Transforming Our Community
Confronting our economic recovery from COVID-19
Driving the success of local businesses
Increasing civic engagement with local government
Supporting women- & minority-owned businesses
Sustaining our local nonprofits
Improving transparency at City Hall
Saving local shoppers money
Enhancing our tourism goals
Creating youth employment opportunities
Improving our city's value proposition
Enhancing our economic development efforts
Leveling the playing field for local business to compete with online retailers
Recreating, reunifying and strengthening our community
This is just a small sample of a vastly longer list of the many municipal challenges our city is facing. Wouldn't it be great if we could find a way to address all of these challenges in a cost-sensitive, comprehensive and innovative way?
Well... welcome to Main Street Simi Valley.
Originally conceived to spur our city's economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, I will spearhead the implementation of a pioneering digital initiative called Main Street Simi Valley. Main Street is a comprehensive city-centered software platform (app) designed to increase civic and community engagement, raise up female- and minority-owned businesses, promote our tourism and economic development objectives, and drive residents to connect with, and shop at local retailers.
The initial goal was to propel the resurgence of Simi Valley's small business community, but it's capabilities are far broader. Fundamentally, the app gives retailers marketing tools to connect them with residents while incentivizing them to shop locally by rewarding them with points, which are good for discounts that are redeemable at participating Simi Valley businesses, or which can be donated to our local nonprofits, at the users discretion. This levels the playing field between large online retailers and our local businesses in both convenience and savings.
However, the app will also contain a comprehensive e-government civic module known as CityHub, which will connect local government with residents, allowing for information and resource access, payments, engagement and much more, all while promoting improved transparency in, and access to, our local government, which also reduces city operating costs.
Our locally owned small businesses are facing enormous challenges now, and they need out-of-the-box ideas that safely connect them to consumers and turn local spending into a source of pride for residents. The Main Street app will enable the city to reward customers for shopping local, improving revenues for our small businesses while also helping our citizens stretch their dollars.
By offering technology that places the economic and social well-being of our city in the hands of residents and creating long-term, positive behavioral changes that build public wealth and develop shared values, Main Street can empower Simi Valley to foster it's sense of community, and give local businesses an accessible platform on which to tell their stories and connect residents with the local business community. The Main Street app will use everyday interactions to drive mobility and economic and social progress, in a measurable way. Residents can use the app to discover exciting and sustainable ways to participate in civic life and COVID-safe community activities. They’ll also have the opportunity to like and share City Stories that reveal the vibrant and engaging narratives happening every day in our city. Special discounts can be provided to support our women- and minority-owned businesses, and so much more.
By putting the future of Simi Valley's locally owned small businesses and government in the palm of our citizens’ hands, this initiative will make it easy for consumers to keep their money local, residents to engage in and discover civic process, area attractions and activities, and continue to strengthen our community in innumerable ways.
This initiative is projected to have a startup cost of roughly $50,000, with initial reward/incentive costs of $30,000, and a fixed annual operating expense beginning in the second year of roughly $80,000. The city generates approximately $300,000 per year in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue from our local hotels. These funds (less 1%) are directed entirely to the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce in order to sustain our "Visit Simi Valley" website and activities. The Main Street app expense of $80,000/yr (which is less than one-third of the total annual TOT income) can be integrated into this allocation as a tourism tool, yielding a net expense to local taxpayers of zero in order to implement this initiative, with over $200,000/yr left over.
Our city is in desperate need of genuine transformational leadership to provide the kind of vision, innovation and community development we need to recover from this pandemic, and to thrive moving forward into our future. Main Street is just one of many tangible plans, not lofty campaign slogans, that I pledge to deliver for our city as Mayor.
I encourage all of our voters to trade-in divisive partisan posturing for real civic progress. That is what plans like these, and my campaign, are all about.
You can learn more at: https://www.robbieformayor2020.com