Bernie Narvaez, part of a younger generation of candidates to enter the 2018 Napa City Council race, will make a second run at elected office.
Narvaez, a local insurance broker, announced his council candidacy at an Oct. 25 event at Cole’s Chop House in Napa, becoming the third person to publicly pursue city office on the November 2020 ballot.
In a statement released before the ceremony, the 34-year-old Narvaez, who placed fourth of six candidates on the 2018 council ballot, reaffirmed his focus on helping more Napans cope with soaring rents and housing costs that have increased the burden on those of modest means, including workers in a burgeoning tourism sector.
“Housing is a priority for me; more than half our renters are rent-burden(ed),” he said, referring to residents forced to spend more than 30 percent of their income on shelter at the expense of food, health care and other necessities. “Parents are worried our children cannot afford to live here.”
In his first campaign for City Council, Narvaez was one of several contenders to support zoning changes to allow for more multi-family housing, as well as reviving a city requirement that rental developers set aside a portion of apartments for lower-income tenants.
Going a step further, he called for other types of housing assistance, such as down-payment support for first-time homeowners and deposit assistance for renters.
A former Marine who later opened Narvaez Insurance Services in Napa, Narvaez has served the city as an adviser in recent years, first as a parks commissioner and, since December, with the committee helping Napa draft a new general plan to guide land use and development through 2040.
Since collecting 13.4 percent of the vote last fall, Narvaez has continued accepting campaign donations, collecting $2,400 and spending $735 in the first six months of this year.
The impending retirement of Techel after four terms as mayor has indirectly opened at least one council seat for a newcomer to elected office. Earlier this year, Sedgley and Gentry announced their intentions to run for mayor, a separate race from the election for two council seats, meaning both incumbents would vacate their council posts if defeated in the mayoral race.
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