Sierra Club Questionnaire
Toxics and Environmental Restoration:
Like you, I am also concerned about the toxic wastes and hazardous materials that have been left at Alameda Point. Since I am not an expert in this matter, I would listen to the evaluation and recommendation of regulatory agencies, such as the EPA, but I would also proceed carefully and even err on the side of caution when humans and other living things are involved. Taking the case of Shinsei Gardens, I would like to learn more about the level of toxicity in the site and the potential hazards that they pose. Before forming an opinion, I would go through studies done by federal and/or state regulatory agencies, as well as independent, reputable companies, to make sure that all points have been considered. Concerning the deed restrictions, I think it is good to err on the side of caution and enforce restrictions on digging into heavily-contaminated soil, however, imposing this “in perpetuity” may be too severe. As more and more technological discoveries are made, it is possible that the contamination can be cleaned up. For example, some plants have been known to clean up toxic materials in the soil while benefitting humans and other living things around them. I believe that such possibilities should be taken into consideration and, rather than leaving toxic sites untouched, we should look into ways of cleaning these up. Then, perhaps, periodic evaluations can be undertaken to determine if there are any improvements.
If elected, my goal is to preserve and improve the quality of life in Alameda and I plan to accomplish this by taking the needs and concerns of every citizen into account. Regional issues can also be local issues and because of the symbiotic relationship between cities and regions, I believe that regional issues should definitely be considered when developing Alameda Point.
Alameda Point can be developed and utilized to improve the quality of life of our residents if we use it wisely to provide jobs, housing, recreational areas, and a transportation system. With over 900 acres of land, developing even just a fraction of the whole property would be enough to accomplish this. My vision of Alameda Point includes affordable housing coupled with recreational areas, like parks, and maybe even an elementary school and a library that the residents can enjoy. It would also have a public transportation system to serve the area and minimize traffic and pollution. All of this would be supported by a vibrant mix of shops and businesses that would also help boost our economy.
Being an island, Alameda offers various modes of transportation for its residents to enjoy. I think modes of transportation that eliminate or reduce the amount of pollution per passenger should be supported. For example, bicycles are already popular among the residents of Alameda and because it improves one’s health while eliminating pollution, I believe that riding bicycles as a means of transportation should continue to be encouraged. I also favor the ferry service between San Francisco and Alameda and I would like to see this service expanded to include other locations in Alameda, like Alameda Point in the West End. Increasing the number of buses and bus routes is another possibility that can be explored.
Fauna, Flora, Open Space and Recreational Land Management:
I fully support the section of the reuse plan that calls for creating a wildlife refuge. It is important for us to preserve our cultural and natural history. Also, the wildlife refuge can be used as an educational resource to teach our future generations about wildlife and increase their awareness regarding the importance of nature.
I don’t believe it is appropriate for the city to require EBRPD to give Measure WW funds to the city before the park district creates and manages a regional park on the Northwest Territories. Measure WW funds were intended to keep and maintain our existing public parks.
Enterprise Park already has the sports facilities that can be used to attract people who are looking for some intense physical activity. I think the campground can be used as the starting point for developing areas for more leisurely activities. We can develop parks and green open spaces around this area so we can attract more people to use and enjoy this location. Stipulations can be made in agreements with developers so that such parks and open spaces will be built as commercial developments and residential housing are developed.