Homelessness Hurts

The job of elected officials is to work to make good decisions for their communities.

In challenging economic times, needs grow and resources must stretch, making the decisions harder. Yet many would agree that children are a priority.

More than 13,200 homeless children were served in our region in 2010.  In fact, the majority of people in homeless families in San Diego are children. 1

Communities are discovering that they can save money by housing people experiencing homelessness.2



A few weeks ago I sat down on a bench at the pier and spoke with a few homeless individuals. I simply asked “what do YOU need”?

The 1st response was LAUNDRY! Then showers, shelter & medical help. OK so I have to give a SHOUT OUT to the local churches and other volunteers that make sure that nutrition is available & trust me, everyone I have spoken to is so grateful.

I also want to give a SHOUT OUT to OPD ! The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) is in it’s infancy and they have gotten over 35 individuals back into homes in a 10 month period ! The model includes case management which is an important factor to connecting people to the right services and then facilitating that process.

I have done some research and realize that instead of being angry about the volumes of people on the street & the preconceived notion that they are all on drugs, choose to be on the street or mentally ill.

Yes, these demographics exist but they also exist on a percentage basis in every microcosm! In one neighborhood alone, there are drug users, mentally ill, physically ill, thieves and people that live off the system.

Did you know a lot of the homeless are from Oceanside> Grew up here, worked here, owned homes here, have kids that go to school here! One woman slept outside with her two kids for 2 1/2 months and got those kids to school, sometimes un-bathed for 3 days!

So this is how I see it, homelessness can be dramatically reduced through a Tri-City effort: Vista O’side & Carlsbad take ownership an equal share of a coordinated effort.

And so since we are #3 in the country on average in homelessness, why are we only #18 in Fed Funding? Also, there is a county program called “Keys to Housing” which has templates and tools to get started on efforts within our community. Places like Portland have implemented real creative solutions…

A couple of people told me that there clothes are dirty so how are they going to interview? When they fill out applications, they have no mailing address or phone number.  To get Medical to get help for illnesses (mental & physical) they must have a CA State ID! OK so now they have to get to DMV and then they only mail ID’s so again, no address, no card.

So let’s say, for those who want help, you go mobile. There are vehicles that have laundry and showers that can go to where services are needed. Let’s say also that we have a van that goes to the pier every other Wednesday and takes anyone who wants an ID to the DMV and see if PO Boxes ca be set-up at Brother Benno’s for mail to be received! Then, on Thursday the van goes to the pier with Medical applications and helps people fill them out. What about on Saturday morning a van shows up and takes people to Brother Benno’s for lunch and haircuts and shaves!

There are just so many possibilities to really reach out and give fellow residents a hand up.  This is what builds community and then those helped will then help the next group!

What are your thoughts?






“It may look like a van. It may just be a hot shower and a washer and dryer, but ask yourselves where that van is going to take us,” Simitian said. “I know there are men and women in this crowd that are going to take a shower, clean up, find a job that will be the ticket to a better life to permanent housing and their continued role as members of a larger community.”


Keys to Housing.org

Keys to Housing (Keys) is a broad, regional coalition committed to ending the solvable crisis of family homeless in San Diego County. With over 100 members from the social services, government and healthcare sectors, the Keys coalition has been working since 2010 to create an achievable vision for supportive, sustainable housing and increased opportunities for our most vulnerable families

“Backyard” Skate Parks: Save Our Streets (SOS) Eastside





Last night I went to a gathering at the Baldarrama Park Recreation Center: Eastside Neighborhood.

One topic of confusion was the removable of the prior skate Park. Neighbors were told it was because of the kids hanging out and causing trouble. The City manager stated it was because neighbors abutting the park complained about NOISE, not because of the kids were a “bad element”. This was important because it shows how there are breaks in the dialogue between local government and the Eastside neighborhood.

A huge break in dialogue was the fact that the City employees in Neighborhood Services were not aware that there were 3 murders in the neighborhood in 3 months: Annabel’s was known but not  the other 2 young adults.

There was A LOT of dialogue last night but I want to focus on how to get a skate park back so that kids have something to DO. Several people wanted to know about what the “process” is in order to get the park back.

