Editor’s Note: The following questions were submitted by the Shasta Environmental Alliance (SEA) to all November 2020 Redding City Council candidates. The responses are being published in the order in which they were received. Redding City Council candidate is the second in this series of Redding City Council candidate Q&A’s. Today we feature Redding City Council candidate Monique Welin.
Monique Welin Candidate Statement
I, with a genuine heart, only want to help elevate and empower our Redding citizens to know that they too are a part of our city’s growth for a more sustainable future. Collectively, together we can be innovative and solution oriented. Life is about potential and purpose, because I only desire to work for the people, with the people, because our government is made up by the people. I am blessed to even be in the position of being able to run for a public office. And I thank you for your time and energy.
Shasta Environmental Alliance questions
SEA: Redding is losing its tree canopy. Do you support a new tree ordinance for Redding requiring mitigation fees for removal of our native oak trees, similar to those enacted in many California cities, including Chico, Santa Rosa and Roseville, with the funds used by the City to plant and maintain more street and park trees?
WELIN: I support the city of Redding having discussions about how to best have a tree ordinance for our current/future residents. I believe trees are essential/beneficial for ecology/biology because trees offer a naturally beautiful way of shading and cooling down our valley. Trees are essential to consider when properties are being sold because trees do increase property values. Redding is known for having many bright sunny days. It would be amazing for people to know that even on our sunniest days, we have the most amazing shade/canopy. I am innately inclusive and I support discussions from a broad range of perspectives from our Redding residents. So we together make
the best for our whole community.
SEA: Homeless camping along the Sacramento River and other riparian areas are damaging our natural areas and polluting our waterways. Past City efforts at removing homeless camps over the last 10 or more years have only resulted in the return of people days later. What solutions would you support to end this problem, whether providing supervised camping places, other housing, or your own ideas?
WELIN: When an individual makes a succession of choices and becomes homeless there are many variables at stake. That said, as a Redding city council member I would work to better understand the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, to better help with our local homelessness issues. As a Redding city council member I would work diligently with other council members to get the much-needed Community grants for the funding of a resource centric center to help underserved, unsheltered individuals that struggle with making choices in their lives. I support improving our City of Redding’s ability to deal with the substantial side of our homelessness/mental health issues, more than just the infrastructure aspect, like land deals for Woodlands 1 and 2. I genuinely want to help individuals with a hand up rather than a hand out, and I want to get to the heart of the need of all of our people, sheltered or not.
SEA: Being available to hear the concerns of your constituents is important. What will you do to meet or otherwise make yourself available to hear the concerns of all the citizens of Redding, not just real estate developers or others with money? Do you feel it is important to hear the concerns of all sectors of your constituents even though you may not necessarily agree with them?
WELIN: One of the main responsibilities of a duly elected official is to listen to the needs of their constituents, whether it be about a grievance or a concern. And, a part of the responsibility is having the ability to respond to the constituents’ particular needs or concerns. For three years I have put myself out there to try to advocate to help our citizens within the city limits of Redding. I vow to be someone that will be available to listen to best understand to try to find the best resources to fit the particular need of the constituent that has the need. I vow to do my best for the people, because I, too, am one of the people. This is about a reciprocating relationship between the politician/citizen. Because this is the healthiest sign of a community. Trust me on one thing, everyone wants to communicate! I want to listen.
SEA: Wildfires and fuel loads are of concern in Redding’s greenways and open spaces. Are you aware of and/or would you be supportive of fuel reduction treatments that are also sensitive to protecting habitat for birds, wildlife and native flora?
WELIN: I would absolutely be supportive of fuel reduction treatments that are sensitive to our indigenous wildlife and native flora. Humanity trys to live life in symbiosis with our natural ecological surroundings, so it is important to take it all into consideration when working to mitigate the future potential of California’s problem with wildfires that turn into these massive complexes, or firenadoes. I would be open to meet with Redding Fire, CDF, and surrounding fire districts to best understand how we can work together as an alliance made up of all the available mutual aid. I will work with the other city council members to be mindful on how to take the best foot forward with wildfire mitigation.
SEA: To help counter the effects of climate change and save costs, do you support efforts such as the gradual conversion of the fleet of City of Redding cars, trucks and equipment to electric as new purchases are made? What other suggestions do you have to reduce Redding’s greenhouse gas emissions?
WELIN: By the very laws of nature “climate” is characterized as continually changing. parabolic, if you will. So, yes, I support sound efforts of gradual changes to Redding’s fleet of equipment to lessen our overall carbon footprint. Simply stated: globally we have an atmospheric increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, so as I simply see it we need to lessen our use of fossil fuels, and increase our tree canopy to help lessen our collective carbon footprint.
SEA: Would you support an increase in Redding’s tree canopy on streets, parks, and in residential areas to counteract the increasing heat of Redding summers and the consequent heat island effect?
WELIN: I absolutely support increasing our tree canopy on our streets, in our parks, and our parking lots to offer the best shade for the citizens of Redding, California. Redding is known for our natural beauty throughout, and as a council member I would be open to having inclusive conversations to keep and to also improve our local tree canopy. I truly want the best for all of us, and trees offer our citizens a safe place to sit shadowed by the leafy shade to circumvent the sun.
About the Shasta Environmental Alliance
The Shasta Environmental Alliance (SEA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 2017 to fill the need for a strong, united, and organized voice to advocate for the environmental integrity of the Sacramento River Watershed. SEA is composed of various local individuals with 19 supporting organizations ranging from Wintu Audubon, Sierra Club, Trails and Bikeways Council to California Native Plant Society. SEA’s website is www.ecoshasta.org.
In 2018 the SEA conducted a Redding City Council Candidates Forum at the First United Methodist Church that drew about 100 people, and that aired live on local FM station KFOI 90.9. In 2016 SEA organized another candidate’s forum, which had about 160 people in attendance. This year, due to COVID-19, SEA asked candidates to answer a questionnaire on issues of interest to our supporting organizations and individuals. Each candidate was asked to provide a photo and a 50- to 100-word bio. Candidates were asked to keep their answers to 25 to 150 words per question.
Part of the mission of the Shasta Environmental Alliance (SEA) is to educate citizens of this area about environmental issues. This year, six candidates have filed for election to the Redding City Council and SEA has sent each candidate identical questions on environmental issues that SEA is concerned about. Two emails and one letter were sent to each of the six candidates. Julie Winter, Mark Mezzano, David Robbins, Monique Welin and Adam McElvain responded. Candidate Jack Munns did not respond to our inquiries via email, letter and phone.
Each candidate was limited to 150 words per question. Responses were proofed and edited only for misspellings and are, otherwise, identical to the original answers received from the candidates. First-person bios were changed to third-person.
As SEA is a non-profit organization, it will not be endorsing any candidates.