Harmon vows to battle climate change as SLO’s mayor

November 29, 2016

Heidi Harmon and supporters

At a press conference on the city hall steps, San Luis Obispo Mayor-elect Heidi Harmon reaffirmed her intent to battle climate change while in office. Harmon said she plans to push for SLO to become a net-zero emissions city.

On Monday, Harmon addressed the public for the first time since narrowly defeating incumbent Mayor Jan Marx in a race that was not decided until the final ballots were counted two weeks after the Nov. 8 election. Harmon ended up beating Marx by 47 votes, and the three-term incumbent opted not to request a recount.

Harmon said during her press conference Monday that she is thankful for Marx’s service to the community.

In addition to promising to craft policies to battle climate change, Harmon said she would promote diversity in San Luis Obispo and try to create more affordable housing and reduce homelessness. Harmon also reaffirmed her plan to repeal the city’s contested rental inspection ordinance.

The ordinance, which was adopted in May 2015 on a 3-2 city council vote, allows an inspector to enter and examine rental units to determine if the properties are safe and habitable. The San Luis Obispo Property Owners Association, as well as several landlords, are currently suing the city over the ordinance, contending the inspection program is unconstitutional.

Harmon, a longtime environmental activist, ran for state Assembly in 2014 against Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, garnering 37 percent of the vote. She chose to challenge Marx after returning from this year’s Democratic National Convention, which she attended as a delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

The mayor-elect defeated Marx despite trailing her by 726 votes after the completion of vote counting on election night. While Marx led in early mail-in ballots, Harmon led among poll voters and late mail-in ballots, which were cast after activist Kevin Rice circulated several robocalls supporting Harmon.

Harmon will be sworn in on Dec. 9. Incoming council members Aaron Gomez and Andy Pease, who will replace councilmen John Ashbaugh and Dan Carpenter, will also be sworn in that day.


Harmon should get the neurotoxin Fluoride drug from being added to our water supply, before bothering with the climate change nonsense.


Uh oh, I thought Harmon might be better than Marx.. So far she’s not looking good.

Climate Change? Really? How about security downtown, or trash reduction around town? Fixing the roads etc. Let the state and national government tackle “climate change” if they want.

Also, she seems really pro-homeless, and wants the Mega-Shelter it appears, instead of listening to the majority of the tax-paying public. After the Mega Shelter gets built it’s completely over for SLO, expect panhandler on every corner.

This isn’t looking good.


I agree. Except for her stance on the rental housing ordinance, I’m concerned she is going to be even more of a nanny then Marx. Furthermore, the new developments that are coming in are already too dense and some too tall. I think she is going to push for even smaller lots and taller buildings to try to achieve her unrealistic dream that housing can be affordable in SLO.


She may end up being “even more of a nanny then Marx” but will she be in the pockets of the developers like Marx is?, giving away city property to certain developers for pennys on the dollar?


If those developers promise to include a few “affordable” units on their way to making millions, then, yes, I think she will be in the pockets of developers.

Kevin Rice

[b]”affordable”[/b] oh joy


Climate change is a big deal, all these elected people use that as a come on,it brings in more votes and money for them to get and keep a position, most of this climate crap has hurt a lot of small business,hell its hurt a lot of business and has cost us the taxpayer nothing but money and grief.


Some of these comments are just plain mean and do not further the discussion that change is usually a good thing. Marx has been doing the same work for the whole time I have lived here, and frankly, obviously, most of us are very tired of her work, or we would not have a new mayor. Also, if you think her lashing out at the new mayor in her statement today is appropriate, well, just makes me glad we have some new members on the council. The recent lack of civility on the council was a strong indication it was time for a change. It cannot be counteracted soon enough. Good luck Heidi. You have a lot of support our here in the city.


You people are already complaining? How come nobody mentions how cute she is?


You guys just wait until the Nobel Prizes come out and she gets one for single handedly solving Earth’s climate problems! That will really put SLO on the map!



Ms.Harmon is a nice person, but I just had to laugh out loud.

For her to come out and make this statement as her first as newly elected mayor proves beyond any doubt what an idiot she is.

What possible positive action is this going to bring about?

Fixing our bad roads? Helping the homeless? Creating new jobs? Bringing down the debt? Invigorating the downtown area? Adding new parking spaces?


Forget the climate get salaries and pensions under control!


“Get salaries and pensions under control” – can’t happen soon enough! The City of SLO owes $150 MILLION to CalPERS for city employee pensions and another $92 MILLION in other long term debt. We are shelling out a $1 MILLION A MONTH just in interest to CalPERS but the regime at city hall thinks that’s ok.

Change the climate at city hall first: get rid of Lichtig, Dietrich; cut everyone’s salary in management by 10% across the board; eliminate the Rental Inspection Ordinance immediately and fire the 4-6 new employees working on it; negotiate better deals for the city with the employee unions (Katie couldn’t negotiate folding a map!) when their contracts come up. Get tough. We are going under. The debt drives ALL city decisions now, from dog leash fines ($500),to the Rental Inspection Ordinance, to unlimited building and the fees development generates.


Only thing I would tweak in “womanwhohasbeenthere’s” post is put ‘get tough’ in bold, all caps with an exclamation point – *GET TOUGH*!


Harmon said she would promote diversity in San Luis Obispo and try to create more affordable housing and reduce homelessness.


Please, that’s nothing. I’m going to cut medical expenses and medical insurance premiums, lower taxes, reduce crime, increase small businesses’ opportunities while at the same time increasing worker’s wages, get the homeless off the streets and clean up the environment.

Hey, if we’re going to engage in empty promising, why not go for it?


I wonder if we might be seeing a sanctuary city in the future?

Jorge Estrada

Which fugitives will have access to this humane opportunity or will just certain fugitives be protected? I’d suggest we start with divorced parents who are victims of predatory law and are homeless.


Maybe that’s what she meant when she said she was going to promote diversity. Yikes.