MEET ROBERT CONKLIN
Candidate for Petaluma City Council, District 3
My name is Robert Conklin, and I’m running to represent District 3 on the Petaluma City Council.
I’ve lived in Petaluma my entire life. Over the past four decades, I’ve watched Petaluma blossom...and I’ve also seen it experience its share of growing pains.
As a child and teenager, I lived on the West Side and played football for Petaluma High School. I've been a frequent patron at the fairgrounds and teh racetrack for as long as I can recall.
My mother owned and operated a local business, Petaluma Travel in our historic downtown. My father worked in Law Enforcement.
My first job was washing dishes and learning to cook at Mr. Mom’s Cafe on Petaluma Boulevard.
In my twenties—after a short stint at Clover Stornetta—I obtained my commercial license and got a job at Mike Hudson Distributing on South McDowell and later, Toby’s Trucking on Payran.
At the age of 26, I moved to the East Side and became a homeowner. My wife, Gina, and I started our family in the midst of the Great Recession, and like many Petalumans, struggled to keep a roof over our heads. Through hard work and belt-tightening, we were able to make ends meet, keep our house, and provide for both of our children.
In recent years, I have served on the City’s Tree Committee, volunteered countless hours for our schools and nonprofits, and evacuated hundreds of animals when fires burned Sonoma County with NorCal Livestock Evacuation.
In my free time, I enjoy Petaluma’s classic car events, going to the Petaluma Speedway, walking my dog, and being a father to my wonderful children.
My Views On Local Government
Regardless of whether you are in the public works, police, fire or planning department, public service is often a stressful and thankless job. My hat is off to our committed staff.
The Petaluma City Council sets priorities and makes decisions that impact our lives and our city’s future. The council must balance its focus on looming crises like our drought and climate change, with the near-term topics of the day like homelessness, filling storefronts, and paving roads.
The people of Petaluma want their government to listen to their issues, work together to solve problems, and protect our charm and quality of life. But ideological divides and influence from outside parties have prevented our City Council from forging a shared path forward.
Now, with the future of the fairgrounds uncertain and city's general plan update underway, it is more important than ever that the council be working together toward real solutions that will benefit all its residents, in both the short and the long term.
My Desire to Represent District 3
District 3 has been without representation for more than a decade, and working-class people lack representation citywide. Many people I talk to either feel like civic involvement is a luxury their schedule won’t allow, or fear that no one listens to their concerns. I want this to change.
I am running for City Council to give District 3 a long-overdue voice in our local government, and to make Petaluma a place where working people can raise a family and enjoy their retirement.
On the city council, I will champion issues that are good for District 3 and the City at large. Here are a few of my immediate priorities:
Unite the community around a vision for our fairgrounds that preserves its cherished features while enhancing the site
Build the crosstown connector that benefits District 3 and the whole city, the Caulfield Bridge
Take care of tenants and build housing for the people who work here but cannot afford it
Provide a modern facility for our hardworking first responders
Accelerate road paving and safety improvements near schools and parks
Work with Caltrans to make Lakeville Highway safer
Ensure we have the infrastructure and water supply to sustain our quality of life.
No matter the issue, I believe that there isn’t any challenge the people of Petaluma can’t overcome if we work together towards our common goals.
Whether you have lived here for generations or moved here last year, we love Petaluma for the same reasons: the fairgrounds, downtown, river, and most of all, the wonderful people.
I’m asking for your vote -- AND for you to join me in helping to build a better Petaluma for us all.