By We’Ced Youth Media
Photo via Necola Adams
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final profile in We’Ced’s #MeetyourMercedCandidates series, which hopes to introduce young people and new voters in Merced to people running for office in their community. All four candidates running for Merced Mayor, Necola L. Adams, Noah Lor, Michael W. Murphy and Joshua Pedrozo, were contacted. We requested candidates complete a questionnaire and submit their responses. Profiles posted are from candidates who responded to our request.
Name: Necola Adams
Education: Ph.D from the University of Life
Occupation: Business Woman
Residence: Merced, CA
Running for: Merced Mayor
Why are you running for political office?
I was tired of seeing businesses closing. Merced at a standstill with growth while the cities of Atwater and Turlock surpass us in businesses, shopping centers, restaurants and job creation. Merced has not kept up with the demand for housing, jobs, or activities for our youth. We have the newest UC in California, it has been here for 11 years, but there has been no clear connection made to link it with the City of Merced.
What changes are you trying to enact/bring about in Merced?
I am trying to bring an annual Nut Festival to Merced, to really make us a destination place while creating jobs for our citizens including a summer youth employment program for ages 16-19. I want to bring all the communities together to focus on how to move Merced together in a positive way that will include UC Merced students and fostering an atmosphere where they can use the skills they have acquired, creating new tech companies and expanding our health care while giving back to the community through helping with students in our city schools. This will help elevate ALL areas of our community creating jobs, which promotes public safety by lowering the crime level.
How important is the youth vote for you? What are you doing to gain the youth vote?
The youth vote is VERY important; they are the future of the city! I have been passing out literature on myself and going to where they congregate and talking with them about what they would like to see happen in Merced that would benefit them.
Do you have kids, and if so, what schools do they attend?
Yes, I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. My kids attended Alicia Reyes, Teneya, Hoover, Burbank, Chenoweth, Sheehy, Golden Valley and Merced High. My grandkids have or are attending Ada Givens, Chenoweth, Rivera, Rivera Elementary, Merced High and El Capitan.
What makes you different from the other candidates?
I am not a politician. I am a concerned citizen that stepped up to the plate. I have no desire to go anywhere up the ladder, I just want to help turn our city around in a positive direction that will benefit all of its citizens.
I was born and raised in South Merced, have owned my business for over 22 years, several of those years in downtown Merced. I currently live in North Merced, I know this city I believe better than any other candidate. My family has lived in Merced for 5 generations. I have volunteered in various areas of our community for over 25 years from being a commissioner for the City of Merced Parks and Recreation department, to updating our City Charter. What makes me different is that I really love this city. We are a diamond in the rough. I see our potential and am able to think out of the box to help make positive things happen for the community. I am also very approachable and am able to connect on a real and personal level with people.
How connected are you to the community of Merced?
I am a 4-H leader. I have been the president of the League of Women Voters for two consecutive years. I have been the 2nd vice president of the National Council of Negro Women, was on the charter review committee that updated our city charter. I served on the Downtown planning task force that updated our city charter for the Department of Justice. I own Mrs Adams Gourmet Cookies, we supply Coffee Bandits along with 45% of the businesses in Merced with our cookies. I am the liaison between the community and the African American Churches in Merced. My affiliations include those from the Hmong community, Hispanic community, LGBTQ community, several clubs at UC Merced along with many faculty and staff, Playhouse Merced and the Downtown Main street association.
What are you going to do about bringing more jobs to Merced?
The Merced County Almond festival will be like that of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which had 80,000 people attend this year and generated 1.7 million dollars for the city. Becoming a destination place like this creates jobs and fosters an atmosphere where other businesses would locate to Merced. The other project I would like to work on is soliciting the businesses from Silicon Valley to relocate to Merced; this would bring jobs that pay higher than minimum wage along with health benefits. We have something they no longer have: land and space to develop, we also have a large workforce with the UC students and those who have been displaced due to plant closures in the county. I would also like to create a summer youth employment program that would take youth ages 16-19 and employ them in fields where they could get experience, work ethics and leadership skills while also earning college credit at the same time.
Do you like animals? What is your favorite one?
Yes, I like domestic animals, no reptiles or rodents. My favorite animal is the Pinto horse.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to sing, write music, read books, eat out, dance, and write short stories and poems.