REDDING, Calif. - A Redding City Council candidate says the crime rate is top priority on his agenda.
Building supply owner and developer Brent Weaver held a lunchtime rally at a riverside park in downtown Redding Friday.
He chose Parkview Park as a backdrop, near where the Free Bridge was, just south of the Cypress Avenue Bridge. It's an area that's been cleared out and cleaned up so it can be used for picnics, fishing and other family-friendly activities.
Weaver was the first person to announce his candidacy, and he's hoping to set the early agenda by focusing on Redding's struggles with crime.
"We need a reclamation in our community with public safety, and I thought the Free Bridge location was a striking example of an area that had fallen into decay and has been reclaimed by concerned citizens who want to use it," Weaver said. "They want to bring their children here. The same thing needs to take place in our community with public safety. I love this park."
Heather Phillips, Coordinator of the Parkview Neighborhood Association, spoke about cleaning up this neighborhood, known as a haven for drug dealing and other illegal activities.
Phillips lives in the neighborhood, on State Street, and she said the key to turning around a neighborhood is to know your neighbors.
"[Know] all of them. Even the homeless people, or people who live across [Highway] 273 from us in this trailer park, they're just the regulars that come back and forth to go to the store. They're on their bikes or whatever. I know all of them, they know me by name, and if they saw something weird going on or somebody that they'd never seen there, they'd tell me. So I think just by having that human connection with your neighbors, all of them, gives them reason to be like, okay, I want to protect that person."
Weaver said he plans on having more rallies between now and November.
Six people have filed papers with the intention to run for three seats: incumbents Missy Mcarthur and Francie Sullivan, as well as Weaver, Michael Daquisto, Kristin Schreder and John Patterson.
The deadline to qualify for the election isn't until mid-August.