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Solano County, CA November 8, 2011 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Sam Kurshan

Candidate for
Member, City Council; City of Vallejo

This information is provided by the candidate

I Will Represent Vallejo for Free!

I am accepting no money or endorsements for my campaign! When I am elected I will accept no salary or benefits! Why? Because I am indebted to you the voter and no one else! Vallejo can have my salary and use it to help the less fortunate!

What's wrong with Vallejo?

Whether you are a native Vallejoan or you have relocated here, you realize that something is terribly wrong with Vallejo. High crime and not enough police. Noise and inadequate enforcement to curb it. Deteriorating roadways, and fiscal problems including a lack of revenue for the city to operate with, preventing their repair. A lack of quality in our school system. Not enough businesses to serve our different communities. Not enough employment opportunities for our citizens and not enough recreational opportunities for our youth. Collectively our quality of life has diminished. As a result of all of this, many Vallejoans feel beaten down and have given up on fighting for something better. They have lost their pride, lost their sense of community and have lost their sense of unity. In the end, more Vallejoans don't vote than those who do!

A blue print for a new Vallejo

I have a plan to fix Vallejo by implementing new ideas which will restore Vallejoans sense of pride, love for their community and renew their sense of unity, while increasing their quality of life. This will be achieved by their direct participation in the process to achieve that goal.

I want to create six council districts, where each of the six council members is assigned to and is responsible for the well being of the residents, businesses, schools and services in their district. Each district will have a local community board; comprised of residents, including youth and senior representatives, business owners, school teachers and principals, clergy members, police officers assigned to that district and a member of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, assigned to that district. Each community board will operate like a small village and will meet once a month with their district council member.

The input from these monthly meetings will be shared at a monthly meeting of all the council members, the Mayor, the City Manager, the department heads of every city department and the entire board of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce. The gathered information will highlight the problems and needs of each district, accompanied by a consensus of suggestions on how to improve and satisfy them. This process will cause the individual Vallejoan to feel like their voices are being heard and that their direct input really does matter. It will restore a sense of individual and community pride, creating a new kind of unity Vallejo has never experienced.

Re branding and re marketing Vallejo

Vallejo is a city of many diverse cultures. Every community has wonderful examples of this through their local businesses, schools and houses of worship. Vallejo is also the primary gateway to Northern California.

Combining these two attributes, Vallejo will adopt a new marketing slogan: Vallejo, the city of diversity and gateway to Northern California".

This is the main marketing strategy, which will be used to attract people here and get them to visit and not just pass through, en route to another destination.

The internet will play a major role in this marketing campaign, transforming the City of Vallejo's lackluster website into a show case which promotes Vallejo in a way that will attract visitors, tourists and new businesses. The website's home page will have a business portal inviting people to do business with Vallejo by taking advantage of our new streamlined economic development department and permit process, promoting a new business friendly attitude.

Opportunities to generate new revenue

The Vallejo Chamber of Commerce and the Vallejo Economic Development Department.

Through the increased participation of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce with the council districts and the community boards, the solicitation and attraction of new business will be based upon that input and a monthly open house, sponsored by the Economic Development Department and the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce will be conducted, advertised through the business portal on the city's website, to attract the new businesses being sought.

Mare Island.

I would like to see an Indian Casino/Hotel/Conference Center built and operated on the North Eastern portion of Mare Island and I believe the aggressive pursuit of this opportunity should be implemented as soon as possible after the creation of a committee comprised of members of the Economic Development Department, members of the Chamber of Commerce, City Council members, the City Manager and the Mayor in his/her expanded role of good will ambassador for the City of Vallejo. As part of my plan, the old pier adjacent to this site would be rehabilitated permitting the docking of ferries, charter boats and personal water craft, giving their passengers access to the property.

I have always been an advocate of the marine industrial re use of Mare Island. I am very happy that its dry docks are operational again. I believe a similar mechanism as the one I described to attract new business, should be implemented to solicit and attract these kind of businesses there.

I am in favor of establishing a portion of Mare Island as a green tech campus for the research and development of sustainable energy solutions.

Establishment of a Vallejo/Solano/Napa Light Rail Passenger Line.

