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Jan Marx

Jan Marx
Jan Marx - San Luis Obispo City Council Candidate

San Luis Obispo City Council

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Why are you running for office?: I am running for SLO City Council because so many residents have urged me to do so, saying the City needs me during this crisis. I share their confidence that I can help problem-solve during this challenging time of COVID-19, economic meltdown, climate change, wildfires, and civil unrest. I have the experience, expertise and knowledge to guide the City wisely during this very difficult time. Answering this call to service, I look forward to working with the community to create a better future City of San Luis Obispo, post-pandemic.
What makes you qualified for the job?: Building on my proven track record—six years as Mayor and six on Council—I will work to solve difficult problems and get good things done for the community. Having run my own business, I make pragmatic, nonpartisan decisions based on prudent budgeting, efficiency, and accountability. I am motivated to help the most vulnerable, manage growth, promote social equity, protect the environment, and fight climate change. I have the experience, knowledge, and practical vision to guide the City wisely, respecting residents’ values. I am optimistic, compassionate, even-tempered, and willing to listen to everyone. Living happily in a student neighborhood, having raised my children and grandchildren here, and continually volunteering, I am in touch with the desires and concerns of the community.

I am the only candidate with the combined experience as elected Mayor, City Council Member, and Chair of the SLO Council of Governments and Regional Transportation Agency. My varied professional background as an attorney, business owner, university administrator, teacher and Law School Dean also distinguishes me. I have what it takes to lead us through these challenging times: 1) the experience, social consciousness and collaborative skill to work with people from all different backgrounds; 2) the business savvy to make sound decisions based on prudent budgeting, efficiency and accountability; and 3) integrity, civility and respect for everyone, without playing favorites. 
What are your two main priorities if you win?: 1. The pandemic makes getting the economy back on track and increasing head of household jobs the highest immediate priority. To reopen the economy, we need to curb the spread of the virus by mandating mask wearing in public. I am concerned that residents are facing job loss, eviction and/or food scarcity. Or, working from home, they may be simultaneously teaching their children. I will work with business, manufacturing, and nonprofit sectors to update SLO’s 2015 Economic Development Strategic Plan, as well help develop effective regional strategies. I support policies which allow local hiring, so salaries are spent locally. I will advocate expansion of high speed broadband and microgrids to make us an even more powerful entrepreneurial and high tech center.

2. SLO should focus on Environmental Stewardship and embracing new technologies, now, more than ever. Given Climate Change, our quality of life depends on protecting and preserving our natural resources, including open space, air quality, and clean water. Encouraging more renewable energy projects not only protects the environment, but also creates head of household jobs.

SLO should work harder to become a net zero City, facilitate microgrids and create incentives for electric cars and bicycles, storage batteries and charging stations. The City must do all it can to protect residents against blackouts, given increasing dependence on air conditioning and the internet.
How will you interact with other governments?: I work very well with other governments and agencies and interact positively with other elected and appointed officials. I served eight years on the Board of the Council of Governments (SLOCOG) and the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) and was unanimously elected chair of both in 2016. I also served eight years on the Air Pollution Control District Board and four years on the Integrated Waste Management Board. During my time on regional boards, I worked for the common good, taking a practical and pragmatic approach to projects and policies regardless of political points of view. This enabled me to effectively represent the interests of the City San Luis Obispo, while working to solve problems and improve the quality of life in the region as a whole.
What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?: I will argue strongly for mandatory mask wearing in public, on city streets, parks and indoor commercial spaces. The City has the authority to set this requirement and enforce it, but so far has lacked the courage to do so. With our large student aged population and even larger number of visitors, SLO is vulnerable to virus transmission from all over the county, state and the country. Mask wearing is a small price to pay in order to reopen the economy and our schools.
Which two issues are most important to you?: The two most important issues are the same as my main priorities above, namely promoting economic recovery by curbing COVID-19 and increasing our environmental stewardship, including fighting Climate change. For further details, see my website
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