The Campaign:

Everyone should be able to live a full and dignified life.

The basic needs of life—clean air, water, food, shelter, education and healthcare—should all be considered fundamental human rights, not an opportunity for someone to make a buck.

Eric Whedbee is running for Redlands city council representing district 1 in order to work towards a more equitable and just community. He follows in the tradition of  putting people before profits. 

 
 
 
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Towards a More Equitable and Just Community

There are two Redlands. Over the past 50 years, Redlands has experienced a deepening economic divide. The divide is strikingly visible and widely talked about. The economic disparity between North and South Redlands is unacceptable.

 
 

Housing First 

Homlessness in Redlands is on the rise.  According to a 2017 count, Redlands had 164 homeless people with only a small fraction of those people sheltered. Coupled with the thousands of people who live below the poverty line in Redlands, we begin to see just how pressing of an issue this is for Redlanders. Rents average a 5% year-to-year growth in Redlands while income cannot keep up at only an average rate increase of 1.9%

As city councilor, Eric will support and propose plans to house the homeless. Similiar proposals have been implemented with success in Southern California and have been recently proposed in Riverside. We can do better. 

 

164

Without Homes

While the number is trending higher than in in recent years, I believe that Redlands can do more than just alleviate homelessness. With housing first, we can solve homelessness in our town. Housing is a basic right. 

 

9,601

living below the poverty line

Low wages, lack of opportunity, rent hikes and other economic factors play a role in the number of townspeople who are living below the federal poverty line. 

 
 

$1470

average cost of rent

Affordable housing is becoming increasingly scarce in Redlands. Rents are outpacing wages and forcing people into precarity. 

 
 

The Issues

We have the opportunity to make the city we want. This means mobilizing people like you and me to think about the future we want and the future we need.

City Council is considered to be a non-partisan body, yet Eric feels that it is only fair to voters to share his vision and the undergirding political philosophy and framework. Some of his views are described below:

 

People

Above all, Eric is running to serve the people in Redlands. All people. He is committed to envisioning and working towards a transformative politics that shifts power from capital to the people of Redlands. 

Housing

Eric recognizes that housing is a human right. Many people, including military vets, in our neighborhood are suffering and living on the streets in Redlands. Meanwhile, the cost of housing in Redlands is on the rise and many are unable to afford steep housing costs. Eric believes we should work under a Housing First strategy to end homelessness and is a supporter of cooperative housing as a way to empower tenants and alleviate the poor. Imagine the societal transformation that could occur if we were to house (not merely shelter) those in need. For Eric this is a moral issue that we have an obligation to pursue. 

Environment and Infrastructure

Continued attention must be given to the environment and infrastructure of Redlands. So much of what people love about Redlands is related to our city's environment. It's a major component of the "quality of life" Redlanders so often speak of. Clean water for our townspeople is essential and so is the the preservation of natural spaces. Redlands is currently working hard to improve the roads in town and Eric will support these efforts. However, greater attention should be given to alternative modes of transportation. Redlands prides itself as the host of the Redlands Bicycle Classic and should become the leader in smart bicycle infrastructure design and a model for communities in our region. 

Public services and public safety

In a town where crime has risen alongside police spending, we need to re-evaluate the strategy of our public services that are meant to protect our safety. Eric believes that we should look toward restorative justice and harm reduction models rather than incarceration. Expansion of law enforcement, both in terms of officers and technology, offer a false sense of security and ultimately do not benefit the people, especially those who are most vulnerable in our community.   

freedom

For many in our community freedom is an important concept. When basic needs such as gender equality, racial equality, economic security, good food, health care, and a good and safe home are covered it's only then that we become truly free. We become free from the fear of others around us, we are able to pursue creative and rich lives, we have freedom over our own bodies, we don't have to be worried about how we can afford to have children or afford a place to live. All of these concerns are lifted and freedom arises. 

Seniors

Seniors and people with disabilities often face similar struggles as to those who are living near the poverty line but require even more care and community support. Eric recognizes the right of seniors to maintain a dignified life into their old age, free from economic hardship, social isolation, and discrimination in employment and credit. Sufficient income, housing, health care, medication, and access to social services must be guaranteed to all elders.

Labor Unions

The working class is essential for Redlands to prosper in years to come. We all prosper when workers prosper, therefore we must ensure the rights and decency of working conditions for the working class. Eric values the work labor unions do and their role in our community.  Labor Unions are a major part of the Inland Empire, and we should take pride in this. Eric wants to unite all working class folks. Workers are people who actually work for a living as opposed to the people who skim off the profits generated by those below them. Blue collar or white collar, of various races and sexual orientations we are united by our labor and choose to stand up to the elites that hold so much wealth and power in our community. 

Development

Land development in Redlands is an important topic. Redlanders value the preservation of our historical past but simultaneously look forward to what Redlands could become. Too often poor development choices were implemented in Redlands resulting in disruptive warehouses, vacant malls, and removal of green spaces. With more people wanting to call Redlands their home, development should be thoughtfully pursued with a greater respect for the our townspeople and the environment. Redeveloping abandoned spaces and building high density commercial centers would be a step in the right direction. 

immigration

While immigration is not immediately a municipal issue, Eric recognizes the concerns citizens have expressed at recent city council meetings concerning the passage of SB54. SB54 is state law and Redlands is obliged to uphold this bill. Furthermore Eric supports the bill on moral grounds. Loving one another is fundamental to our identity as members of this community.  

 
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“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

Martin Luther King Jr. / Read Full Article

 

 
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About

Eric was born in Redlands, raised by his working class mother and spent his adolescent years between Redlands and Loma Linda before attending college in Portland, Oregon and then graduate school in Montreal, Quebec. He later returned to Redlands with a fresh perspective and love for his hometown. He saw that Redlands shared characteristics with some of the world-class cities he had visited in terms of quality of life, but there were also opportunities for this town to become something more he thought. During his time away, Redlands had begun to undergo a type of renewel downtown. For many, especially commercial property owners, there could be nothing better to have happened to Redlands. At the same time, Eric arrived in town to find other more forgotten parts of the city, old strip malls, lifeless warehouses, dying orange groves, all a sad reminder that commercial progress and development projects had often been poorly integrated into the fabric of historic Redlands. District 1 in particular has been particularly vulnerable to this type of expansion and destruction of Redlands.

Eric lives like many Redlanders do in District 1. He is a renter and commutes to work out of town working as a video editor and then works weekends as a freelance video producer trying to make ends meet. He understands the struggles that the working class faces and as such he wants to work for them, promoting a more equitable society where we look out for one another. 

We need to develop action plans together that directly improve the lives of our townspeople. Together we can do that. 

 

Get Involved

Voting is a small but important step toward making Redlands the place we want it to be. From volunteering to continued involvement long after the election, there are ways you can be involved. 

 

Volunteer opportunities

Would you like to get involved in this local movement? 

Make a Donation

Eric relies on small donations from people like you, are you willing to help fund the campaign?