A Safe Community – Responding to Emergencies and Ensuring Safety
Responding to Emergencies
The Climate Emergency is manifesting in wildfires, drought, extreme heat, storms, flooding, sea-level rise, and the ever-present earthquake potential. A robust, well-funded emergency operations center with known and practiced protocols must be a top priority for Petaluma. Ensuring the Hazard Mitigation Plan is up to date, our City Departments are equipped with needed supplies, materials, equipment and staff, prepared to the best of our ability for emergencies, is of utmost importance.
The Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds must continue to be an evacuation center for Sonoma County residents and animals.
Encouraging citizens to train in CPR and Community Emergency Preparedness and maintaining a database of volunteers with a communication system to connect for emergency shelter and life needs will contribute to the strength of our community in challenging times and emergencies.
Emergency management is and will continue to be a necessary part of daily life, rather than an occasional occurrence.
Disproportionate Impact to Underserved Communities
COVID-19 and all its impacts have been hardest on communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities. Bringing to light discrepancies in affordable and available health care, fresh food and nutrition, and security and comfort in housing emphasize our need as a society for equity and action to lift up all community members for equal job and housing opportunities and security, education and healthcare.
Our City elected officials need to advocate for and communicate the needs of all Petalumans to state and federal elected officials – to obtain help and relief. Collaborating with other City governments and Sonoma County will continue to be mutually beneficial. We must anticipate that future pandemics are more of a reality than possibility.
In Petaluma as in most areas of our country, we must review Police Department practices, budget and staffing.
Susan will support reform of Petaluma Police Department protocols and practices to represent community safety and well-being. This includes review of the budget, areas of funding, and staffing inclusion of mental health and social work professionals for the continued SAFE program, a program that received advocacy by young people in Petaluma for many months before finally becoming a reality in Petaluma.
Our dedication to and action in the areas of community safety are important to create and support a safe and welcoming community for new Petaluma residents. Following through on the hiring of an Independent Auditor and creating the Civilian Oversight Committee will respect recommendations of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Race Relations.
As we plan for Petaluma’s future, designating a portion of the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds close to Washington Street for a new Civic Complex, to include City Hall, Fire Department ops and a main station, and the Petaluma Police Department, will centralize City operations and modernize infrastructure as the City addresses needed policy and protocol changes.