Safety & security & ways to suppress noise were the issues that emerged.  Many shared various ideas but it is of my belief that noise should be mitigated & park hours managed by the police or the community AND not depend on city money to SAVE LIVES. We need to save lives regardless of money!

I have already researched skate parks because on my mass transit campaigning, kids told me all about how they can’t skate on the Strand and they get ticketed a lot.  Looks like their is a real shared need among our youth. I see it as easy to do!

The concern for everyone was funding, except for Anabell’s family. Where there is a will, there is a way. I see the solution as get funding for a park by the Tony Hawk Foundation and have the neighbors themselves solve the concerns of security through volunteers! Also, for noise mitigation solutions, we will confer with experts in the field & residents. One suggestion is to go to the Skateboard Association International. There are design factors and different materials used to reduce noise.







17134404-mmmain images

Please note, this is not a full recap of last nights meeting. I thought I would focus on recreation for the kids.



Union Tribune October 2016 Statement

Cynthia Rocco

Stock market investor

I have 30 years experience in business & stock market. I truly care about people & have a contagious energy and belief that everything is possible! Some areas of focus include mixed housing & job diversity, improved transit, enhanced services & help for seniors, vets & homeless, and enhancement of all coastal resources. I will fight to preserve our quality of life through “thoughtful growth” so ALL can live, work & play in the greatest town for generations to come! Learn more at rocco4mayor.com.

Wood has OPD remove resident, & have her arrested 9/21/16

Jim Wood accepted $1000 campaign contribution from Helgrens  hmmmmm

(public speakers,30, were in council to speak up for Helgrens when they were not going to renew their Harbor lease!)

now lease is renewed hmmm

Human Rights in Oceanside: LGBTQ Candidate Questionnaire 2016

Hello, I was recently asked 2 questions by Max, the director at the Nortth County LQBTQ Resource Center. Here are my responses (link to all candidates who chose to respond at:  http://www.ncresourcecenter.org/)

LGBTQ Center:

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) publishes an annual Municipality Equality Index (MEI) score for over 400 municipalities in the United States that rates the quality and efficacy of nondiscrimination laws, the enforcement of those laws, and a city’s overall relationship to the LGBT community, among other things. HRC rated 55 California cities in 2015; in North County, Escondido received an MEI score of 60 (out of 100), while Oceanside received an MEI score of 97.

What changes, if any, would you make to maintain or improve your office’s relationship to its LGBT constituents?

CM Rocco:

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Municipality Equality Index (MEI) scored our city of Oceanside with a score of 97 out of 100 points. This is a sign of true progress and is testament to a small group of individuals in our community organizing for justice and making a true difference in the lives of others.

However, the work is hardly over.  Our rating of 97 includes bonus points and our score is a baseline of 87.  Even though we can only get rated a 100, we must strive for 120 maximum points. It is of my belief that to achieve continued and expanded success it is critical to formally establish a Human Rights Commission.

There is a need for modeling best practices of other cities, corporations and even globally to stay on the cusp of advancement. This would include assessing laws, policies and procedures on all levels of the city, its agencies and institutions (Ex. schools) to implement a strategy specific to transgender individuals.

I will request all council member to proactively reach out to our community engage in conversations and activities at the new and exciting LGBTQ Center.  It is up to us to embrace equality on a highly visible level.  It is giving others the same level of respect and rights that the majority has come to expect.

A long term goal would be to establish human rights criterion and assessment of local businesses and honor our LGBTQ friendly businesses by the city HR Commission according to a form of Equality Index.

LGBTQ Center:  Many scientific studies have concluded that 40% of homeless youth (ages 12-24) are LGBT, which is disproportionate to the 10% representation in the general population. [Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness]. Homeless youth are at a much higher risk of victimization by human traffickers, hate crimes, unsafe sexual practices, mental illness, and suicide. Lack of affordable housing is cited as the primary reason for youth homelessness.

How would you use your office to address the problem of homeless LGBT youth?

CM Rocco:

If we all look back to being young, we all remember the need for acceptance, the pressure of peers, the first day of high school, even our first prom. Now imagine a scenario where you know you are LGBT or Q and that you are unable to talk to your parents and be constantly hiding who you are.  Instead of a pimple, you are so scared at the thought of prom because you are in love with a member of the same sex and fear mockery or being bullied.

