I want to say this the right way, so let me first explain. I love bikes, I love bike riders, and I love the fact that our city has purposefully focused on helping bike riders gain safer and better access throughout our city. From rental bikes, to licensing and regulations, laws and insurance, business and marketplace support, to better bike storage, celebrity PSAs, to bikes on buses and light rails, to more roads, lanes, special paths and opportunities. But, let's be honest...don't you think it's time we apply the same focused effort making life better and safer for everyone, regardless of whether or not they ride bicycles...? I think if we can do it for the people who ride bikes, then we can do it for everyone else...don't you agree? I mean, I think it at least worth a try...?
I will absolutely put forth all of my important and intelligent solutions for our city as soon as I'm elected. If you've read through the finer details on this website, then you already know, we have a lot of great solutions. What we need is the platform of elected office to pressure our city govt. to adopt and implement these ideas. We need to make ALL of our residents aware that the problems don't have to exist anymore. We CAN solve them. Right now. Imagine, completely affordbale childcare, available because our children start attending full day school at age 2 1/2 or 3. Imagine, a city without the scourge of homelessness. Imagine, a state where students don't have the burden of overwhelming education loan debt. Imagine, a rebuilt and revitalized commerical district where burned out buildings and abandonded lots now sit. Imagine a city with enough affordbale housing for all of its residents, because zoning laws were restructured to fit the times and neighborhoods we live in. Imagine a criminal justice system based on equal treatment and uplifting everyone's opportunity to live a free and productive life. Imagine a park and recreational system that had a budget surplus, because of the new dedicated funds from the cannabis industry. Imagine a public school system that rivaled any private school system and produced highly successful students regardless of color or background. This could be where we all live, together in peace and harmony. Not in the distant future, but right now, in our lifetime.
Immediate and Important Changes
I've already begun canvassing the 9th Ward. Talking to people, dropping off some new flyers, business cards and campaign information. It's always an exciting opportunity to listen to the constituents and find out what concerns they have. I want to thank the folks in charge for allowing me to listen in on association meetings and neighborhood group zoom calls. We've had a very positive reaction to the ideas and changes that I believe are necessary if we're to begin the process of rebuilding trust between the residents of the city and the officials elected to make our society peaceful and proseperous. So, I thought I'd share some of them with you here. (and please, call me up and let me know what you think...)
1.) I will immediately call for all city-council members to have their exorbitant salaries CUT IN HALF!!! This amounts to over $650,000 PER YEAR savings to the city. In 10 years, that’s 6.5 MILLION dollars. When we think of the public services, homeless services, park and recreation budgetary needs, and other city projects that have been left undone and wanting for so long, always because of the money, this seemingly drastic change suddenly translates into a real and positive impact. It would also force public servants to really consider whether or not this is the right job for them and not just do it because it pays so well. I will lead by example by donating 50,000 dollars from my salary to local charities and nonprofits.
2.) I will immediately promote and advertise my complete reform packages regarding police restructuring and social justice for our city. Like you, I am just a resident, and like you, my views, concerns, issues and solutions, are not being considered or even accepted by the city. But, once you elect me as your new city council member, that will have to change. I will get our solution-oriented information into the public sphere and start generating serious debate and awareness about ALL of our potentially solvable problems. We will have a chance to be heard and make our case for change right away. I will also begin holding rallies and awareness meetings for ALL of our solvable issues, including homelessness, affordable housing, the education gap, affordable and accesible childcare, fair earnings for our most essential workers, (highlighting the excessive govt. salaries for people such as city council members...okay, we already talked about that...like you, that really gets me fired up...sorry) business revitalization, economic opportunites for youth and underserved communities, the opportunities associated with the potential legalization of marijuana, and so many other important concerns that we all share and that we so rarely get to openly discuss as a community. We need these comprehensive conversations, including questions, and answers, to happen right away.
3.) I will lead by example. One of the first things I will do is open an “official” Ward 9 local office for more direct access of the residents of the 9th Ward and encourage all well-meaning public servants to do likewise. (And I don't mean a 2 hours, 1 day a week office space...) There’s no reason to have barriers and institutional challenges to direct representation. For too long, the city-council has acted as agents of the city. Working for the city, carrying out duties on behalf of the city. It’s time they started representing the people and acting on their behalf. An office with a small independent staff of caring volunteers who can help guide our residents through the maze of city, county and state services and needed resources and the various problem solving measures and agencies all elected officials should have at their disposal and make available to all residents.
4.) I said this before, but it bears repeating. I pledge to attend every neighborhood association meeting that exists. (and any new ones that are created...) In our ward, and even bordering locations. Every meeting. Every month. This isn't a burden, it's an opportunity and an honor to actively and responsively meet with and share with our residents. I am excited to be that liaison between the people and our city, part of which is bringing forward your issues and concerns and treating them as my own, and then in turn, coming directly to you to explain city positions, current policy movement and legislation, and to help explain and detail presicely what we are doing and how we are working to achieve our shared goals. Hearing ideas, concerns, complaints and updates directly from the people is absolutely the best method of staying in touch with the people I will be representing.
As I continue to meet with and talk with the residents of Ward 9, I expcect to be influenced to work on many other important items and agendas. If you have something that is critical to you and your happiness and success, please contact us right away and let us know what that is. I'm always available to talk about it, and I'd love to be able to add your ideas to our platform of issues we'll be tackling as soon as we are in office. Please don't hesitate to reach out for any reason at any time. That's why my contact information, (Including my phone number) is listed at the top of every page.
Thanks for your feedback. Your concerns are important to me.