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 Mayor and 2020 Redding City Council candidate Adam McElvain.
Adam McElvain’s statement
I am Adam McElvain, Mayor of Redding, and I am running for reelection to the Redding City
Council. I want to thank the Shasta Environmental Alliance for providing me an opportunity to
discuss my positions on these important issues.
I am a father/husband, veteran, business owner, solar advocate, and City Mayor. I began
attending Council meetings in 2006, and served for seven years as a city commissioner before
winning a seat on the Council in 2016.
I have kept all the promises I made to you four years ago, and would be honored to have your
vote this November.
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?
MC ELVAIN: I would consider a new ordinance, but would need more information on the details of the mitigation. I am not familiar with the ordinance in the cities mentioned.
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 ten 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.
MC ELVAIN: Earlier this year the city was in discussions with a local non-profit to establish a day center that could accommodate up to 175 people. The project has been put on hold, but I hope to see it resume once public health concerns are alleviated, as it is a much needed service.
The city is currently in the process of approving the use of microshelters, and we have been very successful in obtaining grants for affordable housing. We will continue to partner with nonprofits on affordable and transitional housing projects. The Council made historic reductions in fees with a focus on affordable housing, multi-family, duplexes/quadplexes and additional dwelling units (ADUs).
Now, there are currently 550 affordable housing units in development stages with 150 to be completed by the end of this year. We will continue to work to keep our riparian areas maintained, and pursue solutions to the
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
MC ELVAIN: Absolutely! I have always endeavored to be available to any citizen of Redding. My personal belief is to talk to as many people as possible to get the most well-rounded perspective of our city. I will meet with any group or citizen with valid questions or concerns about their local government, and have been doing so since I was elected in 2016.
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?
MC ELVAIN: I would consider this policy, but would need more details. Today fire mitigation efforts are the top priority. We are in year-two of a five-year cycle to mitigate against wildfires. The council has approved sweeping policies to ensure we meet this goal. The protection of life and property is critical (and keeping the power on), but if improvements can be made, I would consider them.
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?
MC ELVAIN: Cities will/should be the earliest adopters of electric fleets. Due to the reliability of repetition of many city services, electric fleets will become the best solution. We own our own electric utility, creating a natural synergy for cost-savings and efficiencies – putting us ahead of the urve with other cities. I also believe there is a possibility of hydrogen fleets for certain services. Even now, the city is working with a hydrogen company looking to establish here in Redding. There are many possibilities with electric/hydrogen fleets, and even autonomous fleets – including public transit. In June of this year, the council approved the first two phases of the Redding Broadband Master Plan and we will soon begin construction of a 26-mile fiber-optic
ring across the city. This is the foundation for smart-city solutions, many of which will have a major impact on GHGs.
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
MC ELVAIN: Yes.
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.