I know first hand the detriment poor policy plays on business owners, families, and those on fixed income. As my business center on the cusp of the city, Roseville Rd and Antelope Rd, became overrun with drug-addicted homeless persons I became a victim. I am worried about the future of our communities if the public drug use, vandalism, and littering within our city continues to be ignored.
I believe that the issue of homelessness is complex and we must prioritize addressing its multiple roots: addiction, mental health, and access to affordable housing. We need to protect our business owners from continued abuses and devastating expenses, give children an opportunity to play in parks without hypodermic needles , and empower both law enforcement and community resource teams to make change. Such a large task takes resilience, strategy, and empathy; I am up for the challenge.
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Beginning with two servers and building a successful team of 24 employees has given me vast team building experience. I understand unforeseen complications and the importance of responding quickly. I am used to adjusting our business model to accommodate new mandates, restrictions, and policies. Serving at Taste of Tuscany has given me a vantage point to the brokenness of our region. I have witnessed a few 'rail-riders' turn into an unsafe village of 30+ high, aggressive, permanent residents.
I have tried enclosing my patio to block the blight from view only to have my patio cover sliced . Litter of foil and straw debris along with syringes are left on my patio and around the complex daily. The property owners have removed the bushes and trees so that people couldn't hide to shoot up drugs, but it was not a deterrent. We now have very visible drug use and a barren wasteland.
We have had our light bulbs stolen, signage destroyed, building and mailbox covered in graffiti and we receive calls from guests weekly stating they will not be returning as they do not wish to park amongst drug dealers and heroin addicts. We have had employees verbally and physically assaulted and lost staff due to aggressive trespassers. The complex has had broken windows, theft, dumpster fires, and human waste left behind.
Poor policy and/or policy enforcement is fiscally catastrophic to business owners. Small businesses are suffering and being pushed to near brokenness; some have started physically fighting back. A drive in some of the business complexes in Citrus Heights look similar to what my corner was not too long ago. This is not safe and it is traumatic. Minimum wage employees are exposed to hazardous waste, overdoses, and dead bodies. Our economy, public safety, and successful city model is jeopardized when issues like these are not properly addressed.