their best to survive and thrive. Small businesses if evicted and closed during the pandemic, may never be able to recover and come back. We cannot let that happen. Its the small businesses that bring life to Downey, not empty storefront windows.

 

 

Paid for by the Contreras for City Council 2020 Committee

ID #1428963