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Meet Nicole Castor, candidate for Citrus Heights Council District 1

Note: As part of The Sentinel’s 2020 coverage of local elections, we have asked a series of seven identical questions to each of the candidates running for a seat on the Citrus Heights City Council. The questions are designed to give each of the candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the community and give voters an opportunity to learn more about each candidate’s life and background. Candidates replied via email, and those who responded to each question in less than 100 words have their answers published word-for-word.

Nicole Castor: Environmentalist/Community Activist | Age: not listed

Basic bio: “It is now seventeen years since I moved to Citrus Heights, and I just celebrated my fortieth birthday here. I grew up in a small city in New Jersey, but set roots in our city, got married and had two children, who are now ten and twelve. Despite changes in our family structure, my children and I remain in Citrus Heights, in the same home they have always known. I attended Sac State, earning my BA in Sociology in 2008.
Since 2016, I have served as a co-chair of the County Central Committee for Green Party.”

Why are you running for City Council?

Local government has a direct impact on our daily lives and immediate environment. I am running for city council to give our residents a representative who listens and creates a welcoming environment for residents to voice their concerns, and get a response back. We need a voice for our community who is caring, knowledgeable, responsible, and honest- and is willing to do the hard work involved in helping to manage our city for the good of the people. I want to give my service to the community and be this voice for us.

What are three things you like most about living in Citrus Heights?

What I like the most about living in Citrus Heights comes directly from what the residents put into it. First, we have an ideal climate for impressive gardens, and neighbors take such pride in collectively creating attractive neighborhoods through the work we do in our yards individually. The other part is the sense of community I feel on my block, which comes from the stability of long-term residency in my particular area.

What are two books that have had the most influence on your life, and why/how?

A People’s History of the United States, by, Howard Zinn, is the history of our nation, as expressed from the perspective of the people impacted, rather than that of conquerors or rulers.

Ain’t no Makin’ it, by, Jay MacLeod is a case study which examines aspirations and outcomes in a low-income community, a look into the inner city lives and the issues, giving a deep insight into inequality, education, and personal issues faced on a daily basis.

I feel that both of these books have helped deepen my understanding of the world.

What are three key principles that would guide your votes on the council, if elected?

Cooperation: Cooperative work crucial for the sake of respecting diversity of views among the public. Flexibility is important in order to facilitate compromise.

Integrity: An individual with a solid philosophy will have ease in decision-making because they are consistent in their views. Integrity means that your values do not waiver under pressure, and you do what is right, even when it is difficult.

Responsibility: I am prepared to be accountable for any decision I make on the public’s behalf and every decision must also consider the bigger picture, ensuring a broader level of responsibility is always considered.

What are the top three things you’d like to change in Citrus Heights, if any?

The top-two issues which need improvement in Citrus Heights are services and long-term plans for the homeless and efficient planning so residents can see a return on what we pay into the city. For example, I would like to see energy-efficient, working streetlamps in every neighborhood and sound-barrier walls that actually block sound. We also need more green vegetation all over, particularly within neighborhoods. These are just a few of many things that should be addressed.

What kind of volunteer work have you done for charities, churches or service organizations in the community?

I believe in “secret devotion” to community service, a value cemented since childhood. This means no selfies, no bragging! Though I also appreciate and understand the importance of encouraging others into service by sharing these experiences. Over many years, volunteer activities I’ve participated in are centered around issues of Social Justice and helping the less fortunate.

City council members are paid a small monthly stipend of $600 for their service. If elected, how do you plan to balance work life elsewhere with council responsibilities?

Citrus Heights does not pay councilmembers much, like some bigger cities do. Those elected in our city typically have day jobs in addition to balancing the workload of the City Council. I am self-sufficient and flexible, and am accustomed to adjusting. I believe that the positions in council should be taken just as seriously as a normal job, even without that compensation, because it is a civic duty. I intend to be fully engaged and participate in meeting with outside agencies in my own time, and on my own dime.

Key endorsements: Green Party and Peace & Freedom Party
Key donors: Grassroots/friends

Campaign website:

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