In response to a slower economy, the City has become more efficient, but some service cuts went too far. As the economy improves, we must be judicious about restoring services. First and foremost, we need to focus on basic services, infrastructure, and safety.
On Council, I will:
- Ensure police and fire services delivery meets our citizens’ needs
- Prioritize improving roads and sidewalks using new technologies and standards, and increasing collaborations
- Work to create an environment in which staff and citizens support each other to improve the city’s water, stormwater, wastewater services to handle the 45% increase in precipitation that has come with climate change
- Improve our community’s solid waste system by increasing our compost and recycling rates.
Leadership and Inclusivity
Inclusion is paramount to my work and my ethics.
I pledge to:
- Ensure all voices are heard equally, especially those that are disproportionately impacted
- Create greater transparency through improved citizen participation and planning processes
- Lead our city and citizens toward civil, responsive, thoughtful public engagement
Through my work with the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation Department and the Huron River Watershed Council, as a member of the city’s Environmental Commission, and on the Malletts, Millers, and Fleming Creekshed Coordinating Committees, I have spent nearly all my adult life helping to shape our neighborhoods and parks through inclusive civic engagement. I helped found and lead the HomeGrown Food Festival and Local Food Summit to improve local food access and equity. I believe that inclusivity and collaboration create stronger and better decisions and results. I deeply understand the hard work it takes to bring people together to make good decisions. I pledge to hear all voices from the First Ward and represent each equally.
The City’s role is to balance the citizens’ needs and ensure healthy growth, while holding a long-term vision for financial stability and success.
I will improve our city by:
- Promoting diversified economic growth and jobs
- Improving efficiency and effectiveness via robust regional cooperation
- Fostering a budget process that allows for greater citizen participation
By identifying diversified fund sources and careful planning, I have developed and stayed within budgets for all of the programs I’ve created and helped manage. My professional work leverages non-traditional resources for organizational success. While at the City, I helped create numerous programs, including Adopt-a-Park and Citizen Pruner, while greatly increasing the participation in city-wide volunteer projects and citizen-led initiatives. Bringing this outside-the-box thinking to Council will help us improve services without increasing costs.
Community Transit and Walkability
The need for increased walkability, bikeability, and accessible well thought through transit systems is increasingly obvious.
I will work to:
- Improve standards, education, and infrastructure for safe biking and walking
- Increase neighborhood-level access to basic goods and services
- Develop innovative solutions to meet changing transit needs
As first-ward residents, we regularly demonstrate that alternative methods of transportation do not have to slow you down. Within our Detroit and Michigan car-centric society, the residents of our amazing city greatly appreciate, desire, and need accessible non-motorized and mass-transit alternatives to owner-occupied automobiles. While we have not, as a community, come up with a complete solution, we’ve made a start. I will strongly support investments that increase walkability and bikeability. I will also support transit collaborations with regional partners and the University of Michigan that are sound in vision and execution while keeping the safety of our residents paramount. Similarly, I am a strong proponent of walkable neighborhoods, including our parks and neighborhood business districts.
I see a unique moment ahead of us, where Ann Arbor can once again take strong leadership in environmental issues.
Ann Arbor needs to:
- Strongly work to cleanup and revitalize our abandoned, blighted, and contaminated properties, including the Gelman plume, DTE property, and Lowertown
- Swiftly reduce pollution sources, such as greenhouse gasses, emissions, plastics, and pharmaceuticals
- Greatly reduce our energy use and dependency on petroleum
- Drastically reduce our landfill rates by increasing our commercial, industrial, and multi-dwelling unit recycling and compost collection rates
- Develop ethically responsible responses to human-created ecosystem imbalances such as deer populations and downtown flooding
Ann Arbor has a history of being on the vanguard of environmental and sustainability initiatives. These efforts protect and enhance our livable neighborhoods and undergird our economy. My profession and my personal habits demonstrate my belief and investment in community stewardship. On the Ann Arbor Environmental Commission, I have initiated innovative issues such as toxic coal tar sealants as well as light and noise pollution, while promoting our long-term commitments to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. I am a proponent of partnerships, and I believe we can work more closely with neighboring communities, schools, and property owners to build from our past successes, deepen our environmental stewardship, and continue to make Ann Arbor a leading community.
Parks, Nature, and Open Spaces
Ann Arbor is deeply connected to our green places – the trees and flowers are essential to our way of life and our community vitality.
On Council I will continue to ensure:
- All neighborhoods have access to recreational parks
- Increased protections for nature
- We create more community space in neighborhoods and downtown
- Investment is made in long-term projects such as the Allen Creek Greenway, Border-to-Border Trail, and farmland protection
While the greenbelt, parks acquisition, and maintenance millages have done amazing work, along with our numerous governmental and nonprofit partners, much more needs to be accomplished. We need to minimize suburban sprawl and increase density in thoughtful ways that enhance our communities aesthetically and materially. Making sure all residents continue to have direct access to parks and protecting critical ecosystems will always be my passion.
Affordability and Equity
Housing and transportation are the largest examples of Ann Arbor’s growing segregation and disenfranchisement.
I will work to ensure:
- We increase affordable housing options
- All citizens have access to food, water, and basic rights
- Transportation costs, taxes, and fees are not overly burdensome, especially for those already in need
Art and Culture
I believe the City has abdicated its responsibility to support our cultural activities and heritages.
On Council I will:
- Find innovative opportunities for the City to support our thriving arts community
- Collaborate more readily and positively with community-supported initiatives
- Identify and advocate for additional support of the creative sectors