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CCC Supervisor Diane Burgis

Insights from a Conversation with Supervisor Diane Burgis on "The Capstone Conversation" Podcast


In a revealing episode of "The Capstone Conversation" podcast, host Jared Asch converses with Diane Burgis, a Contra Costa County Supervisor, who shares her journey from environmental activism to political leadership. This episode not only delves into Supervisor Burgis's path into politics but also explores county governance's multifaceted responsibilities and impacts. For the full podcast episode click here.


Supervisor Burgis’s narrative is a compelling tale of commitment to community and environment. It illustrates her transition from running a nonprofit focused on creek cleanups to serving in significant public offices. Her story is punctuated by personal reflection and decisions highlighting her dedication to local involvement and community betterment.


Much of the conversation is dedicated to discussing the extensive scope of county responsibilities. Supervisor Burgis eloquently outlines the county's role in managing everything from public safety and environmental programs to social services, all funded through various federal and state channels. She provides insights into the unique challenges faced by areas within her jurisdiction, such as East Contra Costa, where rapid growth necessitates innovative infrastructure and service solutions.


The discussion takes a deeper dive into the growth dynamics of East County, shedding light on the developmental challenges posed by new housing and community services, including the critical need for fire protection services and adequate school facilities. Burgis emphasizes the importance of infrastructure development that keeps pace with housing to ensure community safety and quality of life.


Burgis highlights her proactive approach to economic development and discusses initiatives to attract and retain businesses, mainly through the Northern Waterfront Initiative and potential new technologies like drone testing and autonomous vehicles. Her vision extends to transforming Contra Costa into a hub for innovation, leveraging its geographical position and skilled workforce.


A passionate advocate for early childhood education, Burgis stresses the importance of accessible and affordable childcare, which she sees as foundational for community development and long-term societal health. She articulates the challenges faced by childcare providers and the impact of these challenges on families and communities.


In concluding the episode, Burgis encourages listeners to become more curious and engaged citizens. She highlights the importance of holding elected officials to high standards and the need for people of character in public service. Her message is a call to action for listeners to be more active in shaping their communities through informed participation and leadership.





This blog post is based on a conversation from "The Capstone Conversation" podcast, reflecting the participants' analyses and perspectives. The original podcast episode is recommended for the most comprehensive and accurate information.

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TRANSCRIPT provided by Zoom AI based on the recording


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Jared Asch Welcome to today's episode of the Capstone conversation. Today we are joined by Contra Costa County Supervisor, Diane Burgis.


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Jared Asch: from the East County she represents the cities of Oakley, Brentwood, Antioch, and a lot of unincorporated county


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: so supervisor. Can you please introduce yourself? And then I hit every city in your district?


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: Yeah, we have. Those are the cities. There's 18 cities in Contra Costa. But I also have the communities of Discovery Bay, Knightson, Byron, Bethel Island.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and then all these unincorporated areas like Marsh Creek, which is out


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: in the Vasco area, and my district goes all the way to Las Vegaros Reservoir


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Jared Asch: so covers a big geography out there, so tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you've gotten to your role most of my life. I went to elementary school in Lafayette, Middle School, in Walnut Creek and High school in Martinez and


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: So II I'm a contra Costa girl. I was married and lived in Alameda County for about 1415 years, but then, when I got divorced.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: it was time for me to figure out where I wanted to live. I had 3 little boys under 11


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and I decided to come back to Contra Costa County, and I wanted to live in a house that my kids could be proud of and comfortable. I wanted to live in a community that was safe.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I wanted my kids to be able to go to schools where they could


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meet whatever types of options they wanted to chase after


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and it needed to be affordable, and so I found


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a house here in Oakley.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and this is where I raised my boys. They are now all adults, and I have 2 grandsons.


