As a councilmember, Rhodesia Ransom has led the fight to address homelessness in Tracy. Ransom proposed a comprehensive plan, Project B.E.S.T. Response, and created a taskforce that worked with community and county leaders to identify funding sources and best practice models. When her other councilmembers and the mayor refused $1 million in federal funding to address homelessness and wanted to treat homelessness as a law enforcement issue, Ransom brought in the State Housing and Community Development Department. As a result of her efforts and the taskforce she created, the city was able to receive a strategic planning grant and is now creating a community-specific plan to address homelessness.
Government Accountability & Transparency
As a councilmember and a former Civil Grand Jurist Ransom has a record of standing up for taxpayers and demanding transparency and accountability in government. From 2006-2008, she provided oversight to San Joaquin County public agencies and helped exposed millions in wasteful spending, and worked to improve service delivery across public agencies. As a Tracy City Councilmember, Ransom advocated for a code of conduct and stood up against staff intimidation and the abuse of power that cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ransom referred the malfeasance and violations of the council-manager form of government to the San Joaquin County Grand Jury, an independent panel of 19 investigators under the purview of the District Attorney, who verified the allegations and mandated a response and the development of a code of conduct, which the council adopted in October 2019.
As a co-founder and executive director, councilmember Ransom has worked to provide opportunities for all youth to access mental health, mentorship programs, gang prevention, and substance abuse programs in school and community settings, regardless of socioeconomic status. When the council questioned the necessity to continue the $200k youth fund that began in 2007, Ransom advocated that we must continue the support for our youth and find ways to grow the fund beyond $200k.
Public safety is a top priority for Councilwoman Ransom. She voted in support of tools and resources for police and fire and Supported the hiring of new officers. She advocates that San Joaquin County must become more competitive to close the large gap in the amount of Sheriff Deputies needed to ensure our safety. Provided gang prevention and intervention programs for youth. Sees homelessness and the associated outcomes as a risk to public safety that must be addressed.
Economic Development and Jobs
Modernizing and repairing failing and outdated infrastructure will play a key role in building economic development in San Joaquin County. In order to attract new businesses that will provide head of household employment. We must provide the skilled workforce along with the technology, connectivity, roadways, and amenities that meet or exceed the current accommodations of the companies and industries that we want to attract. The investment will spur economic development from initiation and thereafter. We must work in tandem with the businesses whose employees are already housed in this county's numerous bedroom communities and incentivize them to take advantage of our prime location in order to benefit our community’s interest. ( ask me about my plan)
Councilwoman Ransom has dubbed addressing our community's need for diverse housing stock as “Mission Possible.” In 2017, she brought together community members, along with housing and government agencies to analyze the root cause of the housing shortages for seniors, young families, and people who work in our community, yet cannot afford to live here. She quickly found that the lack of housing policy and willingness to collaborate with the development community and comply with the spirit of the regional housing needs assessment was exacerbating the local shortage and limiting the diversity of housing stock needed to address all income levels and ages.
Transportation and Congestion
Traffic and congestion are diminishing the quality of life for many of our residents who are forced to travel 2-3 hours daily to earn a livable wage. It is imperative that we advocate funding for more modern and efficient transportation modes and connectivity programs such as Valley Link and ACE Rail. The new and improved plans for transit will help transport thousands of people to higher-paying jobs in both the South Bay and the East Bay and leave more room for goods to move in an out of our region. At the same time we must recognize that our region is building thousands of houses in almost every city in our county and beyond, and that more transit to Bay Area and South Bay jobs is inevitable. Any real solution to highway congestion must include local job creation at a pace that parallels with housing growth.