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Turlock Parks commissioner joins District 1 City Council race
Nicole Larson
Turlock City Council member Nicole Larson - photo by Photo Contributed

Former Stanislaus State student body president and current vice chair of the Turlock Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission Nicole Larson has announced her candidacy for Turlock’s District 1 City Council seat.

The fifth-generation Turlocker said she was prompted to run for the open City Council seat this November because she deeply relates to “the issues our city currently faces and could face in the near future.”

“Turlock is uniquely positioned to benefit from someone with out-of-the-box ideas, new energy and a fresh perspective – that’s who I am,” said Larson.

Larson joins Alex Kiehl, Logan Sisco and former Council member Forrest White in seeking the District 1 seat in November. Incumbent District 1 representative and Vice Mayor Matthew Jacob announced in June that he would not be seeking reelection.

When asked what Turlock’s biggest challenge is, Larson said growth.

“I know that our biggest challenge — but also our virtue — is our rate of growth. Small and large business alike are looking to land in Turlock, as well as individuals looking for a safe place to raise a family. The foundations set by current and former Councils are bearing fruit – but with this momentum we need to have proactive steadfast leadership to make sure we grow in a smart, safe and productive manner,” she said.

Larson said, if elected, she would work to protect Turlock’s ag based economy and small businesses while fostering new investment. 

“The decisions made by our Council have lasting impact on our city for decades to come. That is why I believe strongly that our main objective is to preserve the values of our community and maintain our high quality of life.”
Nicole Larson

“The decisions made by our Council have lasting impact on our city for decades to come. That is why I believe strongly that our main objective is to preserve the values of our community and maintain our high quality of life,” she continued.

When it comes to public safety, Larson said she thinks a proactive approach is necessary to ensure that the city’s needs are satisfied now and for years to come.

Larson said she was among the majority of Turlock voters who opposed Prop. 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use, and “stripped much of Turlock’s local control over the issue.” However, she supports a “pragmatic approach” to those seeking business licenses to sell cannabis and the revenue generation it could mean for the City.

“Turlock residents can now drive less than five miles down the road to a neighboring jurisdiction, buy the product and entirely contribute their taxes and fees outside of Turlock, and simply drive back and use it here,” she said.

Larson said that when addressing the issue of homelessness, the City of Turlock should prioritize providing staff with adequate resources to maintain City parks and public spaces.

“It is important to acknowledge that this is a multifaceted issue that needs to be met with sustainable and long-term approaches that those members of our community that are residentially challenged can rely on. Fundamentally, we need to connect them to existing services, both public and private, in partnership with non-profits and faith-based organizations that are best equipped to meet this very real and pressing need,” she said.

Larson was appointed to the Turlock Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission in 2016 and was nominated and elected to Vice Chair of the commission in 2017. She graduated from Turlock High School and received a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies from Stanislaus State University. At Stan State, she served as Student Body President for two consecutive terms and was a student-athlete on the women’s soccer team for four years.

Larson is currently applying for local Master’s Degree programs in Public Administration. She works as a soccer coach for the Turlock Youth Soccer Association and will soon be a certified substitute teacher. Larson is an active member of First Christian Church, the same church her grandmother and mother grew up in. She also works closely with refugee families from Afghanistan, providing driving lessons, clothing drives, helping them learn English, earn their GED and assimilate to life in America.

To learn more about Larson, visit larsonforturlock.com or Facebook.com/larsonforturlock or email: nicole@larsonforturlock.com.