The landslide victory of political newcomer Natalie Arroyo is significant for a number of reasons. Election of a Latina creating the first all female city council. She unseated the incumbent, long time and well connected inside player Chet Albin. The size of the victory was impressive.
This message from Councilwoman Arroyo:
I am very glad to have won this seat in such a decisive vote. I also feel that in part because of that, the pressure is on! I am learning VERY quickly about many aspects of our City that, frankly, never garnered my interest as much before. I have always taken an interest in trails, infrastructure that makes neighborhoods more beautiful and walkable, environmental restoration and watershed health, and the arts. Now I am learning about the ins and outs of our finances, public safety, and how departments of our City and community efforts work together synergistically (or not). I will also be attending a comprehensive training for new Council members in Sacramento about ethics, working with City staff, and much more this winter.
I look forward to serving our City and want residents to know that I have a heart for our people, a goal to see our City measurably improved in the next 4 years, a passion for working on our issues, and a spine. Please hold me accountable, AND please give me a very small amount of time to learn more about my job and build strong working relationships with my co-Councilmembers, our City’s staff, neighborhood groups, and resident leaders. For now until I have a City email address and phone, any of your readers who would like to contact me are welcome to contact ArroyoForCityCouncil@yahoo.com. I will also remain active on Facebook and hope to use social media to connect with residents and share information. Currently the page is Natalie Arroyo for Eureka City Council, but that will be changing soon to reflect my new role. Thank you.
Sincerely, Natalie Arroyo – Eureka’s 5th Ward
We were very impressed with her first meeting here is her narrative on what went down:
Thank you to everyone who gave public comment and showed such interest in the big topic at hand, which was next steps to address homelessness. There was a lot on the agenda, so I’ll just emphasize the “big picture” items. I always try to pare down bureaucratic language on purpose, so fellow nerds, please hold your fire!
– Directed staff to further research options for a “tiny house” village as a transitional housing option for houseless folks, including developing some recommendations about site constraints (for example, staying a certain distance from wetland areas) and getting a firmer grasp on potential local partners and costs.
– Approved funding for an implementation plan for rapid re-housing. For those who aren’t familiar with that term, rapid re-housing refers to permanent housing and an emphasis on getting houseless people into this kind of housing very quickly, to help them stabilize their lives and get on their feet.
– Approved some restructuring within Public Works and Building departments, which will create more mid-level City jobs and I believe can offer existing staff some promotion opportunities, while streamlining upper management roles.
– Adopted an updated Traffic Survey, which will result in lowered speed limits along several major streets, including H and I streets.
– Directed staff to look into the possibility of reducing speeds around some schools within the City to 15 mph and report back to the Council.
– We also approved negotiation of a lease for a new bed and breakfast at the Samoa Airport and took action to support a new business venture in Eureka by providing a loan.
It was a great first meeting for me, and I’m thrilled to be able to take action on new solutions and opportunities in the new year. I believe 2015 will be an eventful year for Eureka. I’ll be taking some holiday time with friends and family, but please feel free to contact me here or via email@example.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
We at the Examiner find her extremely refreshing!