For The Madera Tribune
Long time Madera resident, businesswoman, and freelance investigative news reporter DJ Becker is announcing her candidacy for the Madera District 2 City Council race.
The seat is currently held by Jose Rodriguez.
Becker said covering the Madera City Council for The Madera Tribune for many years provided the motivation for her to enter the race. City Council positions are for an elected four-year term, and are part-time, with a $500 monthly stipend, and city health insurance is available.
“If elected to serve as your City Council member for District 2, I will continue my focus on the responsible use of your taxpayer dollars,” Becker said, “and work to improve city services and restore civic pride — to make Madera a better place for everyone to live and work.”
“I am not a politician but I believe the Madera City Council would benefit by having a fresh perspective and the set of skills that I could bring to this council. There is a lot we could do better here. I will bring that reporter’s focus when reviewing a project, a proposal or cast any vote. “ Becker said.
Becker has been endorsed by the Madera Police Officers Association and MACE, the Madera Association of City Employees. She is also a veteran of the US Marine Corps.
“As a news reporter in Madera the last 10 years I have covered, investigated and written about many city and county government issues, such as rising water rates, sewer plant issues, fires, crime and corruption,” Becker said. “In 2017, I uncovered and published city salaries and benefits in excess of $300,000 for former senior city officials. Voters demanded change in 2018 and Madera now has two new city council members and currently over a million-dollar budget surplus due to those changes and salary savings.”
More change is needed, she said, including “affordable housing, good-paying jobs, increasing safe housing for senior residents.
“I believe in serving my community,” she said. “I currently serve on the ADA Advisory Committee and the Block Grant Commission, which allocates federal funds for much needed city improvements such as sidewalks, streetlights and playgrounds and many other programs serving our community.”
She also addressed homelessness, which she said “is largely an addiction issue. I will prioritize and work with existing agencies to increase local drug, alcohol and mental health treatment services to help move addicted, mentally ill and homeless residents off our streets so they have an opportunity to live a better life.”
Groundwater contamination also is an issue, she said. “Madera has already idled several city wells due to groundwater contamination. I will work to ensure Madera recovers the $20 million in costs to drill new city wells from the large chemical companies that polluted our groundwater, as other Central Valley cities like Fresno, Sanger and Kingsburg have already done.
“The current city plan, as outlined in the 2014 city well report, is to pass those tremendous costs along to Madera ratepayers.”
She also said she believed in responsible pet ownership.
“I have been an active volunteer with our animal shelter for over 15 years. In 2019, I successfully lobbied the City Council to update our animal control ordinances and will continue to work to take Madera from casual pet ownership to responsible pet ownership.”
She said she would be a committed council member.
“I learned honor, courage, and commitment while serving in the United States Marine Corps,” she said, “and I continue to support our local law enforcement. In the 1980’s I started, successfully operated and sold several of my own small businesses, so I understand the many challenges of our business community today.”
Becker said she plans to continue to cover major news events, other than the local election, because keeping the Madera community informed through local journalism matters.
To contact Becker, email DJBecker4Madera@gmail.com. Contributions can be mailed to: PO Box 214, Madera, CA 93638.
Becker for Madera City Council District 2, 2020; FPPC #1429456.