Supervisor candidates weigh in on housing, equity during debate – The Santa Rosa Press Democrat – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Candidates vying for Sonoma County’s 2nd and 4th District supervisor seats used Thursday night’s virtual debate to sound off on equity issues impacting housing, accountability and the county’s struggle to support its leaders of color.

The debate’s focus reflected the work of its host, Los Cien, a prominent Latino leadership organization in Sonoma County.

Asked to reflect on the complaints of racial bias and discrimination that led to the departures of a pair of county department heads last year, all five candidates denounced discrimination and racism in the county. But 2nd District challenger Blake Hooper was perhaps the most critical.

A Petaluma planning commissioner and former staffer for Rep. Jared Huffman, Hooper said the county’s Office of Equity needs a bigger budget, broader authority and “more teeth.”

He said the office’s mission was beyond the capability of one agency, a relegation that he said set a “horrible” precedent.

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