Sara Lamnin runs for Hayward council seat

Sara Lamnin,
Hayward City Council Candidate

Hayward is my city. I chose Hayward more than 20 years ago for my home, the place where I work and the place where I play. I love this city and want to see it move forward, which is why I’m running for City Council.

Many of you may have come to feel the same way that I do. You came to Hayward to teach, study or work at the University. To raise your family, build your business, make your home. And now that you’re here, you’ve also discovered that Hayward is a great city and one that can be even greater.

So, how can we, together, improve our city? One important way is through partnerships between the University and City that encourage innovation. In 2012, CSUEB adopted a set of Shared Strategic Commitments, guidelines for the growth of CSUEB. One of these was to “Support the civic, cultural, and economic life, of all communities, in the regions we serve, through partnerships that promote education and social responsibility.”

Similarly, the City’s new draft General Plan states, “The City shall coordinate with Chabot College and California State University, East Bay to develop a Town – Gown Economic Strategic Plan that focuses on enhancing the college – town economy and culture of Hayward.” We need the leadership to move these lofty strategic plans into collaborative actions that work with the community, other jurisdictions, and private partnerships.

I believe in a solution-focused approach to government. This means that together we identify the specific end results that we would like to see and develop a plan that will get us to that point. For example, for a city with an internationally recognized university, it is surprising that only 25% of our city’s population has a college degree. We are not retaining the exceptional graduates, faculty, and staff. One factor in this statistic is likely to be our high unemployment rate (disproportionate to that of surrounding communities).

As a City Councilmember, I would leverage our eligibility for state tax credits to facilitate job growth in the Mission Blvd. corridor between Jackson and Harder and in the 880 corridor area between A Street and Winton.  For example, the City currently owns multiple properties along Mission Boulevard. Leveraging existing State tax incentives and developing our own incentives, we could transform the corners of Mission and Carlos Bee closest to the university into gateway centers of technology and innovation. In creating business incubation, student-friendly jobs, training opportunities, and services in this site, we can bridge the gap between our internationally esteemed university and our diverse city with its tremendous potential.

Hayward is currently home to 90 food manufacturing/distribution businesses. By building on the factors that attracted those businesses to our community, increasing incentives for local hiring, and streamlining our permitting process, we can attract additional opportunities for our community. Hayward has an exceptionally convenient location, a temperate climate, and talented students and residents. Yet, we are often overlooked as a location for innovation and investment. Public safety, city services, and local engagement increase when more jobs are available.

Further, when students graduate not only with a degree, but also with practical experience, they are more competitive in the job market. Facilitating internships throughout every sector of our city would leverage existing City resources and cost little in ongoing operation, but the benefit to our students would pay high dividends. I have developed three state and nationally recognized internship programs and worked with universities across the country. I currently work with Service Learning programs at both CSUEB and Chabot. I understand the importance of practical academic opportunity.

Envisioning our goal, implementing an inclusive planning process that involves key stakeholders, establishing the steps to make it happen, and following through, we can move Hayward forward. When families needed school supplies or a voice at the state capitol, I led collaborations that put 11,000 backpacks full of school supplies into the hands of students in need and changed state policy to support families. I can do the same for Hayward and hope I can count on your vote on Election Day, June 3rd.