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San Joaquin County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter

The Economics of Lemons

By Kathy Miller

Candidate for Council Member; City of Stockton; Council District 2

This information is provided by the candidate
A decade as a successful business owner and four years as Executive Director of the Downtown Stockton Alliance has convinced me that we truly can live, work and play in a City that is safe, clean, energized by full employment and one where our children receive good educations.

Many say Stockton's housing market is a big lemon!

We've all heard the reports: Stockton leads the nation in foreclosures. Even 60 Minutes reported on our status as ground-zero for the national crisis. A sour situation for Stockton, indeed.

So, let's talk about making lemonade.

The market re-adjustment from the bloated, insane prices we saw a few years ago, presents a huge opportunity for local economic stimulus and revitalization. Median home prices are back down to 2002 levels, representing a renewed opportunity for working families to buy a piece of the American Dream.

How can we speed the recovery?

We can provide an immediate increase to the City's down-payment assistance program, which helps first time home-buyers. New, creative partnerships must be developed to help move the existing inventory of vacant properties. Neighborhoods currently punctuated by dying lawns and boarded windows will flourish again, as the pride of home ownership replaces blight with fresh paint and green grass.

We can also help current residents facing foreclosure keep their homes. The City's Housing Department, local lenders and community non-profits, such as Visionary Home Builders of California, are holding seminars to educate people and avoid foreclosure. These programs work and should be enhanced

Providing affordable housing is a community responsibility. This means we must continue to develop a range of workforce housing, improve substandard housing and provide assistance to low income families who need a helping hand up. This is smart business, because new housing and residential rehabilitation provide good-paying jobs.

Lemons? I say, Stockton is all about lemonade!

As your Councilmember from District 2, I will listen and bring hands-on experience, build community partnerships and manage our resources for maximum results.

That is my commitment to you. To get there, I ask for your vote.

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