Elizabeth “Liz” Perez has been a resident of Vista since 2006. She is running for Vista City Council, District 2 after watching Vista’s public safety decline and overall progress stagnate under current passive and non-responsive leadership. With a strong vision and detailed plan that addresses public safety, economic growth, climate change, prioritizes infrastructure needs, and ensures city leadership takes a more active, responsive approach to community concerns such as homelessness and affordable housing, Liz is determined to move Vista forward.
Liz has a unique background: a registered tribal member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and first generation Mexican-American. Her father, Jose Louis Perez, immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico with his family when he was a child. He loved the U.S. and considered himself a patriotic American. In 1976, at age 17, Jose Louis joined the Army. For him, it was a testament to his obligation to serve his country and one of his greatest accomplishments.
A few years after he was medically discharged from the Army, Liz’s father passed away at age 36. One of the most vivid memories that Liz has of her father is the day he became a U.S. citizen, before he was discharged from the Army. This experience motivated Liz to work on veteran citizenship issues once appointed as Deputy Secretary at the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
Raised primarily by her Native American mother and grandmother, Liz has fully embraced her Native American culture. It is not surprising that she has overcome adversity and defied statistics that prevent women of color from achieving what Liz has achieved to date. In 1997, she joined the United States Navy to honor her father as the first woman in her family to serve her country. Liz served from 1997-2005. She was honorably discharged in 2005 and spent time in the reserves. After transitioning from the Navy, Liz focused on her career. However, she struggled in the midst of the 2008 recession and became a homeless single mother. In order to provide for her family, she developed a plan to start her own business.
In 2010, Liz’s entrepreneurial dream materialized when she launched GC Green, Inc. (GCG). Headquartered in Vista, GCG is a general contracting/consulting firm, specializing in identifying and installing best of class energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy, and resiliency solutions. Over the years, GCG has created jobs and clean energy solutions throughout the United States.
In addition to becoming an industry leader in the clean energy field, Liz has served her country outside of uniform. She has a strong passion for Veterans’ issues and was selected to participate in the Entrepreneur MBA Bootcamp for Veterans Bootcamp at Texas A&M University. Liz brought the positive message of entrepreneurship to other Veterans through a fellowship at the Kauffman Foundation as well as the SBA’s Boots to Business & Ready Vet Hire program.
She has championed policy development to combat climate change and create an energy economy. She is a member of the Truman National Security Project and Operation Free. Her skills and expertise helped pass SB1409 in 2012, also known as the California Energy Security Coordination Act. The White House selected Liz as a Champion of Climate Change & Clean Energy Veteran. Further, she was selected as a U.S. delegate to both Israel and Japan as an expert on energy and water issues.
As a proven leader, Liz is not only innovative but equipped with the necessary experience to help create a more inclusive Vista.
A proven leader, Liz is innovative and equipped with the experience to create a more inclusive Vista. Once elected to Vista City Council, she will strive to enact her Vista Vision plan, which includes:
1) Building a robust plan that addresses public safety front and center, addressing addiction, creating a “Vista Detention Exit Plan” for those leaving the system to create purpose and meaning in life, homelessness, and exploring the possibility of Vista having its own police department, privatization of Vista’s community police force, reviewing the current San Diego Sheriff's Department contract and discussing delayed response times.
2) Also, exploring the possibility of our city delegating security responsibilities to merchants and property owners by providing a tax credit and/or incentive programs for those accepting this initiative.
3) Creating a livable Vista by utilizing empty buildings to create affordable housing; enacting a HERO Housing program to provide affordable housing to Vista teachers, police and fire personnel, active duty and retired military servicemen and women; provide easy access to affordable housing for underserved and vulnerable populations such as the homeless, those in transition from incarceration or rehabilitation facilities, and families with small children.
4) Developing a more cost-effective affordable housing solution that would utilize all of Vista’s vacant buildings and placing tiny manufactured homes in parts of Vista. Our city can explore tax credits for property owners that can enable this to happen, creation of public and private partnerships focused on clean energy community projects and grant funding for execution.
5) Establishing Vista as a leader in the Smart City Movement by building capacity, driving ingenuity, encouraging entrepreneurship, and supporting existing small businesses. Sustainable economic development and quality of life for Vista residents will increase dramatically with greater promotion of Vista businesses.
6) Tackling climate change issues and current health crises, including COVID-19. Liz’s Innovate Vista program will focus on ways to fight climate change, rebuild in the wake of natural disasters, and implement measures to avoid incidents like mudslides and fires.
7) Celebrating Vista’s rich history and diversity will help Vista’s tourism industry and businesses. Vista’s diversity and culture can be celebrated by shutting downtown streets and having weekly “Vista Farm to Fork” street events to unite our community.
8) Supporting education and updating schools’ infrastructure, including municipal broadband broadband, wifi connectivity and accessible Spanish speaking resources for Spanish-speaking families.
Job creation, affordable housing, quality healthcare, and creating a #VistaVeterans program that connects veterans and their families to resources and benefits earned through military service.
Bring back Made Local and Made in America. Vista and possibly all of North County, can champion this initiative.
9) Building trade programs for high school graduates, veterans and those exiting the Vista Detention Center with the “Vista Detention Center Exit Plan”.
As a patriot, Liz Perez is focused on unifying her community. “I took the oath to protect and serve our country. I did not take the oath to protect a political party, class, race, or anything else other than protecting “The People”. Now is not the time for passive leadership. I will work to ensure everyone who calls Vista home lives safely and comfortably. I am ready to serve and positively impact our community. We deserve better.”