Monument to Mike Bonin’s Failures

I have lived on the Westside for close to 30 years. I’ve raised my three children here, where they’ve received their education at our wonderful public schools. I’ve spent much of my life working with both school and community leaders to ensure our children have safe and enriching places to learn.  

Safe schools and safe communities are inseparably linked. When we prioritize making sure children have secure and nourishing schools, our whole community grows in unison. Likewise, when we fail to act swiftly and allow problems to compound, our children are first to bear the weight of apathy. 

There is no better example of this on the Westside than this monument to Mike Bonin’s failure parked outside Westminster Elementary School and Westminster Early Education Center. 

For over 200 days this RV has been parked outside as a symbol of problems left unsolved and promises still unkept by our current councilmember. The RV owner added the final touch with a painting memorializing Mike Bonin last week. 

Both principals and many families in the community have reached out to me and many others about the myriad of indecencies the owner and his guests have forced on the school community. Used needles litter the school sidewalk, nearly 50 at one count. Publicly funded school staff had to be trained in toxic material disposal to mitigate the health hazards rather than trained in teaching techniques. Should this be their responsibility? Schools have been forced to invest in costly privacy fencing. Several school employees have had their lives threatened, one principal was even held at knifepoint. Sometimes the owner gets high, keeping the children away from the playground. On the worst days, he and his guests get aggressive, forcing the whole school into lockdown. 

Unsurprisingly, this issue has affected the greater community. Children and parents feel unsafe and their quality of life has deteriorated. Precious dollars are being diverted from the mission of educating our children to deal with safety issues our councilmember is not addressing.  Homelessness is a county wide concern but the issues in district 11 have been exacerbated by the lack of leadership. We are better than this.

I’m running to fix issues like this. I will work to implement solutions to improve life for all of our neighbors on the Westside, both housed and unhoused. As your councilmember, my goal will be to have zero encampments. I will immediately enforce the law banning camping in front of schools and parks. I will not ignore the concerns of our community and sweep the problems my office has a responsibility to solve into the laps of our children.