Vision & Approach
My fundamental vision is of an equitable and sustainable Half Moon Bay community, co-created by all of its residents working together. I believe in the twin goals of equity and sustainability, and the basic principle of working for equity for all people. I see the collaboration between different groups as key to building strong communities and finding durable solutions to problems.
As Half Moon Bay’s first elected Latino City Council member I will bring a deep understanding of the particular issues facing our Latino and Latina neighbors, and be able to raise their voices and inspire their civic engagement in a way that has never been done before. However, I am fully focused on finding equitable and sustainable solutions to problems in a collaborative way - and that means listening carefully to and working together with all the residents of District 3, and the wider community beyond, and helping people work together to make progress.
A sustainable Coastside is one my central objectives. I believe in land conservation (preserving farmland and ranch land), organic, co-operative farming, and the importance of climate change adaptation. With climate change affecting our coastal bluff areas I want to find solutions to preserving our coastal trails from coastal erosion. Environmental justice is important to me: I have witnessed the impacts of climate change and pollution on the Half Moon Bay community first hand, and know that it is often those who are already least equipped to cope that end up being most negatively affected.
Housing & Development
I believe we need affordable housing for our existing population of residents, but that development should be disallowed when merely to attract outside investment or growth. I have been working with the current City Council on their plans for affordable housing development, advocating for central locations that would both conserve our valuable open spaces, and, by bringing more residents closer to downtown, reduce traffic.
By providing affordable housing to the HMB community, I hope that our unhoused population will be able to have greater access to housing. Homelessness is a complex issue, requiring collaboration between the City, County, community and other partners. For example, housing is not enough: we also need to provide a mental health program and AOD (alcohol and other drugs) programs, and connect these services together to make sure our homeless neighbors are safe and secure.
I believe in the importance of achieving any development in a way that preserves the character and heritage of the town and pastoral countryside for both its residents and visitors (who bring tourist dollars because of these very qualities): we need smart development. I am opposed to the proposed Dunes Beach Resort, and in favor of conserving the land there for farming and recreation. I believe instead that we should focus on supporting existing businesses, like the many existing hotels and B&Bs and neighboring businesses, which could otherwise be negatively impacted by this development.
As a parent, I have to address a prevalent issue in our city: our failing school system. Latino graduation rates are low and not many Latinos continue their education after high school, keeping our underprivileged population living below the poverty line. I want to address the inequalities in the school system by encouraging our public schools to undertake relevant curricula that will provide our kids with better opportunities in education, training, and business.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been educating the community on the importance of using personal protection equipment. Working with nonprofits in the area, I have personally delivered face masks to those without access to PPE, including the largely marginalized farmworkers in the Bay Area. I have also advocated for more testing in the community, and have provided resources for families that have been in contact with those affected by COVID-19. If elected, I will continue to educate the community and keep working to provide resources and support to everyone in the community. We all are one under the same banner of Half Moon Bay, and to overcome the coronavirus we must look after each other.
Transportation & Infrastructure
I frequently travel by bike: I believe in the importance of making biking an easier and safer mode of transportation. Good public transportation is vital, for both environmental reasons and to reduce traffic congestion. I have ideas to restructure Main Street to alleviate traffic congestion, while allowing for people to still get around, shop local businesses, and make biking safer.
Support for Small Businesses
I have a vision for increased support of small businesses, and I see this support as fundamental to the creation of a vibrant, prosperous city for its residents as well as a place others will want to visit. Tourism is a vital element of the HMB economy, and one that I aim to sustain through environmental conservation. We can make sure that our local businesses receive a direct benefit from the traffic by providing reasons to visit Half Moon Bay, and build the economy from our visitors spendings. I view giving people the opportunity to start and grow small businesses as a step toward greater equity in our community, that will in turn have a number of additional positive effects for the town.
If you have comments for Joaquin about the above platform, please visit the Get Involved page.