I’m a long-time Martinez resident and recent retiree. In 1972, I purposefully chose to move to Martinez because it reminded me of the small Midwest towns where I was born and grew up. I have witnessed many changes over the years in this city that I love, more so recently than ever before. There’s a new energy in town that is very apparent – new businesses are opening and thriving and many new families are purposefully choosing Martinez as I did nearly 50 years ago.
We are never without challenges. Homelessness afflicts many people in our town and raises the concerns of residents and visitors alike. We are the county seat, the location of the county hospital and other public services the homeless rely on and it is a sad fact that leaves many of us shaking our heads and wondering what can be done to help.
One thing we can do is support Measure X, a small half-cent sales tax on the ballot this November that will help considerably in addressing homelessness. Since our police department received additional funding and our officers received a much-deserved raise earlier this year, we now have a dedicated homeless resource officer for the first time in years. This officer coordinates available services and works with homeless folks to better understand their situation and provide help.
We must ensure that we can keep this officer, and hire others who can help people connect with the services they need, while also improving our collective quality of life. Addressing the problem requires dedicated resources and I believe Measure X ensures we can provide these services.
Our economic upswing has undoubtedly left many behind. The rising costs of housing for homeowners and renters alike leave some in our community with few or no options. It is important to realize that every person on the street is someone’s son, daughter, friend, or relative.
Measure X would greatly benefit every member of our community, including the homeless community who are as much of a part of Martinez as you and I. Join me in voting YES on Measure X in November.
– Cathy Ivers