May 28, 2021
Why Kelly Is Running
Everyday! That is how often I hear someone gushing about how much they love their small town but, for some reason, are trying to leave as soon as possible. They are fleeing fast-rising housing costs, gas prices that never go down, and a Governor that is incredibly out of touch. And honestly, as much as I love my small town, they are not wrong. At the local level, it feels as if the Board of Supervisors has given up, or at the very least does not care, especially in Southern Kern County. Our streets are in disrepair, housing costs continue to climb while wages have stagnated, our walls are covered in graffiti, our deserts are covered in trash, and if you try to help by picking up that trash, the dump will charge you for it!
I believe in the greatness of Kern County. We pump more oil than the State of Oklahoma and grow more agriculture than any other county in the country. We have two military bases, the future of Space Travel, the means to feed the world, and more renewable energy than anywhere else in California. Nevertheless, we are struggling. Our air is terrible, and the water is worse (oh, and we are almost out of it). The top-down pressure from our States would-be dictator Gavin Newsome always seems to be rolling back our constitutional rights. The economy is looking shaky as wages have stagnated while housing costs soar, exacerbated by the States' ridiculous regulations.
Those areas may be where our current leaders have failed us the most. They have shown time and time again that they lack the ingenuity, toughness, and courage required to get things done, especially when they involve pushing back on a far away Capital. Even though the residents in Kern County believe that the infringements of their gun rights are unconstitutional, our leaders remain silent. While our gas taxes continue to rise without representation, our outlying towns are left to die. Again, nothing but empty words from the Board of Supervisors. It seems as if the county has given up pushing back and has now rolled over and laid down. They refuse to listen to the people, but we must be heard. It is time we elected someone who cares and suffers the consequence of bad decisions. Someone that is from the areas that need the most help.
You may ask, what is our current leader doing to be more engaged and to fix the problems with our local government? Zack Scrviner's website says that he spends countless hours knocking on doors and talking to local residents. However, the only time he comes to Rosamond is to be in the parade. Apparently, showing off a new firehouse is more important than doing the real work to fix our county. In addition, when he is pressed on the issues, he never has any answers except to blame the Governor. At what point does he take control? When does he take responsibility for his actions? As far as I am concerned, that time is long past. The only correct answer is to send him into retirement. Let me tell you about myself and how I plan to do the work that Zack Scrviner will not.
My mother's parents survived the Japanese Occupation during WW2, while my grandfather was a guerilla fighter defending his homeland. They lived in abject poverty and quit school at age 11 to work full-time. It got so bad that a family even tried to buy my mother when she was a child. However, after moving us to Kern County in 1986, she became a homeowner and local businesswoman for over 30 years. She makes me so proud. Ever since, we have had a member of my family in Rosamond schools. My stepdad, aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews, and now my children go to the same Elementary school I did. Now, I live in Kern County with my girlfriend Shana and our children Rodney, Elisa, and Anderson. In addition, I have another daughter, Naomi, who lives just a few blocks away. I have worked my whole life in hospitality, serving others—something our current politicians have apparently forgotten is their duty as elected officials.
The three most important issues facing our county today are water, the encroachment of our 2nd Amendment Rights, and the over-regulation of businesses that keep companies away despite our low taxes.
I would relieve our county's water issues by improving infrastructure to allow our cities and towns to be more environmentally friendly and better use our water resources. First, diverting rainwater back into the ground instead of allowing it to join the runoffs where 70% of rainwater is lost to the oceans every year. This would also solve the issue of rainwater washing trash into our waterways. Second, reducing the Counties water footprint by removing all "decorative" grass from county grounds. These would be replaced with water-conscious desert landscaping, which a nearby city announced reduced the city's water footprint by 15%. Third, more investment in water infrastructure needs to be made, which I am willing to make. All of these things can be done without saddling unreasonable water restrictions and fees upon Kern County residents.
Shall Not Be Infringed! It is enshrined in our Bill of Rights for a reason. I will limit our sheriff's ability to enforce laws that infringe our 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. As a mixed-race son of an immigrant, I know that ALL gun laws are directly aimed at people of color and those without the money to pay the fees. It, unfortunately, makes sense that our Sheriffs office is one of the most deadly in the country. Kern County residents should be free to express their rights without fear of reprisal towards peaceful individuals.
Our economy is growing every year, but we must sustain that growth. That is best accomplished by ending the over-regulation of our businesses. The needless things our government spends money on would take perhaps the whole campaign to type out; however, to start, I will encourage investments that allow our students to achieve their best versions of themselves via school choice. Then I will end the Cannabis prohibition of Kern County, opening up new revenue streams and investments that will benefit us all. Finally, Working with the State to ease restrictions on home building to address the inflated housing market is also a priority.
These ideas are necessary for our county to survive and thrive. However, they cannot be achieved in a partisan fashion. They must be achieved through tough conversations and electing someone willing to put their name on the line for their ideas. It is time that we vote for someone willing to compromise to get things done and work with all parties involved.
My name is Kelly Carden, I am a Libertarian, and I am so proud to announce my candidacy to be the next 2nd District Supervisor on the Kern County Board of Supervisors.