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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Local

City of LodiCandidate for Council Member, Council District 4

Photo of Shak Khan

Shak Khan

Local Business Owner
837 votes (37.53%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Homelessness is a growing problem in our neighborhood and it negatively impacts our quality of life. We need to help the truly needy while ensuring law-abiding residents are safe from those who commit crime.
  • Economic Development: As a small business owner, I understand how important a good paying job is to the individual, their families and the community. We need more job opportunities and reinvestment in our economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • Public Safety: Every resident deserves to feel safe in their homes and feel free to travel in our community without fear. Protecting Eastside residents is the City Council's most important responsibility.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Local Small Business Owner
Small Business Owner, Self-Employed (2016–current)

Education

Lodi Technical Academy Medical Assistant License (2010)

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Responses to Lodi News-Sentinel Questions

Summary

Answers to numerous questions about my Lodi City Council campaign.

Why are you running for city council?

I am running for Lodi City Council because I strongly believe that residents of the Eastside need a voice in City Hall.  Our neighborhood has disproportionately been impacted by homelessness, crime, blight and a lack of job opportunities.  I grew up in this district, attended school here and have recently purchased the old Round House Tavern to bring in new businesses.  With the advent of district voting, I believe our district needs a vocal advocate to address our neighborhood’s unique needs.

Why are you the best candidate for the District 4 seat?                                                                                                                                                                                

The 4th District is very diverse and deserves a Council Member that can represent the needs of our community.  As someone who has grown up in the district, I have seen how our area has not always benefitted from Lodi’s progress.  As a small business owner, young parent and community volunteer, I believe I am uniquely suited to be an effective City Council for Lodi’s Eastside.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish?

If elected, these are the areas I will focus my efforts:

 

a         Jobs:  In the Eastside of Lodi, there is a great need for new business start-ups.  I purchased the old Round House Tavern, a historical building on Lodi Avenue, and am renovating it as a business incubator.  There is a lot of hopelessness in this area and a good job gives a person a sense of self.

 

b        Quality of Life:  We need to continue to hire more police officers and firefighters to keep our community safe, clean up blighted areas and work to get help for our growing homeless population.

 

c         Unity:  Lodi has gone to district voting because they were sued due to unequal representation.  This is the first time Eastside residents will have the opportunity to decide who will represent them on the Council.  I want to be a vocal advocate for the community while also being a voice for those who have not always been heard in City Hall.

How can Lodi better serve its citizens?

Lodi is a special community that draws new residents from all over the state because of our small-town appeal.  However, over the last few years, homelessness has been allowed to grow and many of our parks and recreational areas are unsafe or have fallen into disrepair.  Garbage and trash bring down property values and negatively impact our quality of life.  As a Council Member, I will work with city staff to clean up our community and offer incentives for new small businesses to move to our city – increasing job opportunities for Lodi residents.  Lodi is a great place and with focused leadership, it can be even better.

 

If elected, how do plan to balance serving the constituents in your district and doing what is best for the city?

My first duty will be to represent the residents of Lodi’s Eastside.  However, in order to get things done, I will have to get a consensus of my fellow Council Members.  Lodi’s 4th District has always been considered “the other side of the tracks” and is too often an after-thought when decisions in City Hall are made.  I believe that if the Eastside improves, our whole city is made better.

Your thoughts on:

(Please limit responses to 100 words or less)

 

Homelessness:

I believe homelessness is the most pressing issue facing our community.  This growing problem makes people wary of letting their kids play outside or go to the park.  As the father of school-age children, I want to make our community safer and more inviting by helping the truly needy find a way off the streets, provide substance abuse counseling and mental health assistance to those who need it but also give law enforcement resources to the criminal element.

Policing/budgeting:

Compared to surrounding communities, Lodi is considered a safe and desirable city.  Our public safety officers have done a good job of protecting our residents.  However, I believe that more needs to be done in Eastside neighborhoods where crime, homelessness and blight are more prevalent.  I will work with my colleagues and city staff to direct more resources to the 4th District.

Development/growth:

For many years, Lodi was a no growth community.  Recently, that has begun to change.  I believe we need sustainable growth in order to keep our community healthy.  However, new development must pay for itself and provide housing options for all income levels. 

Economic development/job creation:

As a small business owner in the 4th District, I understand how important a good paying is job to a person’s self-worth, to their family and to the entire community.  That is why I purchased the Round House Tavern and am in the process of converting it into a mixed-use facility that will have a restaurant of the bottom floor and business offices on the top floor.  I think our entire community benefits from increased job opportunities, and I am investing in my neighborhood to make that happen.

Affordable housing:

I believe we need more diverse housing options that meet the needs of Lodi residents from all income levels.  The city can assist in that endeavor by creating grant programs, fee reductions and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds to encourage attainable housing projects to spur a variety of housing options.

Service priorities:

As a longtime resident of the Lodi’s Eastside, I have seen the development of the downtown and new shopping and retail outlets being built in other areas of our city.  I believe that the 4th District has not always received a proportionate share of city services.  I want to be a voice for our community to ensure that happens.

State vs. local control:

I strongly believe in local control because Lodi residents know our unique needs as opposed to a faceless bureaucrat in Sacramento or Washington, DC.  Council Members should be out in the community talking and listening to those they represent.  In this way, they stay connected to the issues of importance to the local community.

 

Marijuana ordinances:

I think this is an issue for the community to decide.  In the past, most voters opposed legalizing cannabis dispensaries and they are currently forbidden within the city limits.  I support the will of the voters on this issue.

Diversity in local government:

I want to bring my unique life experience as a member of a minority community to City Hall.  That is one of most important reasons I am running for City Council.  Diversity, however, cannot be measured solely by skin color but life experience.  As a father, business owner and as someone who served overseas as a contractor with the US military, I want to bring my diverse perspective to the Council which I do not think is currently being heard.

Accountability to taxpayers/ratepayers:

As a small business owner, I know how to balance a budget and prioritize spending and services.  As a taxpayer/rate payer, I want to ensure I get what I am paying for.  If elected, I will hold regular office hours to hear from Lodi residents and solicit your input when making tough votes on our city budget.  Government needs to be efficient, transparent and responsive.  I pledge to bring to work to make city government even more user-friendly.

Lodi City Council Issues

Summary

My thoughts on the issues facing Lodi's 4th District residents including homelessness, crime, economic development, fiscal responsibility and representating the will of voters.

Homelessness

Homelessness is a growing problem in our community, and it has a negative impact on our quality of life.  Some just need a helping hand and a bridge toward self-sufficiency.  For these people, we need to reach out and provide resources to help get them back on their feet or reunite them with a support system like family and friends.  For those with substance abuse or mental health issues, we must provide programs that address their problems.  However, there are others who aggressively panhandle and are publicly intoxicated, high on drugs and loiter in our parks and public places.  Those who commit crimes need the intervention of law enforcement.

There are no easy solutions to the problem of homelessness but we must do more to respond to those who are forced or choose to live on the streets or in their cars.  I have volunteered my time with the Homeless Food Drive organization that provides meals to those who are down on their luck.  However, to address to the core issues behind homelessness, we also need to work with our local non-profits and charities to help people get clean from drugs or get the mental health services they need.  We need to help those with outstanding fines or legal problems resolve those issues, but we also need to ensure the homeless don't detract from the quality of life from Lodi residents either.  It will take a refocused effort of law enforcement, local government and our non-profits working together to address the growing concern of homelessness.

Crime

Every Lodi resident deserves to feel safe in their homes and free to travel in our community without fear.  Hiring police officers and firefighters is the top responsibility of our City Council.  We need more police on our streets and firefighters protecting our city.  As your Councilman, I will make your safety my top priority.

 

Economic Development

The Eastside of Lodi has not received its fair share of city resources for many years.  We are too often overlooked for more affluent areas of our community.  As a small business owner who recently purchase the old Roundhouse Bar, I understand the importance of reinvesting in our city and bringing in not only small businesses who employ the majority of our workforce but also manufacturing industry who can provide high-paying family-wage jobs.  When a person has a good-paying job, their families, our business and our community all benefit.

Fiscal Responsibility

During this unprecedented time of Covid 19, government budgets are stressed, and tough financial decision have to be made.  As a small businessman, I know how to balance a budget and live within my means.  Government must do the same and must prioritize essential services without indebting our residents for years to come.

Growth

A healthy community grows in a healthy and sustainable way.  For too long, our city was stagnant and not forward-looking.  Recently, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and we are growing at a rapid rate.  I moved to this community because of our special small-town atmosphere.  We are in danger of losing our unique sense of self if we continue to build at such a pace.

Representation

Those in minority community have not had a voice in City Hall for far too long.  Our city was required to go to district voting because there was a lack of diversity among our City Council.  I grew up on the Eastside and understand our unique challenges and potential.  I want to bring my background as a small businessman, military veteran and community volunteer to City Hall to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.

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