Alan Haffa Moving Monterey Forward
Alan Haffa learned about leadership and service as an Eagle Scout. He met his future wife, Arlene Haffa, when both of them worked as Camp Counselors at Tomahawk Scout Reservation. Arlene and Alan have been married for 30 years and have two children, Ben and Elizabeth, both graduates of Monterey High School. When the family moved to Monterey in 2003,Haffa wanted to help out in the community. He joined the Kiwanis Club of Monterey, and he and Arlene helped out at the High School by writing a grant for the Band Boosters to replace the grand piano, and helped co-found the Cross-Country Booster Club.
In 2004, the local school district, MPUSD, was divided and lacking direction. When one of the board members stepped down, Haffa stepped up. He stood with the board members who questioned the district consultants, who recommended building new schools in the former Fort Ord. Haffa and the board majority questioned where the new residents would work and how many children they would have. Their skepticism was well founded, as the housing bubble burst and none of the new construction materialized. Had the district sold bonds to build all those schools, the district would be in debt today and would have had to close schools in Monterey. The Leadership that Haffa displayed, questioning out of state consultants and corporations to protect the students and citizens, is the kind of leadership and independence he will bring to the city council.
Haffa was proud to work with local parents and volunteers who wanted to remodel Dan Albert Football Field. When the football booster club and other supporters asked the board to show commitment and leadership by allowing $200,000 toward the football field renovation, Haffa voted "yes." The boosters were then able to raise the remaining money and today the field is a testimony to what our community can do when dedicated citizens and supportive public servants work together.
In addition to his community service, Haffa has taught at Monterey Peninsula College and directed the Gentrain Program, an interdisciplinary, team taught course in civilization. At MPC he has served on the Faculty Senate and for the past two years he has been co-chair of the College Council, which is the highest advisory board to the college president. Haffa has also fought for lifelong learning at the college, and in 2011 he was the MPCTA faculty union co-negotiator. Haffa and his faculty colleagues negotiated a two percent salary cut in recognition of the desperate financial situation of the state and as a sign of good faith and commitment to the long term viability of the college.
Haffa has also been active in the local 99% movement. he spoke up for the elderly and disabled who depend on In Home Supportive Services to stay in their homes when the state planned mid-year cuts to the program. He has marched with CSUMB students who protested growing tuition while college administrators received double digit salary increases. He has marched with workers in the service industry at Pine Inn when the owner attempted to eliminate health benefits for children and spouses, and at La Playa, when the out of state owner fired the workers for renovation and then only hired two of the 110 workers back. He has marched with CNN/UNA at Watsonville Community Hospital to protest unsafe staffing and support the Nurses.
Haffa will stand up for neighborhoods facing big corporate special interests, local businesses, working people, senior citizens and the disabled, and our children and college students. Haffa says; "I stand with those who often don't have a voice in the public square. I will speak for them and fight for them."
Although Haffa is a fighter for the people, when necessary, he knows how to collaborate and find solutions when people are open to compromise. Haffa says; "One of my natural skills is helping to bring a group to consensus. If you can find a solution that works for everyone, where everyone wins, that is a better solution than where one party wins and the other loses. But if a spirit of reason and compromise are not met half way, I will ask the tough questions and I will stand up for what is right.
Serving on Monterey City Council since 2012, he has emphasized fiscal accountability, services for the elderly and poor, streets and sidewalks, and revitalization of our downtown.