Candidate Statement for Arcata City Council

Kimberley White
Program Coordinator

I have lived in Arcata, land of the Wiyot, for more than 30 years. I am a program coordinator, Arcata Planning Commissioner, community advocate, volunteer, and mother of a teenage daughter. I am passionate about housing and the environment. Arcata is in the midst of big changes with Cal Poly Humboldt, climate refugees, and the pandemic has ushered in a new way of working. Arcata is growing, we need to proactively plan for it. I want to protect our forests and open spaces. We declared a climate emergency, now let’s act on it.

We have untapped talent and need to deepen connections with Cal Poly Humboldt where I received my master’s in Sociology. I am passionate about economic revitalization and rebuilding through the lens of equity. I am also running for Arcata City Council to be a voice for those who have been left out. It is essential to have a well-functioning democracy that ALL voices be heard. I want to protect our seniors, the undocumented and unhoused. I believe in people over politics. We must mend divisiveness and rebuild trust in local government by shifting and sharing power, creating a more transparent responsive government bringing us together for a stronger, better Arcata.

SPEECH

I’m running for Arcata City Council to give voice to those who have been left out. I am constantly inspired by my conversations with voters as I’m out on the campaign trail. As a councilmember, I will work to protect our most vulnerable, like our seniors, the undocumented and unhoused. I will work to rebuild trust in local government, making it more transparent and responsive. I will bring my experience as a planning commissioner and as a community advocate to build a stronger, better Arcata. READ MORE

ENDORSEMENTS

Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC)

Humboldt Progressive Democrats (HPD)

Healthcare for ALL Humboldt

Humboldt and Del Norte Counties Central Labor Council

CONTACT KIMBERLEY

ABOUT KIMBERLEY

Profession: Program Coordinator/community organizer for CUNA (Comunida Unida del Norte de Arcata/Community United of North Arcata) CUNA is a project of Cooperation Humboldt working towards building a better-represented Valley West community.

Other elected or appointed offices served: Currently on the City of Arcata’s Planning Commission (3 years)

Community organizations involved with and level of that involvement: True North Arcata Local Organizing Committee: core member, CERC Housing (COVID Economic Resilience Committee): attend weekly meetings, Cooperation Humboldt Cooperative Housing Sprint (explores and identifies cooperative and affordable housing opportunities): volunteer 12 weekly sprints with recent commitment for next sprint, Villa de Valle Board Member: 2019 to current, Winter Clothing Drive: annually, Villa de Valle Community Garden Volunteer: 5 years, Valley West Trash Cleanups: monthly, Carlson Park Trash Cleanups: weekly and monthly, Laurel Tree Charter School Board Member: 5 years, Cooperative Business Equity (CBE) Consultant: weekly, Cooperation Humboldt Core Member and Staff Collective, and volunteer co-author Mad River Union’s Valley West news column: weekly. Past volunteer activities include: Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (JJDPC), Food for People (gleaning), Bayside Garden Volunteer, Community Emergency Response (CERT) Team Relay for Life, HSU Talent Search, March of Dimes, Easter Seals, Girl Scout parent volunteer, Eureka Rescue Mission, Former Wellness Center Board Member, Sequoia Humane Society, and CUNA (Comunidad Unidad de Norte de Arcata) former volunteer, now program coordinator. My passion is serving my community. 

Reasons for running for office: With global crisis, environmental crises, economic crisis, the unhoused, the unemployed, and COVID-19, the uncertainties we face are seemingly insurmountable.

I am passionate about housing and to that end I have been on the Arcata planning commission now for three years. Arcata is in the midst of some very big changes with Cal Poly Humboldt, climate refugees coming to our community and the pandemic has ushered in a new way of working remotely. So many are coming from the city to our little oasis nestled in the redwoods on the coast. Like it or not, Arcata is growing and we need to be proactive and plan for it. . To that end, in order to have real public engagement and true democratic process, the Gateway Project needs to be fully transparent and include all voices, not just those that are privileged or who speak the loudest.

Arcata declared a climate emergency on September 20, 2019.  It is inconsistent that Arcata declare a climate emergency, but continue to invest in Chevron, one of the worst climate damaging companies. Arcata should divest from all fossil fuels.  Arcata should not invest in any companies involved in the procurement, processing, or distribution of fossil fuels.  I believe that Arcata’s investment policy should be consistent with and reflect its goals and values. We should be moving away from all fossil fuels and toward clean energy alternatives such as solar, wind power, etc. Arcata should be investing with a conscience. Many city councils nationwide have adopted resolutions directing the city to divest from fossil fuels.  The City of Arcata should be doing the same. We have many local needs and we should invest in affordable housing, local small businesses, and in other areas where the need is great but also match our vision of Arcata‘s future. We need to renew our partnerships with organizations such as Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC), the Environmental Protection Center (EPIC), 350 Humboldt, Zero Waste Humboldt, Full Cycle Compost (FCC), Coalition for Responsible Transportation Responsibilities (CRTP), Redwood Coalition for Climate and Environmental Responsibility (RCCER) and others.  I am currently spearheading a feasibility study via for a climate resilient HUB in Valley West/North Arcata.  I am ready to take action.

