My family, the Ortega family, has been in Pomona for over 118 years. I have lived in Pomona’s District 3 nearly my entire life. I have volunteered thousands of hours for the betterment of our community. Pomona truly is a wonderful place to be and live.
Fiber-Up My Neighborhood: My background is in technology, innovation and training. My decades of experience has brought me to my most recent endeavor which seeks to bring fiber-optic connectivity to the Internet (the best technology has to offer) to all residents and businesses in Pomona. Municipal broadband models of high-speed (500mbps – 1gigabit per second, symmetrical) Internet, at affordable rates ($25-$50) exist throughout the country. There is no good reason why we too (Pomona) can’t have the same. Municipally-owned broadband creates an additional revenue stream for the city, while offering high quality access at affordable rates.
Pomona’s Open For Business: I believe small tweaks to our economic policy can make huge differences in meeting the needs of our businesses and community members. Policy on focusing our institutional purchasing powers, e.g. hospitals, schools, city and colleges to prioritize their annual spends with Pomona-based businesses is an economic imperative; given that hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by these institutions annually. If we could recycle just 10% of these annual spends to our local businesses, we could create more local employment opportunity for our youth; put more police on the streets; and invest in programs to impact crime in our neighborhoods.
Food Security: We must make a commitment of greater farming use of open, and underutilized land. Pomona once was the breadbasket to the world; in returning to our roots by growing and feeding Pomona’s families high nutrient, locally grown greens, dual outcomes are achieved: A healthier Pomona, coupled with expanded economic opportunity through a locally grown food market. Local farming solutions include hydroponic growing, and expansion of community gardens. I will explore how the city can play a greater role in facilitating farm-to-table local solutions to ensure Pomona’s future food security needs.
Relationship building between community and law enforcement: I believe in greater engagement between law enforcement and community via convenings outside of crisis moments. I wish to explore how having law enforcement hear, on a regular basis and in a structured environment, proposed solutions by community; where too, law enforcement can share how community can help them.
I am an avid cyclist having rode the entire coast of California from 2008 to this past May where I crossed the Oregon border on a 2 day, 116 mile ride from Arcata(just north of Eureka), CA. Riding my bike on the coast or around town to pick-up groceries, grab a cup of coffee or attend meetings with our city’s leaders is a regular activity for me. Last year I helped home school my three grandchildren remotely, via the Internet. There was not a day that would go by where slow, insufficient, access to on-line resources negatively impacted my grandchildren’s learning experience. As a veteran in technology I was able to overcome some of the challenges, however, I can only imagine the negative impacts to families who did not have a technology expert in the family. Today, high-speed, quality – affordable – Internet access is on the same level of import as food, water and electricity.