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When I moved out here


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: To get a job


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I needed to make a certain amount of money, but I realized that if I took a higher paying job with benefits I was gonna be on the road at least 2 HA day.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I was going to have the extra expenses of all of the maintenance on a vehicle. and I was going to be away from my kids. And one of my kids had special needs.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And so I decided, rather than take a high paying job.


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A higher paying job. I took a lesser paying job without benefits. But I was able to be with my kids when they left for school.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and when they got home from school, and I was able to work from home. And this was before


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: Zoom and all of the the technology that we've recently been able to start using.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But I took a job running friends of Marsh Creek, and it was an organization that did pre clean ups and and cared about water and habitat, and so I incorporated it. And I got us nonprofit status.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And when I took when I took on the role of that job, the homes


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and the buildings that were being built along the creek


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: would put the like cinder block fences up against the trail, or they'd put, you know, chain link fences with with garbage dumpsters next to the creek.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And after. you know, taking on this role and and learning how to


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: build bridges because people were resistant to an environmental group out here it was mostly Ag. And a lot of development. Nobody wanted to have to deal with that


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but


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: By the time I left


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: the developers were turning the creek, the the houses towards the the creek. They were incorporating the trails into the community, and it was now considered an amenity that actually created value to the community.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And we had. We were creating thousands and thousands of volunteer hours we were. I was able to get developers to pay for these restoration projects, where we were expanding the channel of the creek so that there was better flood control,


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: protection. But also it was creating wildlife, habitat and improving water quality, and so on my last day of being the executive director of friends of Marsh Creek, I was in my waiters. I look good in waiters. And I was watching Salmon


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: swim up Marsh Creek.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and that was not. That was that was new, because we had a fish ladder, and we were creating habitat, and the weather was right, and all of that. But so because I got good at that, and I became a part of the community. I got recognized for it.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and I was named Woman of the year at the State Assembly. I was recognized by the county for my watershed work, and


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: about that time I started getting asked to run for offices. So


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: somebody asked me to off run for Oakley City council. So I did, and I was just kinda getting my feet when


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I talked to Ted Radke, who had been on the


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: East Bay Regional Park District Board for probably 30 years. I don't remember exactly how long, but he was getting ready to retire, and he was a Martinez


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: person, and he asked me to run for the East Bay Regional Park district, and with all my experience with creeks and trails and open space.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: it was a great fit, and that's a large ward. That goes all the way to Panol and to Discovery Bay. So it was a really big


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: you know, Ward, to run for, and I got elected to that, and then I hadn't been on that board for maybe a year and a half, and Mary Pfo, who was the County Supervisor in this area, approached me and said that she was thinking about retiring, and would encourage me to think about running, and so


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I've been asked to run for 3 offices, and that's how I got into the board supervisors.


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Jared Asch: That's great, and probably not your traditional path where you go from council to the parks to Supervisor. But it it goes to


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Jared Asch: a unique set of experience. And we're gonna link in the show notes to a picture of the Supervisor wearing her waiters back in the day in the salmon stream. No, we don't do that, but that there's a good one. I can send it to. No makeup hair up.


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Jared Asch: There you go. So one of the questions I get from my friends, not in government and politics. Our neighbors are, what is the county's role and responsibility


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Jared Asch: talk to us about when they call a supervisor versus City Council.


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Jared Asch: What do they do? Let's start there, and I know a lot. Half our listeners know this answer, but we're gonna refresh them the other half it'll be fresh for and then we'll we'll dive into more details.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: Well, I think the the


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: the first answer of what a county does is, I heard Governor Newsom talk about counties a few years ago, and he said.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: a large part of what counties do is what is mandated by the the State and the Federal Government through buckets of money. so that can be anything from.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: you know the safety net services


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: to you know, in environmental things, jails? You know, criminal justice. There's all all kinds of different things that are funded through the Federal and State governments.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And then there's


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: the portion of unincorporated areas that we manage, similar to what a city would manage. So that's everything, from connecting people to services to, you know, maintaining roads.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: law enforcement, you know, the sheriff provides law enforcement and unincorporated. So the county does a lot of things. And then on top of that. we try to meet the needs of our unique community. And so