In order for Vallejo to flourish as the gateway to tourism and business for the region, it has to be easily accessible by public transportation. There are many unused and under utilized rail road tracks running through Vallejo as well as on Mare Island. My vision is to use them to establish a light rail system similar to the one in Santa Clara County. The main terminus would be near the Vallejo Ferry Terminal and the line would run north through Vallejo to Napa (and future potential to go beyond) with a spur going across the causeway to Mare Island, where Mare Island would have a full light rail passenger grid with multiple stops along the island as well as a train yard and and maintenance facility for the system. The establishment of a committee to explore joint funding at a local, county, federal and private industry level would be the starting point for this ambitious project. Many jobs would be created during its construction and operation.


Taxes are a very sensitive subject which draws much criticism, but realistically, without the necessary revenue to generate income to adequately provide services to a city, taxes are an alternative and do not have to be permanent. Our police and fire departments are operating at dangerously low staffing levels, in order to be able to hire more police and fire fighters, I am in favor of the one cent sales tax initiative which will be presented to the voters on the November ballot.

Improving our school system

I believe in the participation of private businesses and corporations as a source of revenue as well as inspiration for the creation of more high school level career academies. These academies, sponsored by varying industries, will offer students more choices in their career paths. I believe that private industry can also be relied upon to fund programs in the elementary schools.

I would like to see the exploration and research of the legality of fining the parents of students who are designated as repeat truants. Every school day each empty seat in the Vallejo school system causes a loss of valuable operating revenue from the State of California.

I advocate a strictly enforced anti, bullying, anti discrimination policy in our schools, including the protection of gender and sexual preferences made by our students. I am also in favor of strict anti gang enforcement in all of our schools.

Vallejo's quality of life issues and changing its image

I believe that our streets and neighborhoods are being taken over by noise coming from car audio systems, some of which produce no music, but instead, reproduce and amplify deafening bass vibrations at decibel levels which penetrate peoples homes and businesses and are unhealthy for humans and animals. I would like to see the implementation of similar traffics stops as the D.U.I. zones the Vallejo Police Department undertakes, for the purpose of stopping and citing drivers of vehicles in violation of the local noise laws as well as the stepped up daily enforcement of those laws. The message needs to be sent that this will not be tolerated in Vallejo any longer.

I believe that loitering for the purpose of prostitution and for the sale and purchase of illegal drugs needs to be enforced more regularly and consistently, especially on our main traffic corridors such as Sonoma Boulevard/Highway 29. It's bad enough for the citizens of Vallejo to witness these activities, but when drivers passing through Vallejo en route to another destination see this they are left with the disgraceful image of lawlessness on our streets, causing them to think twice about coming back.

Measure C; The taxation of medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

I have stated consistently, at all the candidate forums, that I am in favor of the City of Vallejo, with the cooperation of the Vallejo Police Department's immediate closing down of every single marijuana dispensary in Vallejo, including the one that has a license, because they are all operating illegally, contrary to federal law prohibiting their operation. I have cited the federal government's warning to cities in Humboldt County, CA, which states that if they license marijuana dispensaries that they will take legal action against the cities and the county and I went as far as writing a letter to California Atorney General Kamala Harris for clarification of the State's position on the issue and she refused to touch it , having an aide reply with a form letter which didn't even address the issue. Even more of a reason for Vallejo not to get involved in the illegal licensing of an illegal business. I firmly believe an illegal business can not be legally taxed and therefore, I am against Measure C; the taxing of medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Furthermore, I am in favor of the outright legalization of marijuana, but until then and only if the federal government approves, I believe the sale of medicinal marijuana should only take place in pharmacies and never in a "pot club" atmosphere which is a magnet for crime.

Labor relations and maintaining city employee's morale

I believe that its is imperative to maintain good to excellent labor relations between city management and our city's work force, their unions and union leaders. We have just emerged from what I believe was a costly and unnecessary bankruptcy which I believe could have been avoided had our city's Public Safety unions and their leaders not been made scapegoats for Vallejo's fiscal crisis. Labor relations are based upon communication and trust. When either or both of those elements are missing there are no labor relations. Without labor relations there is no atmosphere of give and take. No atmosphere of willingness to negotiate and no willingness to concede and sacrifice. As we approach 2012 and the renegotiation of our police contract, I believe that we need to re focus our attitude toward how valuable a service our police provide and at what great risk to their safety and their lives they do so at. Vallejo city management's respect for and appreciation of their unconditional service is paramount to any possible concessions the city may need to ask for at the negotiating table.

Through the implementation of and careful adherence to my plans, Vallejo will flourish again.

Please tell your relatives, friends and coworkers about me and suggest that they read the information on this website.

Please send your comments and suggestions to: email:

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 30, 2011 14:49
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