|Candidate Name:||Steven Funkhouser|
|Position Sought:||Santa Maria City Council – District 3|
|Website / Social Media:||www.stevenfunkhouser.com|
|Why are you running for office?|
|My family has lived in the Santa Maria Valley for six generations. From Union Sugar and the strawberry fields, to owning and operating a small business, I know there is no better place to live, work and raise a family. |
However, rising crime rates, homelessness, and the lack of good-paying jobs as well as educational and recreational opportunities for our youth are making it difficult for our City to realize its full potential.
We can do better. And that’s why I’m running for City Council.
As a father of two daughters, Chairman of the Elks youth program, and a board member for Fighting Back Santa Maria, I’ve worked with community leaders on all of these issues.
Defunding the police is wrong. I have the support of the Santa Maria Police Officer’s Association and will work with those in uniform to combat crime and keep our streets safe.
I’ll collaborate with regional leaders and organizations to address homelessness and mental illness— ensuring our programs actually work for the most vulnerable.
I’ll always be accountable to you, providing independent leadership and a voice for the City of Santa Maria and its families. I hope to earn your vote.
|What makes you qualified for the job?|
|As a community leader, and local small business owner I understand the diverse nature of our city and the complexities associated with it. As a board member of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley and Chairman of the Elks 1538 Antlers Youth Program I have dedicated countless hours to our regions youth and the long term success of our community. I am co-founder of a community Graffiti Abatement Program and am endorsed by the Police Officers Association. I have also served as a board member and past president of the Santa Maria Valley Contractors Association, and Leadership Santa Maria Valley. I look forward to using my experience and working with existing organizations, programs, and community leaders to address the needs of our community and develop solutions that not only work for our city but also most importantly our children – the future of our community.|
|What are your two main priorities if you win?|
|My goals are as follows: |
—Work with public safety leaders to decrease crime and keep families safe
—Address homelessness and mental health issues through regional collaboration
—Increase job opportunities by attracting new employers and incentivizing small business expansion
—Improve recreational facilities to accommodate the needs of a growing community
|How will you collaborate with other governments?|
|Throughout my time as a small business owner, dedicated volunteer, and board member for various organizations, I have developed relationships with community leaders and earned the trust and support of numerous elected officials at all levels of government. These relationships don’t come easy, it takes work. I’ve demonstrated the ability to get things done for the City of Santa Maria and the region, and it is my plan to continue down this path for a safer and stronger City going forward.|
|What do you think are the two biggest issues that need to be addressed right away?|
|Crime and economy. We have not done enough to address rising crime rates in the City, That is my top priority. Moreover, the cost of living and inflation are making it more difficult for families to put food on the table and have a life on the Central Coast. It is imperative that we develop business-friendly policies and work with regional organizations to attract major employers that will be here for the long-term.|