The Tattler presents the 2016 election candidates questionnaire. Candidates for elected office will answer questions broken down into topical sections that effect Emeryville residents. Responses will be released section by section rotating through all the responding candidates representing the City Council and School Board hopefuls.
The order of presentation was chosen randomly. Regular Tattler stories will be interspersed in the 2016 election questionnaire. Readers wishing to peruse all the answers by an individual may use the search bar function by entering ”Election 2016 Candidates Questionnaire” with the name of the candidate and all of that candidate’s sections will be presented. Alternatively just typing in the name of the candidate will also work.
There are six candidates running for three seats and all answered our questionnaire save candidate for City Council Brynnda Collins.
Today, candidate for City Council Ally Medina answers questions on livability (please check the previously posted section 1 answers for this candidate's bio):
Section 4 Livability
Tattler: Other cities have implemented bans on ‘formula’ retail; that being national chains, franchises, fast food etc. Emeryville already has a plethora of these kinds of businesses. Do you see constituting a ban as something Emeryville should do moving forward?
Ally Medina: I would be interested in looking into that and would want to see a report on the impact that would have on the city. As a rule, I believe formula retail does not help small cities thrive and have seen Berkeley have great success banning certain types of it.
Tattler: New construction is commonly too expensive for local retail to afford because of the high rents developers must charge to recoup their construction costs. This is often cited as the reason Emeryville can’t seem to deliver the kind of locally serving retail Emeryville residents want. The Tattler has proposed new development write off retail rents associated with their residential projects by forcing developers to put in writing their assurances to bring locally serving/non-formula retail. Would you force this assurance guarantee from developers for new residential development?
Ally Medina: I would in general support that, but would want to balance it with other community benefits we might extract from new developments.
Tattler: Emeryville has gotten worse over time in several key areas, specifically with regards to the things residents tell us they want to see in their town. We have been told by a generation of City Council members by their voting records that we must accept that Emeryville must get worse over time. The Tattler has made a declaration that we should not permit new development to make our town worse insofar as can be measured. So for instance in affordability, park acreage per resident, locally serving retail, ratio of home ownership to rentals; these hallmarks of livability (and more) are measurable and the effect new development has on our existing metrics can be measured. We could have a blanket insistence that all new development not make the town get measurably worse in key areas or even an insistence that new development make our town get measurably better. Would you support this?
Ally Medina: I support using benchmarks to increase the livability of our city, but some developments might provide a massive improvement on one such measure while a small or even moderate decrease in another. I think it would be difficult for every single development to improve on every single standard, but would support ordinances for areas that are especially critical (such as park space).
As with cities throughout the Bay Area, we are dealing with how to accommodate a growing population with neighborhood needs such as more parks, strengthening our public transportation system and encouraging small businesses to thrive. These issues are not easy for any city to address and our council works hard to be representative and responsive to our needs, while navigating the economic and demographic shifts we’ve seen in the past few years. I have made Emeryville my home. I am running for office precisely because I love living here and I want to apply my experience in community advocacy and public policy to making Emeryville a stronger, safer and more prosperous community for all of us.