It is incredibly critical as a leader in government that Oceanside embraces the facts that LGBTQ children live throughout our community and many are screaming inside for help.  It is important to prevent our kid’s homelessness before it happens. Naturally we need institutional changes to provide sensitivity training to the gatekeepers of children’s lives from teachers, law enforcement, coaches etc. but this is just a start.

Visibility of out-reach and LGBTQ support services must be established. The LGBTQ Center and establishment of a city HR Commission can guide us.  Kids need to be helped in becoming aware of how and where to get help before a tragedy occurs. A great start may be the establishment of a page on our (City) website dedicated to LGBTQ services for adults and youth.  School websites and bulletin boards need to display LGBTQ hotlines and suicide hotlines like The Trevor Project.  A place like the Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco could be established within our borders. We can do this!

Many places have already implemented programs that help governments, schools and groups to help kids.  Best practices already exist. We need to learn, follow and then begin to innovate ways to help our kids and keep them safe and feel included. I want to help prevent avoidable isolation and loneliness.

Everything is possible and our youth deserve our best. I pledge to support and be engaged in the LGBTQ community of Oceanside and keep our community visible, especially for our youth because they need to know where to go when they need help and that they will be embraced for being exactly who they are.


Fresh Idea for O’side: Special Team just for GRANTS

To maintain a responsible budget in perpetuity, many social, environmental, and even infrastructure funds, are available for access through GRANTS & funding from OUTSIDE sources.

I want to create a GRANT SEEKING/WRITING TEAM in the city that will continuously be seeking, applying for & coordinating funding sources for EVERY department! There are incredible federal state & county resources & why shouldn’t we try to attain the $$$ because someone else is going to!

There are many websites but here is an example of what is out there & examples of grants for every area from senior services to pedestrian safety. The list is long!
Please LIKE my FB page & keep informed of more ideas & extras!

Here is the link to a grant site:


GrantWatch is the largest grant search engine and database in the U.S.A. Find a grant for your nonprofit or small business.

Young Teens Have Needs Too

Today I took the Sprinter to El Corazon. I waived my signs for a few hours on the corner of O’side Blvd & Rancho Del Oro and happened to talk with the kids who were walking.  Most had come from 2 different high schools & one from Lincoln middle school, with each having to walk a 1/2 mile or 2 miles either to or from the Sprinter station just to get home!

Here’s what they had to say:

Since there are no longer school buses, the Sprinter & buses should be free for students. These kids can’t afford the extra expense which creates more stress.

At 16, they are applying for jobs but don’t get hired because of their lack of experience!  They have applied to places like Target & Sears.

“Suppliers” get them weed and booze. This means older friends or friends of friends, not just random people.

Parents are not being good role models: some drink or smoke weed with them or around them. I am sure this is not universal but I was surprised when I heard this!

There’s a book that is required for an English class that is inappropriate & insensitive to black kids. It uses the N word throughout the book, talks of beatings and other unthinkable acts that this student found to be quite disturbing. She is black & to hear the N word from other kids and the teacher is just wrong and offensive. She is 16 years old.

Pot and edibles contain unknown levels of potency which is dangerous. If it was legal then the drug level would be defined so kids would not be unknowingly over-taking amounts of say, Liquid Gold.  They seem to think that if it were legal then it wouldn’t be so tempting. There could be a grain of truth here because at this age defiance against authority is common.

I asked when kids start and why they thought so many kids start smoking weed. …..Stress! Once you get to 7th & 8th grade, school workloads go up. The amount of homework can keep them up till 2am!

They feel like teachers don’t really care and that some don’t even pretend to care. It is when they get one that really tries to help them and push them to do better that they respond positively.

Teachers only focus on the CST’s and most follow their own curriculum and don’t even use a textbook. Now this is their perception and their experiences and does not mean that this is representative of an entire school system. Yet we need to take heed that there is the possibility that there is some truth to this. (I spoke with 7 kids, 3 different schools).