We are already well on our way to destroying the planet. I have teenage daughter who won’t have a planet if we do not shift to a cooperative and sustainable economy. We still have time but we must stop exploitation and follow the principles of solidarity economy where we all have our needs met. We must no longer exploit anyone or harm the environment. It is my belief if we are to heal this planet it needs to be indigenous led as they have lived in balance with nature since time immemorial. The reason I choose to be part of Cooperation Humboldt and do the work is because they believe we can meet all our needs and be in harmony with nature and put people over profit through solidarity economy. There are five principles of a solidarity economy: pluralism, solidarity, equity, sustainability, and participatory democracy. It embodies the values of economic and social justice, diversity, cooperation, self-management, and ecological sustainability.  Arcata used to be cutting edge and we can get there again but we can no longer go on as if it is business as usual.

I am also running for Arcata City Council to be a voice for those who seemingly have been left out and have had no voice. It is essential to have a well functioning democracy that ALL voices be heard. Valley West/North Arcata has always been a disenfranchised community but with COVID 19 the disparities have come to light more than ever. There has never been a representative from Valley West/North Arcata on city council.  Arcata speaks of equity but everyone knows Valley West/North Arcata is the forgotten part of Arcata and often is referred to as the “other” Arcata or Arcata’s ugly stepsister. I am interested in dismantling exclusive and oppressive ways of doing government by shifting and sharing power thus creating a more transparent, responsive and equitable government in the City of Arcata.

I have lived in Arcata (land of the Wiyot) more than 30 years (with 17 of those years in Valley West). I am ready to bring my passion, education and experience to serve all the people of Arcata.

What the candidate has done for the community: In addition to serving on the Arcata Planning Commission for three years, I am also an active volunteer and advocate for both the housed and unhoused community.  I am involved in setting up Free Little Pantries in the community to address food insecurity. I am involved in not only winter clothing drives but help with gathering clothing donations to give directly to the unhoused community year round. I serve food to the unhoused community during the holidays and have not missed serving unhoused Valley West community  in 17 years. I have lived in Arcata for over 30 years and been involved in volunteerism and have served the greater Arcata for those 30 plus years. I participate in two monthly trash cleanups as well as weekly trash cleanups in my community. I am currently spearheading a feasibility study for a resilient hub in Valley West/North Arcata because our particular neighborhood is disenfranchised and has very little resources in the event of a disaster or climate emergency.  I first became involved in CUNA (Comunida Unida del Norte de Arcata/Community United North Arcata) when it first began as a volunteer Latinx based grassroots group to help improve the lives of it’s community members. In less than a year CUNA began to mobilize the community and gain momentum and formed a partnership with the city of Arcata. Currently CUNA, a program under Cooperation Humboldt, has a three and began a three-year contract with the City utilizing ARPA (American Relief Act funds) to further improve the lives of residents in Valley West/North Arcata.  I just finished an exciting participatory budget process to help decide how to spend money allocated by the City for beautification and community connectivity. I became a planning commissioner not only because of my passion for affordable housing, but also to be a voice for the Valley West/North Arcata community. I am ready to take the next step.

Relevant platforms/issues the candidate supports:
I want to deepen our connections with Cal Poly Humboldt where I received my master’s in Sociology. We have so much talent at Cal Poly Humboldt and are failing to tap into it. I am passionate about economic revitalization and rebuilding our community through the lens of equity. I want to protect our vulnerable seniors and voted to bolster the mobile home park moratorium as an Arcata planning commissioner.  I am passionate about long-term solutions for the unhoused, not merely band-aids.  I want to support our artist community and unfortunately it is getting so that our Arcata artists can longer afford to live were they work. To that end, I am passionate about affordable housing and have a publication on Affordable and Cooperative Housing through UC Davis Center for Cooperatives. Arcata needs to create more and stronger partnerships with the stewards of our environment such as the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC), the Environmental Protection Center (EPIC), 350 Humboldt, Zero Waste Humboldt, Full Cycle Compost (FCC), CRTP, and RECCR, and others. We need to to do more than merely declare a climate emergency but act on it. We need to act as if our lives depend on it, because it does. Arcata is a special place nestled in the redwoods on the coast, and I want to protect our forests, wetlands and marshes, and agricultural lands and preserve and maintain open spaces, parks, and trails.