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: we we


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: kind of come up with things that are unique to to


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: contra Costa. So Contra Costa County


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: has this northern waterfront that is, was traditionally a lot of industry, and a lot of that has gone away, and Contra Costa's become a community of a lot of residential the local or the economist that spoke at our retreat a couple of weeks ago, said that


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: Contra Costa is the place where people buy houses, and then they they


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: have their commutes. And II don't buy that. And so, you know, we are leaning in on economic development. You know, there's been a lot of interest in racial equity and social justice. So we recently just started to stand up a office of racial equity and social justice, and that is for us to it's still being defined.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But my vision is that we are going to be better at creating equity and


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: diversity and giving people opportunities to


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: overcome things that have not been easy to overcome in other in other times. So you know, those are just a few of the things we're you know, we're we're investing in


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: out here in East County we're going to. I was able to secure a million dollars over 3 years to invest in


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: nonprofits in East Contra Costa to for capacity building, because there was a study.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and it it was quite a while ago, probably about 10 years ago, but they said, for every $10 was being spent in West contra, Custer, there was only $1 spent in East County.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and as someone that ran a nonprofit. I understand the challenges of running a nonprofit. And so we want to build the capacity of our nonprofits out here. So those are, you know. Those are kind of the the things that we want to do that we do on top of all the other things that we're required to do


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Jared Asch: that's great. And I've seen some charts in Solano County too recently, and it talks about the nonprofit dollars. And just


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Jared Asch: you know, when you cover


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the all the other counties in the Bay Area. When you get to Contra Costa it drops substantially, and I'll try to pull up that presentation.


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Jared Asch: And then when you get to Solano. It's it's almost like it's $140 per like 100 that per


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Jared Asch: per 100,000 or something wherein that's not right per 1,000 people. It's like $143 in Contra Costa. It's like $780 wherein Alameda or Santa Clara. It's it's in the thousands per 1,000 people right? So I imagine, as you get past the central county


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: or even the I the I 80 corridor. That East County just doesn't have the development yet. Right doesn't have the history in terms of the nonprofits out there.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: The Foundation Board for the Family Justice Center Contract, Kenny, and we are also helping stand up the Solano County Family Justice Center. We are working to do that. And so as someone that you know


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: has worked in this thing. This kind of area.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: The thing that I've noticed is one. It's funders who,


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: you know, have certain goals. So you have to find those funders.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and then you have to have the population. And I think Solano County is still growing. But East County is one of the fastest growing areas in the Bay area. And so we've seen a lot of interest from funders. There's also Federal and State and county and local money.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But then you have to have the abilities, the capacity to do that. And that's not only having the people that can do the work, but it's also having the boards that can help grow them. And it's also having the outreach. And you know the


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: the visibility, the marketing, so that you can create the support. But if you have a population that doesn't have a lot of money.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: then they don't have the money to personally give. And so that's where that's why you have to be really creative and how you do it. So


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that's part of why we're we're working on that. But you know, you asked, what counties do. It's it's some people don't know the difference between a county, a city, a school district, a fire district


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: water treatment whatever at


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: all of these agencies. If you look at your property tax Bill, you'll see that each of these little these organizations get a couple cents or a couple dollars for every tax dollar that you're putting out.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And then if you look at when you go to buy something at the store and you look at your sales tax. You will see, you know, that if you, you know, look up where, wherever you're buying things, some of that money, if you're buying gas and Contra Costa. It's going to Contra Costa transportation authority. And there's a half cent that's going to the county because we passed Measure X, and then, if there's a city that has some sort of tax on there, some of that's going. And so.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: in order to really know who does what you have to kind of be curious.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and if you're not a homeowner, you're not gonna see that, because you don't, you know, have to pay that that property tax. But


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: all of these different agencies have a responsibility, and sometimes they overlap. And


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: so I'm not going to give you an exact answer of who does what and how but it? But II hope that this makes you curious to ask more questions and to to do a little bit of research.


