Azmina Hanna Candidate Statement
In our District, we have been left out of very important conversations that affect our safety, property values and ownership, and our livelihoods. Not everyone has a pension plan: some are mom-and-pop landlords who depend on rents for vital income.
Sonoma County taxpayers cannot continue to be the involuntary lifeline to a growing indigent population that has mental health and rehabilitative needs. These individuals need help beyond our basic good nature on the street.
Greater transparency and accountability are necessary on City Council. A Council Member living in Ecuador?! $123 million? $10 million? $15 million? At present, there are no checks and balances, and we are borderline taxation without representation. The average taxpayer did not have any say in the publicly reported “unanimous decisions” happening for development throughout the District before and during this pandemic. What is going on?
I grew up here, in what is now District 5, and graduated from Santa Rosa High School like my siblings. I was accepted to Howard University and left home in 1992 for Washington, DC. After graduation, and a change of heart from banking, I attended Portfolio Center in Atlanta to study art direction and returned to California just in time for the economy to crash the first time. Then it crashed again. I didn't return home to Santa Rosa (District 5) until recently and it has changed for the worse. But I don't want to move away: this is my hometown.
Our city's population has increased dramatically without the infrastructure to support the growth: District 5 bears the brunt of this. We do not have to sacrifice the heart of Santa Rosa's six historic districts within District 5 to meet these new challenges, nor do we have to give up what I feel is the soul of our city. Santa Rosa is the seat of Sonoma County. Our Union is complete because of our history in Sonoma County. It matters and it shouldn't be up for sale.
Professionally, I solve design and communications problems for small-to-medium sized businesses in transition, for better or for worse. I love the collaborative process. When we drill down on a problem, often times the issues lie in strategy. However, more often, the problem is in holding on tightly to something that has become obsolete and it's time to let it go. My professor would call it, "Eating your golden apple."
Design taught me to embrace challenges to create opportunities. Howard taught me to be fearless. Santa Rosa taught me about the value of being home.
Your vote for me would help bring balance, accountability and approachability to our City Council and a stronger voice for us residents throughout Districts 5 who have not been heard. That is democracy.