presents
Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
KPCC's My Ballot@KPCC
November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of ChicoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Alexandria "Alex" Brown

Alexandria "Alex" Brown

Business Developer/Marketer
16,211 votes (16.78%)Winning
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Expanding the definition of Public Safety to include collaborations with social service providers, and ensuring that our police force is fully trained in evidence-based Crisis Intervention & De-Escalation Techniques
  • Addressing our housing crisis by supporting affordable housing development, and addressing homelessness through shelter and social service models
  • Implementing a smart and strategic policy regulating cannabis in our community

Experience

Experience

Profession:Business Developer and Marketer
Marketing Coordinator, Therapeutic Solutions (2017–current)
Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Freelance (2017–current)
Safe Place Advocate & Administrator, California State University, Chico (2015–2017)
LGBTQ+ Outreach Specialist, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services (2012–2015)

Education

California State University, Chico Masters Degree, Social Work (2015)
California State University, Chico Bachelors Degree, Multicultural and Gender Studies; Psychology (2013)

Community Activities

Advanced Clinical Intern, California State University, Chico Counseling & Wellness Center (2016–2017)
Sexual Assault Counselor, Rape Crisis Intervention & Prevention (2015–2017)
Chico Pride Youth Coordinator, Stonewall Alliance Center (2012–2015)
Women's Program Intern, Gender & Sexuality Equity Center (2011–2012)

Biography

A History of Creative Leadership

I have been actively engaged in the Chico community since I arrived in 2008 to attend CSU, Chico. I have been involved in athletics and activism, and have played a key community leadership role in a variety of programs/projects. I earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Multicultural and Gender Studies in 2013, and immediately pursured and achieved a Master's Degree in Social Work at CSU, Chico.   During my time as a student, I worked at Catalyst Domestic Violence Services as a prevention specialist for a brand new program dedicated to serving LGBTQ+ communities. I engaged youth in conversations about leadership, healthy relationships and well-being, and launched the first ever Youth Empowered Conference. I also cultivated relationships with local service providers and trained them in best practices for serving LGBTQ+ communities.   I was hired to re-launch another violence prevention program in 2015. As the Safe Place Advocate and Administrator at CSU, Chico, I redesigned and implemented a comprehensive violence prevention and response strategy that continues to grow today. I mobilized campus stakeholders and students to participate in violence prevention, and provided leadership in implementing policy in a strategic, trauma-informed, and effective way.   I now works as a Marketer and Business Development Professional at a local behavioral health service organization, where I collaborate with community partners in wellness promotion efforts, implement marketing strategy, and develop creative ideas for connecting with our community.   Finally, I support several local businesses as a freelance marketing coordinator and social media expert.   A Background in Social Services   As a social worker, I have been involved in social services through direct service, prevention, and administrative perspectives.   I have provided mental health services as a counselor for college students and youth, and worked as a crisis counselor and advocate for victims and survivors of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.   In addition to direct service experience with at-risk communities, I have a long history of involvement in prevention and wellness promotion efforts in Chico and Butte County. I have developed a variety of curricula for students, professionals, and volunteers, and have been actively engaged in policy implementation to address the needs of underserved campus and community populations.   My background in service provision and prevention gives me a strong understanding of the resources in our community, the gaps in service that exist, and strategies for encouraging collaboration between various stakeholders in our community.   A Passion For The Arts   I have been a musician and creative collaborator in Chico for over nine years. As a singer-songwriter, I am well connected to a community of artists that have made Chico a destination for music and other artistic expression. I have planned and supported local arts events and fundraisers for the Chico Peace and Justice Center, Stonewall Alliance Center of Chico, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, CSU, Chico Safe Place, CSU, Chico UMatter, and the Museum of Northern California Art.   As a digital marketer and social media manager for local businesses, I infuse each project with voice and creativity, using my background in the arts to elevate businesses and engage thoughtfully with customers and community members.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State
  • Maureen Kirk, District 3 Butte County Supervisor
  • Tami Ritter, District 3 Butte County Supervisor Elect

Organizations (15)

  • Chico News & Review
  • Butte County Health Care Coalition
  • National Nurses United
  • California Young Democrats
  • Chico State Democrats
  • California Nurses Association
  • Democratic Action Club of Chico
  • United Domestic Workers of America
  • Butte County Democratic Central Committee
  • Run For Something
  • North State Labor Federation
  • UFCW-8
  • Victory Fund
  • Chico Democrats
  • Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA)

Elected Officials (8)

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State
  • Maureen Kirk, District 3 Butte County Supervisor
  • Tami Ritter, District 3 Butte County Supervisor Elect
  • Jane Dolan, longest serving Butte County Supervisor (1978-2010)
  • Karl Ory, Former Mayor & Current Chico City Council Member
  • Ann Schwab, Former Mayor and Current Chico City Council Member
  • Randall Stone, Current City Council Member
  • Andy Holcomb, Former Chico City Councilor and Mayor

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My Promise to You

As your Chico City Councilor, I promise to approach the issues facing our city with an innovative perspective, using the most up-to-date research about what solutions are most effective. I will hear all perspectives, and remember that the decisions I make have a direct impact on all members of our community.

I will draw from my direct service, prevention and administrative background, as well as the knowledge gained while earning my Master's Degree, to address our housing crisis, issues related to homelessness, and gaps in behavioral health services. I will advocate for our police force to be fully trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques. I will also work toward implementation of a responsible cannabis policy that upholds the will of the voters and operates in congruence with our Sustainability Action Plan. 

The Issues I Represent

Public Safety

I believe in expanding our definition of public safety to include both police/first responders and service providers. It is time for a collaborative approach to addressing and preventing safety concerns in our community. 

Housing, Homelessness, and Behavioral Health

Addressing our housing crisis means implementing cost-effective solutions that increase housing stock, integrate behavioral health services, and eliminate policies that criminalize homelessness.

Cannabis Policy

State, County, and City constituents voted in favor of legalizing cannabis. It is time to implement a responsible policy to regulate cannabis based on lessons learned in other communities that have already taken this step.

Supporting the Arts

The best available research shows that the arts promote economic development, which encourages tourism and engagement with local businesses. It is time to support arts programs and projects that will fuel our local economy.

Position Papers

Public Safety

Summary

I believe in expanding our definition of public safety to include both police/first responders and service providers. It is time for a collaborative approach to addressing and preventing safety concerns in our community. I will also advocate for our police force to be fully trained in Crisis Intervention Techniques (CIT) and de-escalation.

My education and career in social work has exposed me to many of the public safety issues facing our community, including substance use, behavioral health, and interpersonal violence. It has also given me a well-rounded understanding of the breadth of social services available to address and prevent these concerns, and the various ways these services interact and collaborate with local law enforcement. Social service interventions are often less costly and more effective in dealing with a range of issues that concern our community.

As a city, we must expand our definition of public safety to include not only our police force and first responders, but our service providers. Service providers play an essential role in intervening in issues that may lead to crime, rehabilitating individuals who have committed crimes to reduce recidivism, and preventing issues from escalating to crime in our city. Without high quality collaborations with service providers - and by extension, cooperation and collaboration with the County - we are missing a key piece to the puzzle of public safety.

In my professional career, I have seen and been directly involved in effective partnerships between law enforcement and service providers. When I worked at Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, I saw the Domestic Violence Response Program (DVRP) thrive. This program allowed domestic violence advocates to connect directly with victims of domestic violence shortly after a violent incident occurred and involved police, so that these individuals could learn about options and services available to them. While an advocate supported the domestic violence victim, police investigated any crimes that had been committed.

Another example of effective partnership with local law enforcement is the Mobile Crisis Unit, which pairs behavioral health counselors with Chico Police Officers to respond to, assess, and de-escalate mental health crises. Rather than contributing to costs of inpatient hospitalization, behavioral health professionals have been successful in addressing concerns before they rise to a high level of severity, and supporting individuals with behavioral health concerns in getting connected to additional support. I would like to see the city increase its collaboration with the county to fully staff this unit and extend its hours to address behavioral health crises on weekends and after 5:00pm.

Expanding our definition of public safety also means equipping our police force and first responders with necessary skills to address and de-escalate crises. Although our police force has received some training in Crisis Intervention (CIT) and De-escalation, we can and should do more. Our police force should be fully trained in 40-hour, evidence-based CIT, De-Escalation, and Implicit Bias training. The skills that these models offer will enhance our response, better coordinate referrals to essential service providers, and increase safety for all members of our community - including our law enforcement officers.

The model that has been most comprehensive in instituting this training is the Memphis Model. This model is adaptable and adoptable for the needs of our community. Taking the step to train our law enforcement officers is acknowledging the national climate around behavioral health and use of police force, and being responsive to it in our own community. We have the power to prevent tragedy, increase transparency, and support all members of this community through an investment in these evidence-based strategies.

Regulating Cannabis

Summary

State, County, and City constituents voted in favor of legalizing cannabis. It is time to implement a responsible policy to regulate cannabis based on lessons learned in other communities that have already taken this step.

In 2016, State, County, and City constituents voted in favor of Proposition 64, legalizing adult use of cannabis in California. The City of Chico overwhelmingly voiced their support of Proposition 64, with 65% “yes” votes. In addition to legalizing adult use, the passage of Proposition 64 set a comprehensive set of licensing and regulation schema that cannabis industry businesses must follow. In other words, the blueprint for how these businesses operate is already in place. As of today, more than 20 counties and 150 cities have opted to regulate commercial cannabis, including North State neighbors Shasta Lake, Sonoma and Redding.

On a fundamental level, we owe it to Chico voters to implement a smart, strategic, and sustainable policy regulating cannabis in our community. Our citizens have waited long enough, and they deserve safe local access to a consistent, regulated product, and to professional guidance for its use. Additionally, local entrepreneurs deserve the chance to take advantage of business opportunities offered by this emerging industry.

The challenges associated with cannabis already exist in Chico, and are simply exacerbated by the unregulated black market. Establishing a thoughtful policy of regulation will begin to address those concerns; legitimizing responsible operations, eroding black market activity, and putting the cost burden of oversight where it belongs - on the industry itself.

Because the state guidelines are already in place, addressing all aspects of cannabis commerce from seed to sale, municipalities adopting regulatory policies have only three major considerations to make: 1) What types of businesses they allow (e.g. dispensaries, nurseries, manufacturing companies, testing facilities, delivery businesses, micro-businesses); 2) How many of them they allow; and 3) Where they allow them. In collaboration with stakeholders from throughout the community, the City of Chico can implement a policy that takes into consideration the best options for us and best reflect the values that make this an amazing community.

Using the state requirements as a foundation, we can also choose to customize any operating standards for cannabis businesses. The use of Conditional Use Permits can allow us to better regulate the industry in accordance with the needs and preferences of our community. Additionally, we can use the City of Chico’s Economic Development Action Plan as a blueprint. Focusing on Local Preference and Local Purchasing policies outlined in this plan will ensure congruence with other business practices and standards we prioritize as a community.

When it comes to making these determinations, many voices are needed at the table. I would support the formation of a Cannabis Advisory Committee, comprised of stakeholders from within and outside the industry, to support the transition to and sustainability of cannabis commerce in our City. This group would be responsible for research, policy recommendations, and consultation about best practices surrounding this issue to be considered by the City Council.

Commercial cannabis is an emerging industry bringing change to our communities. The question is, will we make the decision to get in front of the opportunity and its issues, or will we wait until the issues catch up to us? Cannabis commerce will create new revenue through smart taxation, both living wage and professional jobs, and a new customer base for our existing trade and professional service providers. From my perspective, the smart decision is to do this work now.

Housing, Homelessness, and Behavioral Health

Summary

Addressing our housing crisis means implementing cost-effective solutions that increase housing stock, integrate behavioral health services, and eliminate policies that criminalize homelessness.

The issues of housing, homelessness, and behavioral health are intimately interconnected. The entire state of California is experiencing a housing crisis, and Chico is no exception. As housing costs rise, this issue places members of our community at increased risk of experiencing homelessness.

Solving our housing crisis will require us to use a range of tools at our disposal. I am committed to smart and sustainable growth, abiding by the City’s General Plan and Sustainability Action Plan. We must protect our Greenline and Gold Line, supporting our invaluable agricultural land and aquifer recharge zones as we consider new development.

As a City Councilor, I will support efforts to incentivize the development of affordable housing. I would like to see the city collaborate with the development community to prioritize projects that include affordable housing. We must also support and incentivize infill projects, as well as high density development of smaller units, by waiving and deferring fees and placing these projects at the top of the queue. This effort to diversify our housing stock will make Chico a more attractive place for new professionals to locate, and will support individuals and families with modest incomes. As we are better able to accommodate the housing needs of the people who live here, we are better able to decrease the risk of members of our community experiencing homelessness.

We have seen the impacts of homelessness grow year after year in Chico, and these impacts are exacerbated by our housing crisis. With existing shelters regularly operating at capacity, and a shortage of key services available to address issues that place people at risk of experiencing homelessness, we are facing a growing problem with limited resources to address it. Having worked in a domestic violence emergency shelter, I understand that there are myriad reasons someone may experience homelessness, yet the dominant narrative around this issue is that homelessness is somehow caused by a personal failing or choice. This narrative has stalled the city in moving forward using the best available research.

With the City of Chico’s recent declaration of a “shelter crisis,” we have availed ourselves to a portion of nearly five million dollars in state funding being awarded to Butte County. These funds, managed by the Butte County Continuum of Care (CoC), will support projects dedicated to addressing homelessness through housing, services, and outreach. It is a critical time for the City and County to make decisions regarding the best use of these funds. Of the many potential uses, some of the projects I would support include: The Chico Housing Action Team’s  (CHAT) Tiny House Village; Winter shelter for people experiencing homelessness; 24-hour restrooms; low-barrier shelters; homeless outreach and advocacy services; a day center; a substance use detox facility; and 24-hour behavioral health services. I am excited to see what the experts in our area bring to the table, and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from service providers about the direction the city should take in addressing issues related to homelessness.

While the decision to declare a shelter emergency was a step in the right direction, there have also been recent policy approaches to homelessness that are misguided. Ordinances such as the Sit/Lie Ordinance, which was recently passed by the City Council majority, advocate for a public safety approach to homelessness. Ordinances such as these have been discredited as ineffective by local and national research. In 2017, a group of Chico State professors released “Impacts of Chico’s Public Safety Approach to Homelessness: Initial Analyses,” a study of the effectiveness of ordinances such as Sit/Lie. What the study concluded is that a public safety approach to homelessness is not only ineffective in reducing homelessness in our area, but also extremely costly.

It is time for a new approach that is driven by current data, and what the best available data tells us is that housing and service delivery models are the least costly and most effective means of reducing homelessness and helping people move forward with their lives. As your City Councilor, I will trust the research to guide the way, and I will work collaboratively with the County to support service providers in addressing this issue from various perspectives.

Videos (4)

— November 1, 2018 Alex Brown for Chico City Council 2018

My background in social services gives me a unique perspective about preventing and intervening in crime. I believe we must expand our definition of Public Safety to include not only our police force and first responders, but our service providers. These collaborations, in addition to ensuring our police force are fully trained in evidence-based Crisis Intervention and De-Escalation Techniques, are essential to addressing the issues that could lead to crime effectively.   I'm Alex Brown, and I'm

— November 1, 2018 Alex Brown for Chico City Council 2018

Addressing our housing crisis means implementing cost-effective solutions that increase affordable housing stock, integrate behavioral health services, and eliminate policies that have been proven to be ineffective in reducing homelessness. It's time to implement data-driven solutions to these issues as we work to move our community forward. I'm Alex Brown, and I'm asking for your vote on November 6. Learn more about me and the issues I represent at www.AlexBrownForCouncil.com. Paid for by Alex Brown for Chico City Council 2018, FPPC #1407401.

— November 1, 2018 Alex Brown for Chico City Council 2018

 

State, County, and City constituents voted in favor of legalizing cannabis. It is time to implement a responsible policy to regulate cannabis based on lessons learned in other communities that have already taken this step. Doing so will legitimize responsible operations, erode black market activity, and allow the City of Chico to utilize revenue gained to address other issues facing our community. I'm Alex Brown, and I'm asking for your vote on November 6. Learn more about me and the issues I represent at www.AlexBrownForCouncil.com. Paid for by Alex Brown for Chico City Council 2018, FPPC #1407401.
— November 1, 2018 Alex Brown For Chico City Council 2018

Chico is well-known for its vibrant arts community, and an investment in that identity is essential. The best available research shows that the arts promote economic development, which encourages tourism and engagement with local businesses. It is time to support arts programs and projects that will fuel our local economy and enrich our community.

I'm Alex Brown, and I am asking for your vote on November 6. Learn more about me and the issues I represent at www.AlexBrownForCouncil.com.

Paid for by Alex Brown for Chico City Council 2018, FPPC #1407401.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION