sounds principles and best practices

An Optimistic Vision for Our Future

I want to see a vibrant La Mesa citywide. A community that believes in equity, justice—and one committed to leave no one behind.

This is an optimistic vision for our future. But with goals based on sound principles and best practices, together we can overcome the challenges that lie ahead


“We can count on Jack to speak up for those in need, including residents who don’t have deep pockets or loud voices. Jack Shu will make sure our government works for everyone.”

--Bonnie Baranoff, Chairperson, La Mesa’s Citizen Task Force on Homelessness.


Public Safety

The reputation of our City  and our Police Department has been tarnished by recent events. I will work to restore the public’s trust by supporting and adequately funding a Citizen’s Police Oversight Board that will help insure effective, just, and equitable law enforcement in La Mesa. 

The La Mesa community has a long history of trying to work with our police department. Neighborhood Watch, the RSVP program, Coffee With a Cop, and Shop With a Cop, have contributed to the Department’s show of goodwill. However, our problems were not simply the actions of a few bad apples but rather the outcome of an organization with serious, deeply-rooted cultural problems. I will work for the systemic changes needed to eliminate gender, racial, and economic bias as well as the Department’s ability to take criticism. All public servants, especially our police officers, need to be held accountable. By doing so, they will regain the public’s trust and restore honor and respect to their oath: To Serve and Protect. 

COVID-19 and Economy

La Mesa is facing an unprecedented threat to its health and economic well-being due to the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic has had disastrous effects on our livelihoods, our businesses, and our ability to raise revenues. There are no clear indications as to when conditions will improve. “Business as usual” no longer works in this environment. We need to take a fresh and honest look at our budget priorities and to implement new and innovative strategies that put our people and businesses back to work again.

Transportation and Environment 

I will work to continually update and improve our Climate Action Plan. La Mesa has three major freeways that surround and cut through our community. This is our single, greatest source of pollution that result in higher rates of asthma, cancer, birth defects, and other chronic illnesses for our community.

SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan does not adequately address the health impact of air pollution created by the freeway system. They have not set goals and target dates to remedy the problem. I will fight until this harm to our environment is resolved.

My years of experience with the Park Service have taught me the importance of clean air and a healthy lifestyle. As an avid hiker myself, I have been a strong advocate for walkability, safe routes to school, protected bike lanes, and major improvements to our public transit system. In La Mesa, “Share the Road” will not just be a slogan, it will be a commitment to pedestrian mobility.

Homelessness and Affordable Housing

Homelessness is largely due to the lack of affordable housing. The Grand Jury has chastised the City for not doing enough, while the State requires us to build more affordable units. The pace of residential construction must increase if we are to meet these mandates.

In the meantime, La Mesa struggles to cobble together the public and private resources—and drive—needed to make a measurable, positive difference. Given the country’s current economic situation, homelessness is expected to rise in the near future. The City will need to find more ways to support and accommodate its unhoused residents while still enlisting the help of regional agencies, our faith community, and other charitable organizations. Simply moving our homeless neighbors to less visible locations or out of our City—will not be my policy.

The City must streamline its permit process to facilitate upgrades that will make our current housing stock more sustainable. In addition, additional senior housing will encourage retirees to downsize, freeing up the much-needed family housing for our next generation.