Dr. Sharma Henderson

Occupation: Nonprofit Executive/Consultant
Office Seeking: City Council, District 4 
Dr. Sharma Henderson Photo.jpg

Q:

Please highlight your community involvement, including any previous appointments or elected offices held, volunteer work or other leadership positions. How have these roles prepared you to lead the City of Carson as Council Member?

A:

I possess over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit, education, small business, and government sectors and have been a professional consultant since 1998. I have a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and currently serve as both the President and CEO of CO-OP and Interim Executive Director of the Carson Coordinating Council - nonprofit organizations that provide a wealth of services to our most vulnerable residents.

I am the Board President for Carson Accountability and Transparency, publisher of The Carson Observer. I am President and Co-Founder of the Carson Stroke Center Volunteer Association and I sit on the Carson Sheriff’s Station Support Foundation Board. I am actively involved in over a dozen Carson organizations and initiatives and am a former City Board Member and Commissioner.

I am experienced with multimillion-dollar budgets, evaluation of government projects, change management, strategic planning, and resolving interpersonal conflicts. I regularly watch, attend, and participate in Carson City Council meetings. My record and experience are well known and recognized by many throughout Carson. I am an actively sought advocate and volunteer for my fellow Carson community leaders and for city staff. I have a positive relationship with city employees and am respected throughout the Carson business community.

Q:

What does Transparency mean to you, and how will you ensure Carson’s city government is accountable to its residents?

A:

Transparency promotes accountability by readily providing information to citizens about all governmental activity. Everything that takes place in City Hall should be conducted in an open and accessible manner. The actions of the Council, city management, and staff should be ethical, in alignment with all applicable laws, and willingly shared with the public. Transparency promotes good governance and good citizenry by allowing residents to be engaged, informed, and participatory in the decisions of their elected officials. A truly representative government can only be such when it is operated with full disclosure and in partnership with the people it represents.

Q:

Carson was able to pass a structurally balanced budget for the first time in years, how do you plan to maintain this balanced budget?

A:

The current budget excludes multiple staff vacancies and grossly underestimates annual expenses. I will work to implement the current budget, cut additional costs, and aggressively seek new revenue sources. I possess 25 years of successful grant writing and fundraising experience; having successfully secured over $40 million in funding. I will partner with the Carson Community Foundation to acquire untapped grant funds. These new funds will allow a significant portion of the budget to be used for those positions and expenses that were not fully funded while adding monies to improve and expand many of the programs and services that were.

Q:

What specific policies will you advocate that will benefit the residents of Carson?

A:

The City of Carson suffers from a lack of direction. I plan to lead our city through a comprehensive strategic planning process that will identify our shared values and establish a set of priorities that will guide the decision-making process. This plan will increase resident and stakeholder engagement and leave the Council better equipped to address the City’s needs in an open, focused, and solution-building way.


A major concern, particularly in District 4, is public safety. While I wholeheartedly appreciate and support our local law enforcement agency, we need more funding, more deputies, and more resources than they are able to provide. We can start by implementing policies targeted towards our most crime-ridden areas, establishing neighborhood-based programs for youth, and offering more jobs, training, and other alternatives to crime for young adults.

 
The recent controversies surrounding mobile home park closures in Carson indicate a need for increased protection and support for senior citizens and other low/fixed income earners in Carson. Currently, there are no effective affordable housing ordinances, zoning laws, or fair housing work being done in our City. I would implore my Council colleagues to consider creating a more robust housing department to address this basic needs gap.