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City council candidate Diaz talks about public safety, homelessness — VIDEO

The residents of Las Vegas’ Ward 3 aren’t thinking about the development issues surrounding the Badlands golf course. They do, however, want more neighborhood police patrols to increase public safety. Other jurisdictions should help the City of Las Vegas with its growing homelessness population. That’s according to former Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz who’s running for the Ward 3 city council seat.

Badlands is “an issue that I’ve been hearing about through the news, through the media, but I haven’t taken a deep dive to see the progress or the intricate details behind it,” Diaz said while filming Nevada Politics Today. “So right now, quite honestly, I’ve been focused more on what my constituents in Ward 3 are telling me as I’m visiting them at the doors and introducing myself as an option for city council.”

Diaz said that after she’s elected, “I do intend to take a full dive and see where we will be at that point with the Badlands issue.”

Diaz declined to give a specific position on Badlands or the recently passed open spaces ordinance, but did say she generally wants to see continued opportunities for economic development.

“We do not want to lose those investors, developers, and projects of the nature that might, especially in Ward 3 where we have a big part of downtown, we don’t want to lose that ability to remain attractive for people to come and do business there” she said. “I think overall we do need to make sure that we do not lose sight that there is a balanced approach in any kind of ordinance.

One area Diaz thinks needs improvement is public safety.

“My constituency is saying that they want to see a little bit more of patrolling units present in the neighborhoods,” Diaz said. “And maybe a little bit faster response time. Maybe that’s tied into bringing more law enforcement officers into our neighborhoods to make sure that they’re ready and accessible to attend to the needs of our neighbors.”

The problem of homelessness is especially pressing in Ward 3. Diaz thinks the city’s “courtyard project is a good first step,” but that there’s more to do.

“In researching the homelessness issue, there’s more than one type of homelessness. And there’s different populations or categories within that,” Diaz said. “I think we have to be very specific in terms of programming needs for the different types of homelessness populations that exist.”

To do that, Diaz wants to see more help from other local governments.

“It behooves all of us — whether it be Henderson, city of North Las Vegas, the city of Las Vegas, the state — to come together and address this problem,” she said. “I think it’s a statewide issue, not just a city of Las Vegas issue.”

A legislative proposal would allow local governments to impose rent control measures. Diaz wants to take a closer look at the policy.

“We would have to see what that is, what that looks like and what’s a fair way to implement that that will have the effect that we really want it to have on the everyday constituent,” Diaz said. “I know that in my community, in Ward 3, we do want to make sure that we are able to get prices in a range that is affordable for everybody.

Another hot button issue in Las Vegas involves recent restrictions on short-term rentals. Asked if she would revisit the current policy, Diaz said, “I think there could be some balance there where we could have our neighborhoods still be vibrant safe places and also let people do business at the same time. But we need to take a close look at how.”

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