By: Vice Mayor Brent Weaver
From: Record Searchlight – http://www.redding.com/opinion/speak-your-piece/brent-weaver-cast-your-vote-for-public-safety-3e36ba98-cacc-54d5-e053-0100007f523b-396366381.html
I, along with many other community leaders, have spent the better part of two years working to fix Redding’s broken criminal justice system to address criminal behavior and in that process restore hope to a deserving community.
After I became your city councilor, the city, county and law enforcement leaders partnered to come up with a plan, Blueprint for Public Safety, to address the challenges within our current law enforcement system.
After the plan was finished and approved by the Redding City Council, we brought forward two measures, D and E, to fund its implementation. Measure D, if passed, will generate approximately $11 million dollars a year for 10 years. Measure E, if passed, will advise the Redding city council to spend this money on jail space, police positions, and mental health services to name a few of the big ticket items.
That brings us to where we are today.
I have a real-life friend whom I’ll refer to as Friend A. I’ve spoken with Friend A about measures D and E along with many other topics concerning Redding. This friend comes from a multi-generational Redding family, has raised several kids here and truly loves this community. He’s against measures D and E, and there’s nothing I can say to convince him otherwise. He doesn’t trust government to do the right thing (local, state, or national). While we differ on key issues, we have many other issues we agree on and simply focus our discussions on those.
I have another friend, we’ll call him Friend B. He’s also a multi-generational Redding resident, has raised kids here and has deep business interests in our community. He is adamant that measures D and E must pass and worries that our current public safety crisis will take long-term root in our community if we don’t take drastic action immediately.
I appreciate and admire both Friend A and Friend B, and count myself lucky to know them both. If I’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that respect and a willingness to see other people’s point of view is paramount to the health of our local democracy.
Friend A certainly has a point. I disagree with some particular decisions our city leaders have made in the past and can see how some of those decisions would cast doubt on future decisions. Friend B, however, is absolutely right that we have a public safety crisis and we need to address it now. For my family and I, if it comes down to the issue of trust, the only thing I know I can trust is that if our community decides to vote down measures D and E, we can at best expect conditions to stay the same. That is simply not acceptable.
I’m passionate about measures D and E passing, I have a vision for a safer Redding that is the model place to raise families, run a business and recreate. If measures D and E pass I have confidence that this plan will restore accountability and hope to our community. This will result in greater investments by businesses and people choosing to live here.
Regardless of which way you vote, I love the fact that we get to live in a country and community that allow us the ability to vote our conscience. That is assuredly one of the reasons my grandmother was so determined to immigrate to America and raise my mother in this great land and by extension give me that right.
If you have questions or would like to discuss these measures further, I’d welcome the chance to speak with you. Vote yes on measures D and E!