NANCY ST. CLAIR
Why are you running for this seat?
The San Joaquin County
Board of Supervisors has failed to reflect the community they represent fully. I believe I have the ability, and responsibility, to bring transformative changes to the county by fostering open communication and collaboration from all community members. If I am elected, I would be the only educator, woman, and first woman of color on the board. I would hope to represent these and other marginalized voices from the community.
What issues set you apart from your opponents?
One issue that sets me apart from my opponents is mental health. First, we must support those struggling with mental health in our community. I believe that it is essential that mental health professionals receive adequate training in culturally and linguistically competent services to work with the diverse populations in San Joaquin County. I would work with community health workers in addressing the health disparities within our community. We need to foster a strong partnership with the community and San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) to provide combined culturally and linguistically competent mental health and substance abuse services. We must work together to meet San Joaquin County residents' prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery needs.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish?
I believe there need to be well-rounded individuals making decisions for San Joaquin County residents. My role as a supervisor would be to lead the county in a way that increases opportunities for all of our residents. Our most important role as community leaders is to safeguard the health, safety, and economic well-being of San Joaquin County.
Your thoughts on:
COVID policy: We will have to learn to live with COVID-19 and its variants. The polarization of the coronavirus response and misinformation threatened our capacity to control disease transmission early on in the pandemic. We still have a long road ahead, but finally, we see a sense of hope with the COVID-19 vaccination. I believe in science and medicine to defeat diseases and viruses. Vaccines go a long way in ensuring better resistance in our community. However, our neighbors should have a fundamental choice to vaccinate themselves and their children. It is important that our county government remains steadfast and ready to respond to any threat to our community and propose swift solutions. We must be ready to adapt to ensure the safety and health of our residents and our small businesses.
Public safety/criminal justice: Public safety is essential in San Joaquin County because your sense of safety is an essential measure of our community's well-being. Crime has risen in the last two years in our county, and we must make San Joaquin County safer by boosting funding to our first responders so they can adequately assess and treat the root causes of crime in our region. Public health workers, firefighters, police officers, and county sheriffs must be supported to ensure safety. I support increased funding for law enforcement to have the resources and training to increase community communication and trust — such as diversity, multicultural, and antibias training. I also believe in using the valuable resources within our community, like social workers and community leaders, to address this epidemic of crime in San Joaquin County. I will always support community forward safety policies to protect our parks and recreation centers, utilities, emergency services, seniors, the disabled, children, families, and veterans.
Homelessness: Homelessness is a significant problem throughout California. There is, sadly, no simple solution. Substance abuse, mental illness, and a failed economy have all contributed to this situation in San Joaquin County. As a member of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, I would work with regional partners to find reasonable solutions. We must continue to support our homeless populations by shifting to suitable locations in our community and off our streets. We need comprehensive solutions to confront the root causes to get our fellow citizens and community members who are down and out back on their feet with dignity. I support appropriating funds to county programs that provide wrap-around services such as emergency housing, mental health services, treatment for substance abuse, and job training for unsheltered individuals. The police, sheriff's department, medical facilities management, mental and behavioral specialists, school districts, and state and federal representatives must be involved and work together. Meaningful solutions must be derived and implemented to address this complex and vital issue.
Affordable housing: Affordable housing is essential to the vitality of families and the community. The cost to rent or purchase housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable to thousands of people, both for those working and on fixed incomes. Affordable housing allows families on tight budgets to spend on healthcare, food, education, and pay for everyday necessities. When people can afford local housing options, it will benefit our local economy by attracting and retaining employees and businesses in the community.
Economic policy: I believe that everyone should have access to the American Dream: the right to quality education, a decent job, decent housing, and affordable health care. I believe every child should have the opportunity for high-quality education, a critical pathway to economic growth for individuals and our community. I believe in job creation, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, investing in clean-energy technologies, and supporting small businesses, so they keep their doors open. It is essential to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our local economy. All Americans should have the opportunity to succeed.
Water issues: Water is a central concern for many San Joaquin County residents. The State of California has mishandled water in the Central Valley for years, which has impacted our community. We must prevent the state from following through with the Delta tunnels project, which will ship our water to Los Angeles. This project threatens the ecosystem of the Delta without creating any new water for Southern California. Furthermore, we must build a water system that positively affects our limited allotments and, most importantly, design and build more underground and aboveground water storage facilities. We must upgrade the water systems in our region. We must provide residents, farmers, wineries, and the agricultural industry with abundant, clean, and affordable water.
Taxes/fees/rates: I do not support raising taxes on the working and middle-class residents in San Joaquin County because the cost of food, fuel, and housing has skyrocketed. Inflation and rising costs have put a strain on working families, and we should not burden our families who are struggling to make ends meet. I understand that taxes are essential for public services and directly contribute to our health sector, education, and governance. San Joaquin County currently has adequate rates and fees on property assessments. I strongly advocate for more oversight on where taxpayers' dollars are spent. During the pandemic, the Federal Government and the State of California have allocated millions to San Joaquin County. Unfortunately, much of those funds have failed to make it into the wallets of our middleincome residents, where the impact would have made the most difference.
Cannabis: California decided to legalize marijuana years ago. I believe counties should be able to make their own decisions about the recreational, taxation, and control of cannabis sales.
Winery/events ordinances: The wine industry is one of the largest employers of San Joaquin County residents; it employs residents and provides tax revenue to our area. I strongly support the continued growth of the Lodi area’s viticulture. Wineries are a critical aspect of our local tourism industry, especially in Lodi. It is our region's crown jewel. Wineries should be able to provide all the services that residents and tourists need. Wineries should be able to determine the safe amount of attendees at events such as weddings and anniversary parties on their premises. Wineries should be able to expand their hours to meet the community's needs.
Transportation/infrastructure: San Joaquin County is unique because it has a deepwater port, air service, transcontinental railroad, and commuter trains. As supervisor, I would support the use of funds to upgrade all aspects of infrastructure in our area — from our ports to our highways to our city streets and even our broadband infrastructure. I support fixing Highway 99, Interstate 5, and Interstate 205, which commuters use daily.