Concord City Council candidate questions: Quinne Anderson, District 1

The Concord Clayton Pioneer newspaper presented a list of questions to the candidates running for Concord City Council in the 2022 election.

To read other candidate answers, click here. For our story on all the candidates running in this race, click here.

Age: 44

Current Occupation:

Technology Sector Professional

How long have you lived in Concord?

It’ll be six years in February.

Why do you want to serve on the Concord city council?

This city has so much untapped potential, but I’ve seen no discernable progress in realizing that potential since moving here. I want to serve on city council to break up the entrenched political establishment and help accelerate Concord’s progress.

What experience or training do you have that qualifies you to make decisions for the city?

Over the years, I’ve lived in cities of varying sizes and demographics, across America and in Australia, as well—and bring the perspective of someone who has been a resident of some places that are very different from one another. I bring the perspective of someone who’s experienced a wide spectrum of policy successes and failures within those communities. And professionally, my role requires collaboration with executive leadership to make decisions that affect our customer base and impact the company’s success.

What engagement have you had in civic affairs? Do you regularly attend city council meetings?

My primary involvement in civic affairs has historically been through donations to nonprofits focused on promoting social justice, and volunteering for Vote Forward.

What do you see as the three most important issues immediately facing Concord and how do you plan to address those issues?

To start, I would likely focus on 1. disentangling the issues with the Naval Weapons Station to find a new path forward, 2. taking steps to alleviate our homelessness crisis, and 3. exploring options to improve sustainability across city infrastructure. But that’s just the beginning.

What are your priorities in making public policy?

I’m doubtful that the systems and programs in operation today appropriately reflect the demographics of our city in 2022 and beyond. I’d like to ensure that policy development is properly inclusive and genuinely representative of the residents of Concord.

Do you feel the current compensation is adequate for the job of a councilmember? Would you vote to increase it/decrease it?

As someone who is already employed full-time, I can understand why there are so few people who choose to run for these positions. The incredible commitment of time, effort, and resources that are required to properly execute the role are not reflected in the compensation. That being said, I’d be more interested in exploring a change to the structure of the role and how the city council operates in general, than exploring a change to the role’s compensation. Engagement in meaningful civil service and the development of community leaders should be more accessible to the public, and I wonder if we’re missing an opportunity to include more of the public in the administration of their own city.

Do you feel the current city council is representative of Concord?

I do not. The composition of the council does not reflect the demographics of Concord.

Do you feel city employees are adequately compensated? Why or why not?

Without access to the tools used by Human Resources professionals to determine appropriate compensation and benefits, I’m not qualified to answer that. But whatever position the government has about where we want to be on the comp scale, that approach should be applied consistently across all positions.

What does “defunding the police” mean to you? Police budget is 57% of the city’s total budget. Would you change this allocation? How?

I find that phrase to be a misnomer, and it’s often misunderstood to mean “abolish the police”. To me, it’s a plea to make more thoughtful investments of taxpayer money into delivering more effective public safety services. The police system in its current form doesn’t serve the community as well as it should. We could invest some of that massive budget into:

  • policies and programs that uplift the community, improve social equity, and alleviate underlying issues that drive people to commit certain types of crimes
  • supplementing existing emergency services with mental health and non-criminal crisis care
  • expanded and ongoing training for officers that better equips them to handle escalated situations with a broader and more nuanced tool and skill set
  • redefining the public safety objectives and success metrics for local enforcement agencies, and providing external oversight to ensure they’re being met

Should the city dedicate land for homeless encampments? If so, how much land and where in your specific district?

No one should have to live without safety, shelter, and other basic human needs. I would rather try something and fail, than keep the status quo and try nothing. There is no easy solution for homelessness, or it would be solved here and elsewhere. So I would be willing to explore piloting a program that requires dedicated land. Where that would be, and how it would be managed, are questions I can’t answer without consultation and cooperation from the community.

Do you support a “safe parking area” for campers/RVs in your district? Do you support camping in the public parks? If not, how should the city deal with individuals that refuse shelters, mental health/substance treatment or transitional housing?

Homelessness isn’t a district or city issue. It’s a humanity issue. As a community, we would have to cooperate to identify locations that could be repurposed as safe havens for the unhomed. But cooperation from the community requires that we prioritize public health and safety in parallel. If crimes are being committed or if public spaces are becoming unsafe, then ethical legal solutions may need to be explored in tandem, to protect the health and safety of everyone involved.

There are currently a number of prime properties in the downtown that are undeveloped. Do you support a tax or fine on empty storefronts?

I’d consider it. Landlords who hold properties hostage for personal tax benefits or engage in discriminatory leasing practices are bad for our community. But there may be other issues at play, so I’d need to learn more about this. I would also consider partnering with organizations that support the development of minority and women-owned small businesses to encourage a a more diverse commercial landscape in our downtown area.

How do you feel the rest of the Bay Area sees Concord? What impression does Concord make?

Sadly, I don’t think the Bay Area holds Concord in the highest esteem. Despite having twice the population of Walnut Creek, and despite being roughly the same distance from San Francisco as Pleasanton is, those two cities are both considered more vibrant places to live and visit. Walnut Creek has a bustling downtown area, is considered safe with very walkable streets, and is thought to be family-friendly with a good school system. Pleasanton has a similar reputation and is also home to a number of large companies, becoming a satellite hub for tech and healthcare industry workers outside of SF.

What can be done to make Concord a better city?

There is so much opportunity to improve Concord. In addition to addressing some of the social justice and inequality issues we face, we could invest in attracting and retaining small businesses, conduct more strategic city planning to improve the desirability and accessibility of amenities for residents, enhance the sustainability of our infrastructure to reduce our footprint on the environment and encourage alternate forms of transit, and generally make Concord a place where residents and visitors alike are excited to spend their time and money, thus reinvesting back into our local economy and community.

What personal information do you want to share Married? Children? Pets? Spare time pursuits?

Family-wise, I am partnered with a lovely man, am a quasi-stepmom to his three awesome kids, and dogparent to his and my own canine friends. In my own time, I enjoy woodworking, playing D&D with friends and brother, making mediocre art in all kinds of media, learning how to do home maintenance stuff on YouTube, going to theater and comedy performances, and listening to fantasy and nonfiction audiobooks.