Who I Am and What I Stand For
Hi, my name is Logan Michael Harvey. I was born and raised, and I currenly live in Sonoma, and I was a Sassarini Seahawk, an Altimira Wolf, and a SVHS Dragon. I am inspired to run to become a Sonoma City Council member and I have three main issues that, as a Sonoma City Council member, I would work to address – Workforce Housing, Environmental Protection, and Community & Transparency. I hope that the information you find on my site here today helps you make an educated decision on who to vote for in the coming local election, and if you would like to help me run for City Council, please take the time to enter your email in the field below. Here is some more information about me to follow:
Sonoma’s community and town have shaped me, and continue to do so as I live here today. I cherish this town and this community, and I am running for City Council to ensure that the spirit of Sonoma’s community lives on to shape and mold new generations with life and love as they have for me, by working to help improve Sonoma resident awareness of City Council meetings and City Council meeting topics, and Sonoma City Council awareness of youth and resident issues.
Before I was born, when my parents first moved to Sonoma, Sonoma was a working class town where people who worked in our community had the opportunity to live here as well. Today, its no secret that the families who work in Sonoma have few options when it comes to housing, and that a huge percentage of our workforce commutes in from over an hour away. As I have grown up in Sonoma, I have seen how this issue has dramatically reduced available parking and increased car traffic, and I have also noticed, as more and more young families are driven away from the town they know and love, that it has put a strain on Sonoma’s community spirit. As a member of Sonoma City Council, I would like to change that and use the success of Sonoma's tourism industry to create new housing opportunities and improve existing infrastructure in Sonoma.
Sonoma is a wonderful place to live and there is an enduring spirit built into this valley. We are known for being environmentally friendly, health conscious, and green. As I have grown up, I have become more and more aware of how action needs to be made in order to preserve this spirit and reputation, and from my research, there is a lot that we can do to make Sonoma a better place for current and future generations. As a member of Sonoma City Council, I will make work towards helping Sonoma become a model for environmental protection and zero waste, I will listen to the community, I will work to increase Sonoma’s Bikeability, and I will defend our hillsides, open spaces, and Urban Growth Boundaries.
Join my campaign and together, we'll build a Sonoma for us all!
Workforce housing is an issue that goes to my very core. If you work 30-40 hours a week at any job, I believe that you are entitled to decent housing, food, healthcare, and education.
Unfortunately, in Sonoma, there are few housing options for workers. Rents have steadily increased and homes that were within reach of the working class 20-30 years ago now sell for $700,000 or more. Many of the Sonoma citizens who work at Sonoma’s schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and wineries live with constant fear of having their rents increase, or of being evicted so that higher rents can be charged. Those who don’t have the benefit of living in Sonoma, but still work at Sonoma’s schools, hospitals, hotels, and wineries, drive long distances to teach our children and feed our community.
Due to Sonoma’s lack of affordable housing and to the number of workers driving into the City of Sonoma to work has increased. As a result, our traffic and parking issues in Sonoma have worsened leading to much frustration and stress for residents. This lack of affordable housing impacts Sonoma’s schools and economy, our schools struggle new teachers to replace a retirees, and our local businesses struggle to find candidates willing to commute the long distances required to work in our community. It is clear that the lack of affordable housing does not only affect Sonoma’s local workforce but its environment as well. A recent RCPA attributed 53% of all GHG emissions Sonoma to transportation and found that Sonomans increased their travel by 6 million miles from 2010 to 2015. The takeaway? As housing prices have increased, commutes have lengthened, and GHG emissions have increased. We must elect leaders who are willing to address this problem. As a City Council member, I will work to help the people who work in Sonoma find affordable, local, and stable housing options; to help reduce traffic; and to help create a greener environment.
Affordable Housing Fund
The city of Sonoma must develop a specific fund to promote, develop, and subsidize housing costs. A housing fund would allow Sonoma to take an active role in solving the housing crisis. Currently, our town is at the mercy of developers, only able to approve or disapprove of what is brought before our council and commission. With a successful land trust, Sonoma can explore creative solutions such as community land trusts, deed restricted homes, and other programs to build a housing solution that supports the working class while protecting town character.
Sonoma is a wealthy tourist town that greets millions of visitors each year, we should tap into this resource and use it to provide housing to the very people that make our economy work – namely our school, hospital, hotel, restaurant, and winery workers. As a Council Member, it will be my number one priority to develop a viable housing fund that will ensure that those who work in Sonoma will have an opportunity to live here as well.
Prioritizing Housing for County Residents
Sonoma’s housing crisis exists in the context of a larger bay area crisis. We must put protections in place to ensure that new workforce housing projects truly serve workers in our valley. Other, similar communities around the country have prioritized residency of workforce housing for individuals who work 30-40 hours a week in their community, and it is time that Sonoma follows suit.
Prioritizing housing for county residents will secure that the homes we build will be housed by Sonoma workers. Doing so will greatly increase the spillover benefits of workforce housing like traffic reduction and parking improvements. When people live where they work, they're less likely to drive and this can significantly reduce traffic impacts.