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Jared Asch: Absolutely. So you touched on when you were talking there a little bit about the growth in East County in terms of population. And when you hear from somebody in Pleasant Hill or Fremont. They don't have any more land to to do. It becomes infill or building up on and rezoning things in East County.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: All 3 of your cities in the unincorporated areas. They still do have land, some of its farmland, some of its industrial.


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Jared Asch: but it allows for new growth in housing. Talk about how that's changing the community, the impact.


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Jared Asch: the types of people moving in.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: So I moved to Oakley 20 years ago. and when I moved to Oakley.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS:  There were, some old shopping centers from probably the fifties or sixties. There were a lot of in actually Highway 4 went through Oakley into through Brentwood. And since then the bypass has been gr has been built. There are signal light signals and and businesses and houses that weren't there 10 years ago 5 years ago. So


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: there's just been an immense amount of growth.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and the perception is that it's less expensive out here, so land is less expensive, there's more of it. but it's also more expensive to build here in some ways, because the infrastructure


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: is still being put in.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: So if you're talking about water power


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: septic arm, that septic sewage, you've got


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: all of that that needs to be brought to those places. So, you know, when you look at unincorporated Contra Costa, you go. Oh, there's all this land we should just keep building. Well, there is. There's no, there's no electric there. There is no water, there is no sewage, and and Contra Costa has a an urban limit, so there's limits on where growth can be


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: so. The cities are.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: you know.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: open to, and and they've zoned things to to to build, but they're still catching up on


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: getting all that infrastructure, and on top of that. when Prop 13 was established years ago.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: The challenge out here in East County was that it was an Ag area, and they did not anticipate the type of growth that we would have. And so when they


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: put certain percentages of the tax dollars to certain things that was based on that time.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: Well.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: come. To now


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: we weren't giving money to fire at the time Prop 13 was built or set up


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: There were volunteer fire agencies out here. There was, you know, only a couple of 1,000 people.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and now there's hundreds of thousands of people. There's tons of roads. There's industry, there's, you know, all kinds of stuff. And so that infrastructure was not there. And so we struggled for many years because the fire district out here


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: a little over a year and a half ago we had 3 fire stations protecting Discovery Bay, Brentwood, Oakley, Bethel Island, Byron, and Marsh Creek.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: It was over 250 square miles, almost a third of the whole county.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and 150 people, 9 people, 3 stations protecting all of those


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: hundreds of miles of roads and houses spread out today.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: There's 19 people. There's 4 stations, 2 stations about to be built. So we're gonna double the amount of stations we're gonna have


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: double almost tripled the number of people. Actually responding, we're building another station in Antioch. We were able to take


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: the East Contra Costifier Protection district, which was align on your on your taxes when you were looking at your property taxes, and we were able to take that agency, and we got it all cleaned up.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and then I was able to have to persuade my colleagues on the Contra Costa County Fire Board, which is another agency that I sit on with the rest of the Board of Supervisors.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and we were able to annex that whole district into Contra Costa fire. And so today things are better. But that's infrastructure that wasn't there before.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And so when you ask about the growth, it's building the houses. It's building the schools. It's building all of the different infrastructure that people expect when they move out here.


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Jared Asch: Right that. And that's


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Jared Asch: right. The school has to be there to match the houses, and it's


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Jared Asch: who goes first. It's a chicken and egg. Does the school go first, or does the population and the housing go first, and II pulled up stats just to compare. And I know we're talking a a bigger area. But what is today now? Oakley in 1970 had 1,306 people. In 1990 it had 18,000 people. And today it's got more than 41,000 people


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Jared Asch: definitely on its way past 50,000 plus people. So just astronomical growth out there.


