Issues

Since I declared my candidacy on January 22nd, I’ve met with dozens of officials, business and community leaders, activists and organizers, and city and county staff.

The common refrain I hear is that there has been a severe lack of leadership at the county and city levels. Too often, I’m told, our elected officials have not stood up to big business, big developers, for unions, and for the issues that the people care about most.

These include affordable housing, the environment and climate, development and growth, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, education, election access and voting rights, and even tree canopy coverage.

Links (Kyle in the News):
Sparks Tribune Article with Kyle Spotlighted as the only local candidate in support of rent stabilization
Letter of Support from Shaun Griffin, Founder of the Community Chest
Letter of Support from Dr. Susan Chandler, Professor Emeritus, UNR
This is Reno Candidate Forum Video: County Commission Candidates Square Off
"Washoe can Create Permanently Affordable Housing through Community Land Trusts" RGJ, Opinion Piece by Kyle, May 9th
Recent Video on Issues
Interviewwith Ky Plaskon of the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance about Biking and Creating Down to Earth Compost (skip to minute 14:00)
Letter to the Editorby Jeanmarie Simpson (scroll down a bit)
Candidate Spotlightin the RGJ by Mark Robison
Affordable Housing Piece including the history of Rent Control in Reno (scroll down) by Sparks Tribune Journalist Andrew Barbano

Affordable Housing 

All people deserve dignified and affordable housing. But, housing and rental costs in our area have skyrocketed in recent years causing great hardship for much of our community. Average rent increased by 21% in just one year and fewer than 23% of households earn enough to qualify for a median priced home. 

We can start to solve this problem with a multi-pronged approach involving these components: 

  • Create a Rental Registry so we know who owns what and how many. This is a basic database of information that our local government does not collect. It would do two things: 1. help us communicate easily with renters to make them aware of rent & utility assistance as well as their rights. 2. Learn who the landlords are, how many units they rent, what they're charging, are they in-state or out of state, are they a big corporation or a not, what improvements they're making, and so on.

  • Expand zoning to allow Accessory Dwelling Units(aka: "Granny Flats") in both city and county areas

  • AccelerateCommunity Land Trust-led developments through public and nonprofit partnerships. I would push for using federal ARPA dollars to incubate the growth of CLTs.

  • Institute Rent Stabilization (aka: rent justification or rent control) that would only allow for modest increases in rent and stop rent gouging. This would prevent displacement of vulnerable groups like the elderly and improve neighborhood stability.

  • Support the building of affordable housing on county-owned land through low-cost land sales

  • Institute Inclusionary Zoning 

  • For the homeless and very low income residents, there are several local examples of success that we can build on. We need to develop more simple & safe single room lodgings like the Village on Sage Street and the Hope Springs tiny house village. We should distribute these very low income housing developments throughout the region, not just on 4th street which is becoming a ghetto. At the CARES campus we should be partitioning the giant warehouse into smaller, more manageable sections for the different populations of homeless. This would allow us to create a better culture there while allowing for more effective targeting of services and support.

Some of these ideas require state action but as the second most populous county in Nevada we can champion needed changes that benefit our people.

Smart Growth

I support infill development over sprawl. Infill saves money on services from sewer and electric to police and fire. Infill done right decreases car use, reduces water consumption, and preserves our neighboring open spaces.

We also need to ensure that big businesses pay their fair share for our roads and infrastructure. Too often, our local leaders have given away too many perks to attract business at the cost of our quality of life and further sprawl.

Lastly, great urban spaces are designed to be people friendly. We need strong leadership at the top to ensure that our master plans, which were created with significant public input, are followed so all of us benefit from development.

Middle Class Values

I come from a middle class family: my father was a teacher, my mother a homemaker, my grandfather a builder. 

  • I Support a Living Wage. For far too long middle class wages have been stagnant and even now in a rebounding period of greater economic growth real wages are falling due to higher inflation. 

  • Education exists, in large part, to prepare our children for full participation in our democracy and capitalist society. Real world experience and program choice in addition to well paid teachers and staff are essential to creating effective leaders, stewards, and innovators of tomorrow.

  • I support unions to give a bigger voice to people in the workplace and in their futures.

  • Buses and bike infrastructure have taken a second seat to continuous road expansion. Access to good transportation is an important part of a thriving community to ensure people can safely and efficiently get to jobs, cultural events, schools and our parks and open spaces. 

  • I want to incubate and accelerate the formation of worker-owned cooperatives in the county. When people have a say in their workplace and a share of the profits, happiness, productivity, and engagement increase. 

Climate and Environment 

  • Reno is the 2nd fastest warming city in the country. We drastically need to increase our tree canopy coverage in our urban areas to mitigate this problem and those plantings need to be equitably done. We also need to rethink how we’re developing so there’s more natural spaces and less rock and hardscape.

  • Smoke from wildfires continues to impact our quality of life. Trees can help with this but also more prescribed burns and proper fuels management. 

  • Water is a scarce resource here. Conservation measures are essential from low flow shower heads to water catchment to landscape design measures that slow, spread, and allow water to penetrate into soils. 

  • Renewable energy makes sense environmentally and financially in our sunny area. We need to dramatically increase our solar energy production as well as ground source heat pumps. Why isn’t every new and giant warehouse covered in solar panels? Why isn’t every new home built on “greenlands” incorporating ground source heat pumps as well as solar? This needs to change.

  • Healthy soils hold water and carbon and grow better trees and local food. With area-wide composting of green and organic wastes we can build great soils. 

  • A well built, defined, and protected urban-wide network of bike lanes will reduce car use and associated air pollution, reduce traffic and noise, increase public health, and foster a closer connection to our place. 

  • A light rail passenger system connecting the north valleys to Carson and Verdi (and points west into California) to TRIC and Fernley needs to be considered as our urban areas approach half a million people.

  • Neonicotinoid insecticides (which are devastating to bees and pollinators) and glyphosate herbicides (like Round up) need to be eliminated from our county and watershed. Pest and weed management must be done differently to ensure environmental and human safety. Safe alternatives and management practices exist and must be utilized.

  • Microplastics are present in the air we breathe and in our local water systems. One major source of microplastics pollution are single use plastics like bags, take out containers, and bottles. In addition to breaking down into easily absorbed particles in the environment over time, single use plastics in their "macro" form are a blight in our natural and urban environments. Of course these products are useful and convenient but a walk along the river path knowing that the Truckee is polluted with microplastics and seeing the willows along the banks strewn with bags and bottles does not justify that convenient consumption. I propose that we phase out these harmful products from our county.