Roisin Russo believes that Santa Ramona Valley needs change. Not long ago she came across a severed foot close to the studio she owns (the Sheriff’s Department are still investigating this). She frequents both Northside (where she lives) and Southside, and she sees her fair share of drug addicts and dealers. And she would love to see our trails and beaches cleaner than they now are.
Ms Russo is therefore running for Mayor. Owner of a modeling agency close to where Northside and Southside meet, she hails from Chicago and has lived in Santa Ramona, where she has family, for around two years. Her current home is
in Bel Aire.
She has integrated herself well into the life of the city in the time she’s been here. Before opening her agency she owned Wolfe’s, the bar in the center of town. Before it was abolished she spent time as a member of the City Council, and has previously run for Mayor, though that attempt had to be abandoned for personal reasons.
Her platform focuses on what she calls her “three fundamentals” of building a strong community, cleaning up our city and employment.
She hopes to build a community by encouraging activities that have community involvement, such as a clean up. “I’m not scared to get my hands dirty so I would be right there with everyone else pitching in” she says. She believes that sort of activity will make people get to know one another better.
She also proposes that Santa Ramona set up a drugs program, a big one, with zero tolerance for drug dealers and suppliers. She will work with both the Sheriff’s Department in Northside and the Police Department in Southside to get this done. And she wants a rehabilitation program to help addicts kick the drugs.
He solution for the huge problem of unemployment in the city is not just investment. Santa Ramona is already an attractive destination for investment, she argues. What we now need, she says, is to focus on getting people into employment, and to achieve this she proposes, if she become Mayor, to set up a centralized employment agency where people can easily go in and see what businesses are in need of workers.
Her appeal to voters, she believes, is that she lives in Santa Ramona, her children were born here and she has a clear vision of how we all can move forward. She describes herself as “the woman who will fight for a nice clean green city, housing and poverty issues and safety and security for us all every time,” she says.
Voting will take place from June 9 through June 11 at 9am.
The Chronicles will carry interviews with the other two candidates in the next few days.
(This article has been amended for security reasons to be less specific about where Ms Russo lives.)