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Jared Asch: one of the areas you talked about earlier was, people come and live in Contra Costa County, but they don't necessarily work here.


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Jared Asch: You talked about your long commute. It came up with the Mayor of of Brentwood, Joel Bryant, when he did his podcast episode


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Jared Asch: is how far the people have to commute. And this comes up even in in central contra, costa, county right?


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Jared Asch:  how do we create the jobs? Here? We clearly have the population. We clearly have the educated workforce. We have good schools at at the high school level all around.


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Jared Asch: What do we need to do from an economic development standpoint?


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: It's something I think, about all the time. And I am not an economic development expert. But I try to bring those folks


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: in and create


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: partnerships with the cities in the region.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: To to think about it. A couple of things. First of all, II don't think it's right that transportation money is only tied to our housing supply. You'll hear the tech the term Rena, which is rhna numbers, and that is as a metropolitan region. What determines our our transportation dollars?


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I think it's unfair that we keep getting burdened with all the housing


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and not getting the jobs. So so that's the first part.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: there is


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: a this is my kid cat. There is a lot of opportunities. And


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with before Covid, we were working on a


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: creating an East Contra Costa partnership. And one of the things that you'll that II can send you, but is, if you look at the workforce


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and a map of contra cost of California.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: We are the center of the Mega region of Cal, of Northern California. And if you think about California, is it now the fifth or fourth largest economy in the world? Something


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I don't know. Even if we are the sixth largest economy. Okay, I'm trying. II try not to exaggerate. Contra cost, I think, is the ninth largest county in California.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: We are part of the Bay area. If you look at the education


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and and the abilities of this workforce. we are perfect for for businesses to start building their their companies here. And so


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: we are capitalizing on our geographic


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS:  location, our workforce.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And we're trying to put the welcome ad out for a lot of things. So the Northern waterfront initiative, we've done a lot of studies that show kind of the different industries that would be appropriate here.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: We've done some interesting things in in, and that's like we've got the over at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. We're doing autonomous vehicle testing.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And I did a I was at an event where they were discussing how that all came about, and as someone that has an airport in my district, the Byron airport, and someone that sits on the Airport Committee for the County cause. We also have Buchanan airport.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: It started to make me think about. Well, if we can do autonomous vehicle testing, why can't we do drone and other


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: emerging technology aviation testing at Byron?


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And it again, I have no background in aviation or an economic development or in airports. But I you know it was an idea. I put out the idea and we got amazing results. We had the Faa working with us. We had


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: these emerging drone technologies. And it's not just the actual drones, but it was like the technology where you manage the airspace. It's the different types of technologies that go with it. And it's all the different uses.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And so we were able to secure a


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: an agreement with the University of Alaska that had this testing certification with the Faa. And so they are able to let people come in and do certain types of testing with drones. And it's not just the drones that maybe would deliver a package because we are doing those. But that's also


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: cargo planes that will be flying autonomously in the future to deliver to areas. It's people movers.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: The Jetsons is, you know.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: is coming our way and and it's, you know, fire protection. It's agriculture, it's engineering, it's water. It's all kinds of different things. And so we have been able to bring people both to the Buchanan and the Byron airports to do testing and development of new systems that will be in the way. So


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that was just one of the things that we we worked on


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Jared Asch: well. And I wanna add to that, right? Amazon is testing delivery of drones to suburban areas. That would be. It's not urban, and it's not rural. It's putting it behind somebody's fence.


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And there's technology out there where the drones can avoid a pool and avoid a barking dog or something that's down there and resurface.