Oh and MONEY or their lack of is a HUGE barrier for things like sports, extracurricular activities and simply having access to a computer to do their schoolwork.

Since textbooks are almost null, reading and homework must be done on-line. Lower income kids get used computers that break down or outdated. Then they need to print out information and some don’t have printers and let alone the cost of ink alone is astronomical.

If they want to do sports, the uniforms, the cleat’s and the insurance just to play football is just unaffordable. When there are fundraisers, the JV teams have to give the money to the “best” teams (VARSITY) and hopefully they get some. It doesn’t seem fair to them because they don’t get the direct benefit of their efforts!

Fighting and gangs are troublesome. One of the girls I spoke to was originally from Eastside and the young girl that was recently killed was her friend. Her boyfriend was in ROTC and he was sharp & a well mannered young man.

This is the deal…kids are stressed out by many factors & they just wish things were more “chill”. We need to think about how we all can reduce their barriers to success and be much more supportive, especially during the pre-teen stage.

I know this was a lot but kids really have a lot on their minds!





Blue & Gold Awards 2016
Blue & Gold Awards 2016

So, a few weeks back, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosted a candidate forum the Life of Liberty location near Harbor Freight.

I met so many members of the NAACP & I felt the love, kindness & caring which literally filled the room. I really really felt embraced and got swept up in the energy of a united group, 100% dedicated to improving the lives of others.

Last night I was blessed to attend the Blue & Gold Gala where the people within our community were recognized: game changers at all levels that give so much of themselves to help bridge the gaps of inequality. Did you know we have a team in Oceanside that helps the NAACP provide scholarships to young kids every year? This year an endowment for $2,000,000 was gifted to the NAACP to provide scholarships to children for college and university: “education is the great equalizer”.

I need to give a special shout-out to Mrs. Gwen Sanders…I met her a few weeks ago and last night she received an award.  There is something quite special about Mrs. Sanders. She is kind, gentle and always smiling.  Having spoken with her on but a few occasions, I felt her inner strength, the fire in her soul to give to others before herself yet she carries herself with great humility. I can only hope to be half the woman she is…

Cindy  🙂   10/2/16

P.S. Satia …you are a rock!. You are a leader that rolls up her sleeves and jumps in the trenches with the troops! Last night was spectacular and I loved the story of how you started as a young lady and worked your way through every type of position to rise to be the President of our NAACP here in O’side.



Thank you ACTION & Rancho San Luis Rey mobile home park :)


So my very first forum was hosted by “ACTION” at the Rancho San Luis Rey mobile home park. I was so excited but quite nervous as this was my FIRST mayoral forum! I baked some brownies and they were a hit!

First, I was so  impressed at the caring nature of the people who lived their and the forum hosts: ACTION.  This is the acronym for Alliance of Citizens to Improve Oceanside Neighborhoods (action4oceanside.com). This is one of many mobile home parks that must be cherished and protected.

I was raised to always respect my elders and I have the utmost regard and a fondness for those that are like my mom & dad and my grandparents.  Times are not easy and especially  on a fixed income! Medication costs themselves can make or break a budget since Medicare does not cover prescriptions.

These are the golden years for many O’side residents and so they should be. Anything that can help to support the preservation of income is essential.  This most definitely includes the ability to stay and live in this town: the diamond of all So Cal coastal cities and most likely the place where many seniors have raised their families in. Controlling rent is so critical because it consumes most of the monthly income needed to survive AND live a good life.

Let’s continue to reduce the financial stress that burdens people’s minds (Veteran’s included) and instead focus on what can be done do add to a full and satisfying life.  Being social, eating well, going to the doctor, staying fit are what I want my parents to be doing and so I strongly feel the same about all senior’s and vets.

As a city, we have a fundamental duty to take care of those that took care of us and built the world we live in.

Thanks again for inviting me into your home and allowing me to listen to what you all have to say! Next time more brownies!

Cindy 🙂



Candidate Night @ Sunset Market


Candidates Night 9/29/16

At “Sunset”, I had some real quality conversations.

I listened & learned from concerned residents and, as always carry my little notebook with me to make sure I record what people have shared.

