With a new Delano City Council, Kern Sol News reached out to the sitting council members to learn more about their goals for the city of Delano.
Mayor Bryan Osorio has his goals set first on how to respond to COVID-19. Due to the surging cases in Kern County, Osorio is making COVID-19 his top priority as mayor. Along with addressing COVID-19, he also hopes to tackle water quality issues, such as water affordability.
He wants to advocate for youth programs and find more opportunities towards empowering young people. Along with advocating for youth programs, Osorio hopes to advocate for marginalized communities. He is aiming towards making strides towards these issues and continuing to uplift the community with the new council.
Mayor Osorio wants Delano residents to know that he is looking forward to working with the new council members and representing the community.
Councilwoman Veronica Vasquez is also turning her focus to COVID-19 due to the dramatic rise in cases in Kern County. Vasquez is finding a way to help and provide for the community in the safest way possible. Recently, she hosted a food distribution and delivered essential supplies to the eledery communities following a no-contact method to ensure the safety of the elderly.
Another project Vasquez is currently working on but did not mention in her campaign is that she is collecting items for the womens’ shelter. One of her long term goals is to provide basic necessities and services for the local women shelters. Vasquez is currently identifying which services the shelters are receiving before overlapping with them.
Another goal that she is hoping to accomplish is to increase communication. She believes that communication is necessary in order to keep the city and its residents updated with current information. Currently, Vasquez wants to keep the city council website updated by getting interns to complete these tasks.
An ongoing problem the city has been struggling with is providing residents with clean drinking water. Vasquez hopes to find solutions for this, such as receiving a grant for better water. A few other goals that she will identify during her term is finding preventative resources to stop kids from joining gangs, establishing youth programs, and creating group grief counseling for gang violence or homicide
Vasquez decided to run for the Delano city council because she felt that the community was not being heard on a certain aspect. She has been actively involved in the community and decided to take initiative by running for the City Council.
Councilmember Sal Solorio Ruiz has also identified that his top priority is addressing COVID-19. He wants to ensure the community has COVID-19 relief through food drives and providing proper PPE. Solorio Ruiz hopes that through these preventative measures, the numbers will begin to decrease.
Solorio Ruiz has several long term goals identified. He hopes to provide opportunities to the youth of Delano, as he believes that the community will benefit from youth engagement. He aims to make strides towards advocating access to clean drinking water along with being able to afford clean drinking water. Also, he wants to ensure that utility bills do not increase and is finding solutions towards making Delano a more affordable location.
Solorio Ruiz decided to run for the city council due to the lack of Democratic representation. He did not see issues being prioritized, such as COVID-19 and clean water.
“We are the change that we seek,” he said, which led him towards running for the City Council. He wants to prioritize specific topics that the community was struggling with.
Solorio Ruiz wants the community to know that the city council belongs to the people as he believes elected officials work for the people. He hopes to get the community more civically engaged. Also, he leaves a message for the youth of Delano as he says, “Do not let anyone tell you that you are too young to be involved with politics.” He says to get civically engaged by joining organizations and possibly running for office.
Council member Joe Alindajao’s top priority is to address COVID-19. He wants to prevent gatherings and wants to prevent restaurants from opening. Along with addressing COVID-19, Alindajao hopes to bring more attention to overall public safety by tackling the issue of gangs and crimes. Additionally, he wants to jumpstart economic development by creating more job opportunities.
Alindajao decided to be a part of the council because he wanted to bring change to the city. He wanted to support and bring value to the city, which influenced him to join the council.
Before being a part of the council, Alindajoa was a business owner and ran a small insurance business. He has over 20 years of business experience. Also, he was a Deputy Attorney.
Council member Liz Morris’ top priority is COVID-19 and ensuring that the residents receive the vaccinations in a timely manner. A few long term goals that Morris has outlined include water quality issues along with keeping water costs rates from going up. She also hopes to bring more retail into the community as it will help the economy by bringing in more jobs. Along with boosting the economy, she hopes to make strides towards bringing more recreation programs into the community for the adults and the children to enjoy. Maintaining a steady budget is another one of Morris’s goal as it has extremely benefited the community during COVID-19.
Morris decided to run for council after her husband unfortunately passed away from cancer. She ran for his seat and completed his term. She then ran for her own term and saw growth in the community. She wanted to help improve the town by bringing in more jobs and by creating a strong industry.
Morris is glad to be a part of the council as the community has given her the opportunity to serve them. Before joining the city council, she did not know much about city government. However, it has become a very rewarding learning experience for Morris as she has learned the fundamentals of city government. Morris’s love for Delano has led her to finding ways to improve Delano and create a better future for all Delano residents.