With 1 out of every 8 Laguna Hills residents retired or approaching retirement and 1 out every 12 folks ages 65+ living by themselves, there is an immediate need to build stronger partnerships and programs to support the aging and elderly adults in our community. In addition, we need to continue investing in accessible pathways, both in our physical and digital infrastructure. I bring a significant amount of experience on this issue to the city council based on my previous position as a policy advocate, and promise to make it my top priority to establish a Disability Advisory Commission in Laguna Hills if elected to the city council.
Businesses are the backbone of our community. They support our local schools, parks, and strengthen our local economy. I will work to support our existing businesses and establishments, and work to build more economic and strategic partnerships with local coalitions and foundations to strengthen the many small businesses here. COVID impacted Laguna Hills in many ways, affecting many of our businesses, small and large. I will continue to address the impact that the pandemic has had on many of our small businesses and will work to help bring them back to the prosperous state that they once were. In working with our local businesses, I will also promote sustainable business practices in an effort to help our businesses save money. A stronger economy is a stronger city for us all.
The safety and wellness of our residents is one of my top priorities. Laguna Hills continues to be one of the safest cities in Orange County. However, in recent years, we have seen increased rates of crime in our neighborhoods, especially with cases of larceny and petty theft. These incidents have been especially prevalent in the neighborhoods near the Laguna Village. If elected to city council, I will work with the Sheriff's Department to promote safety education in our neighborhoods. I will also push for more mental health services and outreach efforts to promote mental wellness in Laguna Hills.
In recent years, our community has been repeatedly faced with the threat of wildfires and has been heavily impacted by the massive drought currently undergoing. We need to put our full force behind preparing our city and its infrastructure for the inevitable impacts of climate change. That's why I will work to fully enforce and implement the Laguna Hills Safety Element to ensure our community is aware of the natural disaster preparedness plans that the city has developed and foster greater resiliency towards these unforeseen events. In conjunction with our community stakeholders and leaders, I will work to safeguard our neighborhoods from these natural disasters and promote sustainable practices that leads to a greener future for all.
There are many untapped opportunities in Laguna Hills for more recreational activities for residents of all ages. Our parks and community centers are underutilized and there are not enough events to engage our community, with the upcoming Laguna Hills Heritage Day being just the third city-wide event of the entire past year. I believe that we can do better and that we owe it to our residents to do better. As a councilmember, I will work to secure more funding for outdoor recreational activities such as youth sports events and leisure activities for our senior citizens. I will also take full advantage of the many amenities at the Laguna Hills Community Center and Civic Center to bring more entertainment to our city, including exhibits showcasing local and emerging artistic talent in Laguna Hills.