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Jared Asch: And it's a new way. So is that coming in 2024, no, but


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: making sure we're leading the way for those jobs to be here. It could it could come. So


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: the interesting thing about the Byron airport is that it is rural. So it gives the advantage for people that maybe want to like test things but not have it be so public.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But it's also in the proximity of kind of this windier area so that they get to test some of the different kinds of conditions. We are also on the rail lines. We are in the


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: logistics areas between Tracy and Oakley having the Amazon.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: There is all kinds of opportunities, as far as that goes. But I also wanna say we have communities that are open to being those testing. And I have


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: probably 3 or 4


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: or several will say,


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: senior communities. And that's gated, and you know. But these are early adopters of technology. They are open to that. And they would love to have that. And it's not just Amazon. It's like


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: pharmacies. It's hospitals could be using drones to move labs, you know, samples or other things and keeping cars off the road that you know we're already congested


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: so it could happen in 24. II don't see it imminent.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But the way things move. Sometimes I wouldn't be surprised.


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Jared Asch: Well, and I've talked to when you talk about transportation. I've talked to companies that do helicopter transit and would love to get to


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Jared Asch: Contra Costa. You know, where they could pick people up at like the Walmart Creek National Guard Armory, or Byron, or conquered naval Weapons station and land a helicopter and fly you to Sfo, even right? And and yeah, I think that's gonna actually be one of the first uses of these people movers. Is that


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: a. They will have these people movers going from airport to airport.


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Jared Asch: and


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Jared Asch: I am a big fan of the ta autonomous vehicle testing at Goementum station that you were alluding to, and I definitely think there is an economic tie in to


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Jared Asch: Buchanan airfield which is closest to it logistically, and


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building out an ecosystem, I think Ccta, which oversees that has barely tap the surface as they look to expand it for


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Jared Asch: recruiting high paying jobs into that region, and I think it could match some of the stuff you were alluding to, you know, out in East County as well. Right? But there is a whole ecosystem where contracts that could be leading in autonomous vehicle, testing whether it's drones or cars and whatnot, and it ties into the airports for logistics and business hubs.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: State of California map. And you look at Contra Costa as the drown flies. We are really close to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton, which is a logistics area.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: We were right there in the middle of it. And and that's why, you know, we have a history of industry. And and there's all of these other industries that we can pursue, and I and we will continue to do that.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And II would like to lean in more on that.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But I also feel like there is, we can create something that we are good at, that. We are known for that, you know, similar to Silicon Valley or Alameda. You know, we could have our own niche, and that's why I've pursued it. And and just a few years we've actually seen these companies come here. I just met with a company


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from


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: Asia that wants to put their headquarters somewhere here in California.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and Who knows? We may see, you know, testing a headquarters and manufacturing in the future.


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Jared Asch: Right? That's great growth for the county. So always plug. Let me know what I could do to help, because I'm a big fan of that. And and that's an area I know a lot about. I wanna


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Jared Asch: pivot to another area that I know is passionate of yours and of mine with young kids still in preschool. You talk about childcare and


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Jared Asch: helping more people. What? What are sort of your views on it? And what is the county's role in helping with childcare.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: So I think that


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: a lot of the things that we are dealing with


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that people are concerned about could be


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: positively impacted if we did better. As far as child care goes.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I feel like there are folks


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that can't go to work because they don't. They can't afford child care.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: There are folks


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that would benefit from parenting classes and having help.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS:  you know, looking at their kids and their milestones to make sure that if there is some delay that they're actually leaning in on it.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I think that you know we've talked about the growth in East Contra Costa. because so many people have come from different areas. we're still creating a community.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And I feel like there is so much to. II benefited greatly from a cooperative preschool that I


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: took my kids to when I first started having kids because I was able to develop relationships with other moms and dads. You know, we're doing the same thing and being able to see all of our kids that were within a certain, you know, a few months of each other to see all of the developmental milestones. We're able to support each other in the


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: The journey of being a parent, and it helped me connect to my community. So I was able to like get involved in things


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: so


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: early. Childhood. child care and and programs, I think, are the beginning of helping curb.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: You know, doing better in school. If our schools are doing well, that's an amenity to a community where people want to go. So if we can make all of our kids more successful, it's, you know, it's great


