“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
That’s how our Declaration of Independence sums up the fundamental purpose of government, and I don’t think anyone has improved upon that description in the intervening 234 years. It is the idea that has guided me in my civic life, as both a private citizen and as a former Anaheim Councilman.
Government is the servant of the people. Local government best serves us and secures our liberties when it focuses on its core purposes: ensuring public safety, building and maintaining good streets and roads, keeping taxes and business regulation low, and being a prudent, responsible steward of the budget.
A healthy city is one in which residents take charge of their neighborhoods. City government can and should do its part within its legitimate areas of responsibility, but it cannot – and should not – seek to organize and supervise every aspect of community life.
Freedom-based city government and strong neighborhood bonds among Anaheim citizens are the surest formula for making a great city even greater. As the signers of the Declaration knew, life and liberty are the keys to happiness and its pursuit.
Local government’s first duty is to provide for the safety of its citizens in their homes, in their neighborhoods and on their streets. That means keeping criminals off the street and in jail, and graffiti out of our neighborhoods.
As an Anaheim Councilman, I voted to increase police patrols and created a successful law enforcement program to identify illegal immigrant criminals in the Anaheim city jail. As your Mayor, I will continue that strong commitment to providing our police with the tools and resources they need to successfully do their jobs.
City government can only do so much. I’ll also work to support anti-crime efforts by spearheading the revival of our Neighborhood Watch programs. For the most part, police respond after a crime is committed. An active Neighborhood Watch program, with neighbors watching out for each other, can effectively prevent crimes and make us safer in our homes, all while being a fiscally responsible way to increase the safety of our community.
Ideally, these groups will be more than keeping an eye out for each other’s safety, but an avenue to grow closer as friends and neighbors. This is important for a strong and healthy community, and also practical concerns such as emergency preparedness. Americans are at their best working together voluntarily to overcome challenges. While I hope we are never challenged by such adversity in Anaheim, I also hope a strong neighborhood program sows the seeds of an even stronger sense of community among Anaheim residents.
As a business owner and former Anaheim Councilman, I know from first-hand experience that government doesn’t create economic growth, but it can stifle it.
Opportunity, prosperity and inventiveness spring from the creativity and hard work of individual Americans, and I want to make Anaheim the most jobs-friendly city in the state – a place where men and women can work hard, start a business and create jobs. Government can help by reducing taxes and regulations and generally getting out of the way.
Enacting policies that foster business and job creation will be my top priority as your Mayor.
I will fight to reduce the regulatory burden on Anaheim businesses by eliminating unnecessary regulations and streamlining needed ones.
When a person comes to City Hall to get business license or pull a permit, I want every city employee to see it as his or her top priority to help citizens through the process as efficiently and courteously as possible.
As your Mayor, my faith for economic growth will be in innovators in the marketplace.
These are not just words. As an Anaheim Councilman, I built a track record of fighting for “freedom friendly” policies that led to thousands of new private sector jobs in areas like the Anaheim Resort Area. As Mayor, I will continue the fight to make Anaheim a haven for job creation.
Problems with government often begin when elected leaders and bureaucrats forget they are spending other people’s money. I never forgot that central fact while serving as your Councilman, and that crucial reality will be at the forefront of my mind as your Mayor.
Government has to live within its means. Anaheim residents don’t have the luxury of taxing their neighbors when their finances tighten up. They prioritize their budgets and do without things that aren’t necessities.
Government should be no different. As Mayor, I will focus our budget priorities on the city’s fundamental duties.
To be secure in our liberty we must be secure in our property. Government’s highest duty is to protect our rights to life, liberty and property.
We all acknowledge there are times when government, for a specific public purpose, must use eminent domain to acquire private property for public purposes – and provide the property owner with just compensation. The Founding Fathers understood this, and enshrined the principle of eminent domain in the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, too often local governments have abused eminent domain by using it as an “economic development” tool: taking property from one owner and giving it to someone else for a “better use.” Such policies twist the purpose of eminent domain, and as an Anaheim City Councilman, I authored an amendment to our city charter prohibiting the city from ever taking property from one private owner and transferring it to another private owner.
Dating back to the founding of our Republic, providing for transportation infrastructure has been a core government responsibility. One of my top priorities will be ensuring that Anaheim has a system of streets and roads that are modern, well-maintained and with enough capacity to keep motorists moving. The free-flow of people and goods is essential to a thriving economy and a better quality of life. I want Anaheim residents to be able to spend more time with family and activities and less time in traffic.
As Mayor, I believe city government should work with you to ensure our streets and roads are well-maintained. I will look to residents to contact City Hall with reports of badly maintained roads and necessary street repairs – and I will push city government to respond quickly to those concerns.
Parks are jewels in the crown of any city. Anaheim is fortunate to have 46 city parks comprising 600 acres: from historic Pearson Park in downtown Anaheim to parks in the eastern part of our city that provide visitors with an authentic nature experience.
Parks and the recreation opportunities they afford are integral to a city’s sense of community. They are the places where families gather to play and picnic, and where our vital civic and community groups gather and hold events.
We must continually search for ways to expand our parkland, while looking for opportunities and economies that allow us to offer residents maximum recreational opportunities within budget realities.