1) What do you offer as a candidate?
The experience of having lived and worked in District 15 for almost two decades of my life. I spent my formative years in the district and returned to it to live, work in, and raise my family. Having lived on both the east and west sides of the river I appreciate the great richness of diversity – economic, social, ethnic - which exists in District 15 and have an understanding of the dynamics of its neighborhoods. I know what parts of the district felt like when they had many more long-time residents and home owners, de facto caretakers of the neighborhoods, and the level of stability that provided our neighborhoods and so I have a vision for what our district can be again.
In the tough economic climate we face today jobs and job creation are our highest priorities, and small businesses are the major generators of those jobs in our communities. As a small business owner I understand and have experienced the challenges facing our small businesses today. I know what it is like every morning to open the doors of a small business and to venture out in pursuit of opportunities for growth and hiring. I have founded and grown two successful small companies, hired employees, met a payroll and learned how to face a headwind of a tough economy and weather the shocks of changing financial times. Because of these experiences I know what is needed to give our small businesses the incentive and the confidence to open their doors every morning, to locate in our neighborhoods, and to hire from within our communities.
As a candidate, what this provides is the knowledge and experience to speak on behalf of the district's residents, neighborhoods and small business owners in making decisions and helping to shape policy that together affect our neighborhoods, our economy, and our collective sense of well-being.
2) What does your district most need from the City Council?
Attention. Attention to its levels of unemployment, crime, homelessness, and opportunity. My district needs a Council that uses its collective wisdom to encourage more small businesses and business incubators to commit to locate, stay, invest, train and hire from within some of its hardest-hit communities.
3) What's your opinion of the 2012 budget proposed by the mayor?
That it is not truly balanced nor does it take into account the need for continued levels of funding for many neighborhood assets that are often the only resources within a community.
4) What is your position on a comprehensive smoking ban?
I believe in and support the benefits that come with a comprehensive smoking ban. For the ban to be effective and fair to all business owners, it must contain no exceptions. I will support such a ban.
5) Do you think the city needs more police officers?
Yes, to be effective at public safety we must return to community policing. To do so we must have more officers on the streets of our neighborhoods.
6) Do you support increased funding for public transit?
Yes, we must provide additional funds for more routes, more green buses, and easier access across our city. For the green and sustainable environment we seek ridership must go up. In order for it to go up it must be convenient and destinations accessed as directly as possible.
7) Do you think the streets and sidewalks in your district are in good shape?
Some have been improved and others not. Parts of my district have not been improved as fast as others, so time will tell.
8) Name one project that would most benefit your district.
Skills training incubators that combine training with the opportunity to work and earn a living at the craft.
9) What question do you wish we'd asked?
Issues of homelessness and the ease of access to jobs for all members of the community.