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: having each kid be able to meet their potential means that perhaps will curb some of the mental illness, or the substance abuse, or the cycles of poverty or crime. You know I feel like if we can get in there early.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: We can help people avoid some of the things that that are are really a challenge for the services that we provide as a county.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I also think that. And we don't pay


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: child care providers enough. And so one of the things that I've leaned in on was that one. We were having a hard time attracting and recruiting childcare providers for our head start program.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And so we created a signing bonus and a retention bonus.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And so we're hoping that we're going to be able to


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: create more spots in our head start program and that we're going to be able to attract people that are interested in in developing as child care providers. And I think what I've under what I understand is that these schools are having a hard time with recruitment


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and retention. And so, you know, a lot of people go from, you know, the preschool programs into the higher you know the elementary and up. And so I feel like we're helping create a bench


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: for that as well. And II think that's a really good beginning of curbing things for the future


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and making people more successful and happy and healthy.


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Jared Asch: It's a it's a fine line of balancing act as somebody who's


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we'll be done with preschool for my youngest this year and and been through it. I've seen


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Jared Asch:  I've seen how it's hard to keep teachers because of the pay one. There's just not enough preschools in general. Right? They get filled up, especially the good ones. But then there's not enough teacher. There's Teacher turnover, because


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Jared Asch: for for the price that you pay them. They can go become a regular teacher, or even a sub, and and make same amount of money. And it's a lot less headache than changing the diapers or kids naps and and dealing with that. So it's it's very rewarding work. And at the same time. Working parents, especially if you're a single parent, it


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what's the balance of how much can you pay to increase those wages? So it it.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: There's this conundrum that does need to be worked on. you know. for those of us that could afford preschool.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: It is imperative that everybody gets that, because


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: when you put your child into kindergarten, and there's a group of kids that haven't been prepared for kindergarten that takes away that makes that job harder for the teacher. And so if we can lift everybody up, that gives everybody more opportunities. And


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: and we want kids to succeed, we need, you know, contra, Costa is and and


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: California.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: We're aging. We need a good workforce in the future. We need to prepare them, and


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: we need to make sure that they are healthy, happy, and prepared to learn and enjoy it. And there, that that's what I think. Early childhood


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: preschool programs. Do they get kids ready? And they help parents understand


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: how to help their kids be successful.


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Jared Asch: That's


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Jared Asch: yeah. I think you said that. Well, so I appreciate just that perspective. And and having a community leader that is paying attention to it, because I don't think there's a lot that are so. I appreciate that. My last question that I ask everybody is. What haven't I asked yet. What should we talk about in the final minutes here.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: you know


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: II think it's


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I would say I would request people be more curious.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: It's so easy to, you know. Get information and base everything on just what you know people are saying to you, or what you're hearing on the news, whatever sources you're getting.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And I just. I want people to be more curious. I want people to


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS:  hold their elected leaders higher, you know. I was listening to something yesterday, and


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: they were talking about all these different things that are happening. And and someone said, Well, that's based. Everything that we've got set up right now is based on people of good character running for office


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: people that know you know what they're doing. And unfortunately, I don't think


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: we're always getting that pool of people. And so


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: II want you to be curious, and I want you to hold people


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: to those standards that we expect.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: And you know II try very hard to do that. And I take this this job as a


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: It's a privilege. And


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I hope that we we hold people to to that level, and I would like to encourage people


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that have that mind set to run for office, because, yeah, it's hard.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: But we need more people that are


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: that are even healed and ready to do the work of the agencies.


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: I don't know. That's


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: as we go into election season. I'm I'm please hold people to that higher


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SUPERVISOR BURGIS: expectation.


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Jared Asch: II use the term role model. Is this the person I want to show my kids their


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Jared Asch: temperament and behavior and show them respect?


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Jared Asch: so I appreciate that that sediment there. So thank you today, Supervisor Diane Burg, Burgis, Contra Costa county.




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