From Kimberley White/Sept. 25, 2020, 2:33 p.m.
Candidacy Announcement for Arcata City Council
Kimberley White for Arcata City Council 2020
Current Position: City of Arcata Planning Commissioner
After almost a year and a half serving as planning commissioner for the City of Arcata, I have decided to take the next step and run for city council. As one can see I am not a one- issue candidate; there are many important issues that need to be addressed.
I am most passionate about affordable housing and long term solutions with dignity for the unhoused, public safety and police reform, services for children and families, revitalization of the economy during and post COVID -19, “deep ecology” (protecting our environment, forests, wetlands/marshes, open spaces, parks, and trails) and equitable access for all of members the community.
I came here to attend HSU where I received a master’s degree in sociology with an emphasis on affordable and cooperative housing, and race and ethnic relations. I am active in the community and have been involved in volunteerism to include: Food for People, Bayside Park Farm, CERT, Valley West trash cleanup, Talent Search, local shelters, Relay for Life, former Wellness Center board member, and many others. In addition to my planning commissioner position with the City of Arcata, I do consulting and grantwriting. I also currently serve on a local charter school board and a housing board. Other past employment include: account executive (helping local businesses build and expand), program evaluator for Healthy Start (State of California Youth at Risk Program) and program coordinator for a local tobacco education project working directly with at risk youth, schools, and the community. I have lived in Arcata (traditional lands of the Wiyot people) for more than 30 years.
With global crisis, environmental crises, economic crisis, the unhoused and unemployed, and now COVID-19, the uncertainties that we face are seemingly insurmountable. We can no longer continue ‘business as usual’, and must now focus on rebuilding our community.
As a Planning Commissioner for the City of Arcata my special interest is in equitable and affordable housing. I was involved in the adoption of the City of Arcata’s newly updated Housing Element portion of the City of Arcata’s General Plan. The Housing Element not only included an assessment and inventory of resources in Arcata but also looked at the regional housing needs of the county as a whole to assure we meet our share of housing needs for the entire region.
My particular housing interests surround solutions for safe affordable housing and the barriers that low income, veterans, seniors and the disabled face. I designed and implemented an affordable cooperative housing survey questionnaire for River Community Homes for Humboldt Bay Housing and co-authored a publication titled “Affordable Cooperative Housing” in collaboration with UC Davis Center for Cooperatives.
I have always had a heart for the unhoused vulnerable populations. We need long-term solutions, not band-aids. The unhoused situation needs to be addressed with viable solutions that work. I am not talking about a handout but rather a hand-up. We need to care for our most vulnerable population with compassion and give them back some dignity.
I am passionate about social justice and equity, making sure our most vulnerable populations (seniors and the un-housed) do not fall between the cracks. As Martin Luther King, Jr. so aptly put it “It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people”. Community is where everything must begin; we are our “brother’s keeper”.
I am on board with Chief Ahern and the public safety committee’s ideas on police reform and ways to help Arcata police department better do their jobs. APD moving forward will include a crisis mobile unit response team in cooperation with Department Health and Social Services (DHSS). While APD is to protect and serve and have received special training in mental crisis management, they are not the experts in the field. Having a mobile response team and a crisis social worker on staff will only further improve Arcata Police Department services.
When we begin to recover as a community from COVID 19 we will not only need to address our economy, housing needs, mental health, public safety and police reform, but also with what is happening in our nation, we also need to take this opportunity to address systemic racism and the long-standing problems and inequities in Arcata. We may believe because we live in a progressive idyllic community that racism doesnt exist, but most of us know that simply is not the case. In order to address systemic racism that permeates even our small community we will need to have those difficult conversations. With input from the public and safety committee and the Arcata Police Department we are up to the task. Let the healing process begin.
I love everything about this community. I love the fact that this community cares about climate change and it was written in Arcata’s General Plan long before it became a state mandate. I love the fact that this community cares about preserving our forest, our trails, agriculture land and open spaces. I love that this community cares about one another even in the most difficult times during COVID 19 those who were able bodied and healthy went shopping for those who were vulnerable. I love the fact that we have a university that is greatly entwined in our community supporting one another. We are living on the traditional lands of the Wiyot people and as a community we do not and should not take that for granted and we strive to continually to acknowledge this. Most importantly I love the fact that even during the toughest times I know it is our sense of community, collaboration, and commitment that will carry us through these difficult and unprecedented times. To give me feedback and to participate on my online survey/questionnaires to help find solutions and help build a stronger better Arcata visit my website and Facebook at: