*Candidate responses were not modified or altered.

General Election

Candidate Responses

Q1. The resurgence of Black Lives Matter has shined a spotlight on the failure of police departments throughout the country to truly ensure public safety. What would you do to address policing concerns impacting the black and immigrant communities and reimagine public safety in our community?

Q2. In addition to policing, how would you address racial injustice in education, housing, and social services?

Q3. COVID-19 has devastated local budgets. What would you do to address budget shortfalls?

Q4. COVID-19 has further worsened an already severe housing crisis in Nevada. How would you address housing security issues?

Q5. What would you do to ensure people of color will be represented in the decisions made by City Council?

Non-partisan races with only two candidates will not be included in the Primary Election ballot

Oscar Delgado (Incumbent)

Campaign Website

No responses or photo submitted

Rudy Leon

Campaign Website

A1. If it were up to me, I would build a protective community services unit from scratch. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to do that. Barring that kind of power, we must change recruitment, admission, initial training, mission, ongoing assessment, and staffing of the police department. Current recruitment prefers veterans, but the admission processes do nothing to de-emphasize militarized responses, and that must change. The police exist to protect and serve the people of Reno, not the department. That mission needs to permeate every step of the process.

We also need to change staffing. There is some need for armed emergency responders, but we need to build specialized teams to deal with the kinds of issues the police are not needed for. Our public safety unit needs to include mental health practitioners, de-escalation professional, social workers, folks knowledgeable in community services. We need to shrink the armed police to a size appropriate to the need for that response, and grow the appropriately staffed and trained teams, and dispatch them as appropriate. Public safety doesn’t is as much community service as it is law enforcement, if not more. We need to grow a unit that meets our needs and not just keep filling the mold we’ve always had.

Local bookings data shows that there is significant racism in who gets arrested, and that’s a training we must address head on. I’ve exceeded my word limit

A2. We need to commit to anti-racist practices and then act on that commitment. Regarding housing and social services, we must follow better practices in inclusive zoning, in leveraging city policies and procedures to build a *lot* more attainable housing, not just in the urban core but in every school zone in the city. We must put those values into our city budget and ensure that social services are valued as highly, or moreso, than armed emergency services.

I’ve been playing with ways to promote ongoing education, and one of my thoughts has been to have a City-sponsored monthly or quarterly salon, focusing on important issues. I’d love to put together a team to organize and hold these conversations. I personally want to do one on the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the differences between civil rights and human rights, but i would love to see what the people of ward 3, or various groups across the city, would want to bring in as city-wide conversations.

A3. The City cannot raise money. It does not have that authority, except in rare spots. One of those would be a city sticker for a car, but I rant he numbers and the sticker would have to be over $200 to make a difference in the city budget and that’s absurd and cruel. As would raising the gas tax enough to fill the gap.

The City cannot raise money. But, we can look very closely at the money we have budgeted, at a very granular level, and reappropriate what we have. I have asked for a detailed accounting of the money the city spends on homeless issues, across every unit and department, and was denied. I suspect we spend a lot of money, without direction or intent, and I would propose that we audit that and then actively choose to spend it in deliberate and effective and proactive ways on fighting homelessness and housing those in need.

That’s really the only way around our budget shortfalls– to identify places where money is being spent without deliberation and to reallocate it to spend deliberately.

A4. First thing I would do is get the Tenant Advisory Board started. It was initiated years too late, and it has not yet met. By the time I’m sworn in, it’s mission will need to be changed (it’s charged with identifying issues to bring before the legislature) but that’s ok. A broader mission for the group is a good idea, in my opinion. We need to initiate tenant protections as fast humanly possible, and this group can help identify what is within the City’s purview and what must go to the Legislature.

The City Council has a wide array of policy tools and levers that it does not use effectively. Requiring specific percent of attainable housing in every development is one set of those tools. There are others. I am committed to finding and using every one of the possible tools in the kit to protect the working residents of Renoa nd Ward 3

A5. One thing I will do is support people of color to be involved in municipal government. That’s not an immediate answer, but it is one that needs to be done and I am committed to doing so.

We need to hire a diverse staff, one which better represents the diversity of the city. This is important for many reasons, but the most important, to my mind, is that so much of the work and decision making is done by the city staff. The Council directs the City Manager to implement an idea, however specific or vague. The City Manager then turns to city staff to interpret and implement that direction. The involvement level of council members in that work varies greatly. A diverse city staff is essential to including the perspectives of BIPOC on city projects and decisions.

Because of open meeting laws, no more than 2 council members can discuss city business without a scheduled, agendized meeting. That means most decisions come to the council chambers already fully formed. Therefore, I can commit to seeking diverse opinions and input on policy initiatives and decisions I am involved with, but the pathways to input in decision-making lie in staffing and holding office.

Primary Elections

Candidate Responses

Q1. What are your top 2 priorities for Reno?

Q2. How would you increase local funding and incentives to develop affordable housing for low and middle-income communities?

Q3. How would you address the displacement of low-income communities and communities of color due to gentrification?

Q4. How would you support the growing number of renters in our community?

Q5. How would you create a welcoming and supportive community for immigrants and their families?

Non-partisan races with only two candidates will not be included in the Primary Election ballot

Oscar Delgado (Incumbent)

No responses or photo submitted

Rudy Leon

A1. Policy solutions for preventing housing precarity and decreasing homelessness and Better jobs and lots of them — bringing the knowledge economy to this university town

A2. Unfortunately, revenue is not within the power of local government. As a Dillon’s Law state, the legislature articulates what the cities are empowered to do. There may be more fees that we can raise, but I find a fee-based revenue flow distasteful and unfair. Ultimately, we will need to take on Dillon’s Law in order to have true self-governance, but that is a long term solution.
I would like to look more deeply into the fees developers pay and the incentives that might be shaken loose there — how can we as a City mandate and prioritize housing at the $1500-$2200/month point while developers are still free to develop what they prefer? We must identify ways to insert these priorities into the permitting process overtly.

A3. The answer must be in better jobs, and affordable housing. We must increase the incomes of Reno-ites. We also must develop more infill housing, more housing in the 30% range, to impact on the supply side of the housing economy.
This is a difficult balance. And I’ve been collecting research into this topic — I’m grateful for the question,a dn the opportunity to dig into something I need to learn more about.

A4. I’m a renter, and lifelong renter. We need to diversify the kinds of housing we have (townhouses, condominiums, as well as single family homes), because renters want to rent all kinds of homes. We also simply must implement renter protections. The complete absence of these protections is unique to my experience, and does not serve the public good. We need to articulate eviction laws which are fair to both parties, owner responsibilities, acceptable and unacceptable rent increases, really we need a task force that identifies standard renter protections across the country, as well as unusual ones desireable for our community, and we need to bring those forward.

A5. First priority is that I want a Reno which welcomes ALL people. Diversity is one of the essential keys to a successful community. More languages in the street and the schools and across the local community. More celebrations of cultures and people, and opportunities to learn from each other — these are the ways we build community and explicitly bring new (and established) immigrant’s concerns and interests into these festivals and street parties helps us all become one community. I also believe that local law enforcement needs to focus on the work we need them to do, and the work of ICE is not that work. It is both fiscally and morally irresponsible to bend local law enforcement to that work.

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