ENCINITAS — After traveling around the world and back again, lifelong North County resident Pam Redela hopes to engage her community in decision-making on a municipal level.
Redela, who lives in Village Park with her husband of 20 years and their children, is running against former planning chairman Bruce Ehlers for the District 4 seat on the Encinitas City Council in November’s general election.
Redela earned her doctorate from U.C. San Diego, studying Spanish language and literature with a focus on women’s activism in places such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Cuba.
“These experiences showed me the value of collaboration,” Redela told The Coast News. “My bilingual abilities and understanding of multiculturalism were beneficial in my work with the Parkdale Lane PTA and will continue to benefit my work as the District 4 representative on the city council.”
Redela said addressing housing issues in the city is not a one-person job, and she hopes to engage with the city’s current commissions and planning groups to “design proposals that will bring the city of Encinitas into compliance with affordable housing mandates.”
“I believe that we can maintain the unique character of our city while responding to housing needs by educating Encinitas voters on the big picture,” Redela said.
Redela sees the city’s current dilemma in reaching affordable housing goals set by the state – a common occurrence throughout the state – as an opportunity to get creative with outdated and/or unused existing structures.
“My hope is that with thorough public education on the benefit of building electrification and energy-efficient redesign of underutilized spaces, we can do our part in the region to address climate change,” Redela said.
Redela said she is encouraged by the level of community engagement in the El Camino Real Specific Plan, adding that large mixed-use and housing developments are closely tied to the city’s environmental issues.
“[It’s] an attempt to find solutions to our affordable housing issue that will provide climate change mitigation by reducing mass asphalt spaces and adding more green space in the form of micro-parks, trails, greenery,” Redela said of the El Camino Real planning.
Redela is proud of the city’s active role in addressing climate change; she recognizes “climate change will not be solved day by one day by Encinitas alone.”
She also supports promoting suitability in food service and backs the idea of “reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose.”
“Raising awareness around simple lifestyle changes that add up to big environmental impact is something I am passionate about and active in,” Redela said.
Calling programs, such as the sheriff’s Homeless Assistance Resource Team and safe parking, Redela said she stands behind current community efforts to help the unhoused and would continue that support as a council member.
“We must have compassion for those who are suffering,” she said. “I will address this issue from a position of care for the safety of all by supporting existing policies and practices and working with surrounding cities to coordinate efforts. We can be an example for other cities to emulate, which will distribute the cost and responsibilities across the region.”
Crime and Safety
Redela attributes the city’s “small-town ethos” to its relatively low crime rates in Southern California.
“Folks watch out for each other,” she said.
However, Redela said the the crime she does see, in general, is related to drugs and alcohol in a concentrated area of the city.
“I would love to see us develop a micro-transit system that would allow for free local transportation, which could hopefully eliminate drinking and drinking for the patrons of our bars and restaurants,” Redela said.
She added that using the bus or shuttle could also decrease the number of cars on the road and help the local economy by reducing the need for rideshare apps – adding that fares could be kept nominal or free.
“I certainly enjoy a night out on the 101, and while I use rideshare, I would definitely make use of micro transit if it were available,” Redela said.
Read more interviews with candidates for the Encinitas City Council.