Terry Scott For Benicia City Council Seniors and Millennials

I have written extensively on the need to create an effective local policy platform that makes Benicia a multi-generational, multi-age friendly city. We need to challenge the status quo to bring about change, not only for our aging community but also for our thriving millennial families. We need to create a thriving social and economic scene for ALL generations of Benicia.


Most of our seniors desperately want to “age in place”. They love Benicia, but building structures have created a housing problem. A significant number of our over 55 population lives within the downtown core; consisting of multi-level condos, turn of the century multi-story homes and very few single-floor homes. Additionally, many of, our parks are not passive and handicapped accessible, and parking remains limited. Transportation access points are few and far between, and in some cases nearly impossible for seniors to take advantage of.

So, what can be done from a City perspective over the next 5-10 years?:
1. Identify and collaborate with existing organizations like Carquinez Village and Aging Grant Foundations for planning, assessment and strategy tools to help fund projects
2. Create an office on aging with a supervisory body funded through grants
3. Encourage Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) construction by providing tax breaks and reducing fees/permitting costs. Basic education regarding state rules on building ADUs can pave the way for multi-generational living.
4. We can encourage developers to create in-fill housing that is single story living and perhaps two or three stories in height that can be affordable to seniors. While there is not a significant number of residential sites available, the ones that are could be configured to meet neighborhood standards and provide age-friendly living space
5. Review all City parks under the Parks and Rec master plan and determine how to make them accessible and age-friendly.
6. Encourage more expansive SolTrans coverage for our community; including daily or on-demand transportation adjacent to medical facilities
7. Benicia should be a more walkable town. Enhanced First St. crosswalk markings, speed bumps to calm traffic, and improved walking paths along our shoreline could vastly improve walkability for seniors.

 

Here are my thoughts regarding Millennials and Gen Xers:

Attracting Millennials means families. It means more people. It means more business. Facebook, Apple and Google have announced that within 5 years, almost 50% of their staff will consist of remote workers. We are the perfect location with freeway access, ferry service to San Francisco and a landscape that is almost impossible to be beat.


Distance will no longer matter, as the internet makes the village global. Millennials will have greater access to quality work/life balance, while Benicia will provide access to great schools, beautiful parks, safety for their children, and a top-notch police department.


However, this next generation requires more. They require the 18-hour day. They want entertainment.
They want vibrant restaurants. They want the benefits of the big city but the values of a small-town. BENICIA HAS THIS!
So, what can be done from a City perspective over the next 5-10 years:
1. We can attract millennials through the City utilizing some of its structures to build remote working hubs that are safe and efficient.
2. We can encourage more retail space, rather than commercial space.
3. We can support and develop a performing art center.
4. We take our best attribute, our magnificent waterfront and improve the marina. Let’s encourage the use of small watercraft rental and more.
5. Our music and nightlife scene should be evaluated by integrating areas like The Spit/Pier for weekend music and cultural events.
6. Theatre in the Park could be integrated into the Library natural downstairs outdoor amphitheater
7. Shopping hours should be modified to meet the needs of these new residents
8. Be Bold. Think of the possibilities of the ideas that support a more Millennial and Gen-X friendly downtown scene.
There is zero reason, we, as a city can’t market ourselves as the perfect location for Millennial living, while meeting the infrastructural needs of our senior community. We can be both. But to do so, let’s engage and listen. Let’s re-evaluate. Let’s respond to priorities. What will YOUR Benicia look like in 2025 and beyond?

I have written extensively on the need to create an effective local policy platform that makes Benicia a multi-generational, multi-age friendly city. We need to challenge the status quo to bring about change, not only for our aging community but also for our thriving millennial families. We need to create a thriving social and economic scene for ALL generations of Benicia.
Most of our seniors desperately want to “Age in Place”. They love Benicia, but building structures have created a housing problem. A significant number of our over 55 population lives within the downtown core; consisting of multi-level condos, turn of the century multi-story homes and very few single-floor homes. Additionally, many of, our parks are not passive and handicapped accessible, and parking remains limited. Transportation access points are few and far between, and in some cases nearly impossible for seniors to take advantage of.

So, what can be done from a City perspective over the next 5-10 years?:
1. Identify and collaborate with existing organizations like Carquinez Village and Aging Grant Foundations for planning, assessment and strategy tools to help fund projects
2. Create an office on aging with a supervisory body funded through grants
3. Encourage Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) construction by providing tax breaks and reducing fees/permitting costs. Basic education regarding state rules on building ADUs can pave the way for multi-generational living.
4. We can encourage developers to create in-fill housing that is single story living and perhaps two or three stories in height that can be affordable to seniors. While there is not a significant number of residential sites available, the ones that are could be configured to meet neighborhood standards and provide age-friendly living space
5. Review all city parks under the Parks and Rec master plan and determine how to make them accessible and age-friendly.
6. Encourage more expansive SolTrans coverage for our community; including daily or on-demand transportation adjacent to medical facilities
7. Benicia should be a more walkable town. Enhanced First St. crosswalk markings, speed bumps to calm traffic, and improved walking paths along our shoreline could vastly improve walkability for seniors.

 

Here are my thoughts regarding Millennials and Gen Xers:

Attracting Millennials means families. It means more people. It means more business. Facebook, Apple and Google have announced that within 5 years, almost 50% of their staff will consist of remote workers. We are the perfect location with freeway access, ferry service to San Francisco and a landscape that is almost impossible to be beat.


Distance will no longer matter, as the internet makes the village global. Millennials will have greater access to quality work/life balance, while Benicia will provide access to great schools, beautiful parks, safety for their children, and a top-notch police department.
However, this next generation requires more. They require the 18-hour day. They want entertainment.
They want vibrant restaurants. They want the benefits of the big city but the values of a small-town. BENICIA HAS THIS!
So, what can be done from a city perspective over the next 5-10 years:
1. We can attract millennials through the city utilizing some of its structures to build remote working hubs that are safe and efficient.
2. We can encourage more retail space, rather than commercial space.
3. We can support and develop a performing art center.
4. We take our best attribute, our magnificent waterfront and improve the marina. Let’s encourage the use of small watercraft rental and more.
5. Our music and nightlife scene should be evaluated by integrating areas like The Spit/Pier for weekend music and cultural events.
6. Theatre in the Park could be integrated into the Library natural downstairs outdoor amphitheater
7. Shopping hours should be modified to meet the needs of these new residents
8. Be Bold. Think of the possibilities of the ideas that support a more Millennial and Gen-X friendly downtown scene.
There is zero reason, we, as a city can’t market ourselves as the perfect location for Millennial living, while meeting the infrastructural needs of our senior community. We can be both. But to do so, let’s engage and listen. Let’s re-evaluate. Let’s respond to priorities. What will YOUR Benicia look like in 2025 and beyond?

Terry Scott For Benicia City Council

Money raised will go towards events (for fundraising and volunteer recruitment), Printing campaign literature (brochures and mailings) etc. Paid for by the Committee to Elect Terry Scott For Benicia City Council 2020 FPPC # 1427203