Rent Stabilization & Just Cause Eviction
Rental prices have steadily increased over the past 15 years and have now reached unsustainable levels. In the wake of the fires, these already high rents increased another 36% according to a study by Zillow.com. Renters in Sonoma live in constant fear that sudden rental increases or causeless evictions will drive them out of their homes and out of our communities. Sonoma must do better and provide rental stabilization for our workers. Sonoma City Council must take a stand for our community members and pass a rent control ordinance in Sonoma.
Minimum Wage Increase
As the cost of rent has risen in Sonoma, so too has the living wage in town. If elected, I would support Sonoma raising it's minimum wage to $15.00 by 2020, instead of the state mandated 2022.
Growing up in Sonoma, our hills and open spaces have always been a huge source of joy for me. My father taught me my colors by handing me flowers as we hiked into Sonoma’s cemetery and hills. I’ve always felt a deep love and connection with nature, and as a council member, I will aggressively protect Sonoma’s precious hillsides while fighting to improve our commitment to decrease carbon emissions and waste.
Protecting the UGB
One of the hallmarks of Sonoma that makes Sonoma such a unique town, is our open space. While we do have a housing crisis in this town, I believe that we must do all that we can to solve this crisis without sprawling into the surrounding landscape. As a Council Member, I will stand up to defend our hillsides and open spaces by prioritizing infill development and supporting a tight UGB.
I believe that our small, environmentally conscious town of Sonoma must do its part to lead the county when it comes to waste reduction. At Plaza events, single-use plastics in the form of containers, utensils, and cups, are thrown into recycling bins covered in food waste. As a result, these plastics are redirected into landfills, and do not get recycled. Fortunately, there are alternatives - There are many highly biodegradable options for plaza vendors to choose from, and as a council member, I will work to ensure that all Plaza event vendors choose these biodegradable options so that we may have wonderful events without adding non-biodegradable waste to our landfills.
Beyond events, I support efforts within our county to redirect 90% of our county’s waste away from landfills over the next 15 years. This means removing options for vendors like polystyrene (Styrofoam) and single-use plastics, and replacing them with reusable or compostable options. These options already exist on a mass scale and there is no reason why we should not be encouraging our city and its vendors to pursue them.
To increase the bikeability of Sonoma, as a City Council Member, I will work to repave and add a dedicated bike lane to Sonoma bike paths, add striped bike lanes to our Sonoma roads, and add bicycle parking on the Plaza. I spent a lot of time on the Sonoma bike paths as a kid - they connect the town and make up one of the great hallmarks of Sonoma for us locals - and I still use them today. It’s time we made serious upgrades to the bikeability of the town and encourage families to enjoy a day of cycling to the plaza instead of searching for car parking at the car-crowded Sonoma Square.
Community & Transparency
Projects that come before the Sonoma City Council must fit with Sonoma’s town character, meet Sonoma’s city planning codes, and align with the Sonoma City Council’s general plans. Currently, building projects are too often allowed to move up the chain while waiving one or more of our city’s building guidelines, which can lead to these projects causing undue stress on our city. Going forward as Sonoma develops, we must insure that adequate parking and environmental impact studies are completed and don’t get waived, to ensure that any new projects do not cause undue stress on our city.
As someone who grew up in Sonoma, I know that there aren’t a whole lot of things for young people to do. While many young people are satisfied with hiking and biking around town, there are more than a few who feel they have limited options within Sonoma city limits. As a council member, I would work to develop a youth council, consisting of local Sonoma kids, who, on a regular basis, would be responsible for working together and reporting what improvements the city can make for our youth. The voices of young people in Sonoma have been glossed over for a long time, and it’s time to change that – I am ready to hear them, and I believe that together, the Sonoma City Council and the Sonoma Youth Council can make a positive difference.
Transparency and Community Engagement
I’ve heard from a lot of Sonomans that they were “unaware” or caught off guard by projects that directly impacted their neighborhoods or their livelihoods. I’ve heard from others that they didn’t know about projects heading before planning commission or city council that they would have liked to support or to fight against. We want our community to feel aware of what’s going on in Sonoma, so they don’t feel blindsided by new projects when they break ground.
Release of Council Schedule
Currently, the Sonoma City Council and Planning Commission’s agendas are being released at the bare legal minimum of 72 hours before a meeting. This means that citizens of Sonoma only have 3 days to read, review, and process the huge amount of information contained in council packets. This is not enough time for anyone to do adequate research or to feel prepared to comment on items appearing before the City Council. As a Council Member, I will work to extend this timeline to at least 5 days to ensure that members of the public have adequate time to read the material and prepare for the meeting.
Using New Technology
There’s no reason that Sonoma’s Councils and Commissions can’t use their social media presence to give quick overviews of what is to be discussed at each meeting, to livestream City Council meetings, and to provide information and transparency regarding how council members vote on particular issues. With as much time as everyone spends online, using this tech to alert constituents about upcoming meetings that will affect their city just makes sense.