I was shown photographs of an area behind the Jr Seau Recreation Center down on the North Strand. The area behind the building, where it meets the cliff, is a collection of debris, including needles, feces, and a broken boys bathroom window.



We MUST support small businesses & entrepreneurs .. they are vital to our economy!

The city has gone through time and again to clean the area & the residents applauded the effort of OPD. However, what they see as a more long term solution is to actually wall off the area so that people can’t go there in the first place.

This couple hates to have the OPD constantly checking the area and they believe that walls and perhaps some barbed wire would be a better way to solve the problem.

Another single father expressed his concerns about a few issues. One was about how hard it was to transfer his little girl into our schools. He served our country for 25 years and had 2 purple hearts but it was the heart he felt for his daughter that moved me.  He was also highly concerned about music and art being the first to be cut from school programs.  Besides recess, art was always my favorite class. I cannot imagine it being taken away.

Beach Ball Frenzy & some other pics from the night

Special thanks to Jen Baldwin, SOUTHO.net for my new flyers, this website and being there and tossing beach balls to the kids, both young & old! !!






AB1826 | Requires Grocery Stores and Restaurants to Divert Organic Waste from Landfills

What can be done to support city efforts to fulfill AB1826, which has been in effect since April, and requires grocery stores and restaurants to divert organic waste from landfills?

Organic waste diversion is our future. When bottles/can recycling started, it took adjustments. Restaurants/grocery stores in Oceanside will have bear the cost of transportation and disposal. We cannot abandon local businesses. The city must collaborate with owners and identify best practices, incorporate into the budget and locate grants to create supporting infrastructure. If not, food prices will rise with costs and empty everyone’s pocketbook.

SB743 | Measures Vehicle Miles Traveled to Determine Traffic’s Environmental Impacts

What effects will SB743, which goes into effect in 2017 and measures vehicle miles traveled to determine traffic’s environmental impacts, have on Oceanside development?

Sadly this bill passed but now is our opportunity to delay implementation. When traffic congestion is removed for environmental evaluation, this is a huge red flag. Builders already want to develop here in Oceanside: we are the diamond they seek! CEQA has determined that traffic congestion impacts are insignificant but should we?

Prop 64 | State Allowance of Recreational Marijuana

What are my views on Prop 64, state allowance of recreational marijuana, which will be voted on in November, and the city’s allowance of medical marijuana delivery?

Subjectively a simple yes or no appears easy but I delved in through a more objective lens.

I’ve read the amendment, legislative analyses’, and looked at countries where marijuana is legal like Spain. A straw poll of neighbors and parents yielded an overwhelming 73% saying YES. With the legalization of alcohol, it became a choice and when a criminal act occurs you go to jail.  If we diminish the criminal element and regulate products, we create legally owned and operated businesses and jobs.

Our city still maintains local control: licenses, locations, and taxation. This allows flexibility. We could use funds for fund increased law enforcement and pre-teen programs. Young children learn foreign languages readily so let’s teach them addiction prevention younger and allow adults the freedom to choose: a labeled, child-resistant container of marijuana or a pint of craft beer.

The laws that are meant to “protect us” are being sidestepped.

Oceanside is a diverse community and free enterprise will drive us forward, but… not at the expense of the unique character that this coastal town treasures or the lifestyle residents cherish.

For example, I believe we need to preserve and protect our public resources and not take fees in lieu from developers for things such as park dedications, environmental impacts and affordable living for people from various socio-economic groups.

The laws that are meant to “protect us” are being sidestepped. The impact zones where developments are built are not supposed to take away any of the public resources but added to so that parity is achieved.

If you build in Ranch Del Oro then money must go to the Rancho Del Oro community. The existing residents resources get stressed and if you have more people then you need to make sure that, for example, the existing kids and the new children will have park facilities for the growing population and schools large enough to provide an excellent learning environment: the developer fees are designed to protect and add value to the immediate residents!

When million dollar homes are built the laws should be followed and medium and lower income housing must be built and made available within a 3-mile radius. not segregated crowded housing with all low income, including seniors, to be housed on the exteriors of the coast and beyond.

The Coastal Act is quite clear about dividing the opportunity for all to live and enjoy, not the wealthy to the west and the pushing of the less affluent to the east.

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