Community engagement has never been more important than now. Milwaukie is known as an inclusive city and our City Council has made clear that they stand for social justice, equality, and equity. As your next City Councilor, I will join our Council in continuing to bring change. These discussions are long overdue, now is the time for action. We must become better listeners and hear the voices of our BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ Community in order to learn and understand the difficulties they have faced so we can all help create a more Just and Equitable society for us and our future generations to live in. Milwaukie, our time is now.
Every hard working Milwaukian should have an affordable place to call home. A place that doesn't consume a large portion of their monthly income which in turn allows individuals & families to spend their hard earned money on other necessities. It will allow people to get ahead. All of this leads to a greater quality of life and a prosperous local economy. This can be accomplished responsibly, without displacement, and without threatening the "look & feel" that we've all come to love about our existing neighborhoods. By working with community members, leaders, landlords & renters, we will reach our housing goals.
Our City prides itself on being bike & pedestrian friendly. The SAFE program continues to create sidewalks, access ramps, and crossings while being respectful to our surrounding trees. Additionally, the repair & repaving of our roads is critical to ensure safer conditions for all who use them. The importance of these improvements can't be understated as it has provided safer routes to schools across the city. More can also be done to reduce the amount of speeding cars that drive down our neighborhood streets. Now is especially critical, as more of us are home with family and loved ones who are often outside enjoying the weather on walks or playing.
Climate change is real and it's happening right before our eyes. We can see it in the hotter-than-normal days, lower-than-expected rainfall, worsening air quality, and annual wildfires. Those are just a few of the consequences of inaction. Thankfully, our Mayor and City Councilors took action in reducing Milwaukie's carbon footprint by implementing the Milwaukie Climate Action Plan. This bold and ambitious plan makes our City carbon neutral by 2050 through City-led initiatives, clean energy partnerships, and commercial/residential incentives to name a few. It will also take initiative from community members to help close the gap between what policies accomplish and remaining CO2 emissions.
As a small business owner, I understand the risks involved with opening a business and the stress that comes with it. That's why it's important to know you have the support of your City Council behind you. Covid-19 has brought additional challenges to our small business community which amplifies the reason for measures to protect businesses from evictions, skyrocketing rents, and severe financial strain. When you walk downtown, you see a number of closed businesses, most of which happened before Covid-19. These store fronts could be Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, or Veteran-Owned businesses by providing incentives to open which will be instrumental in restoring our downtown.
We live in a City that has been recognized nationally for its budget practices by the Government Finance Officers Association of the US & Canada. This prestigious award represents the hard work and dedication of employees in the City Budget Office. Budgeting is not an easy task and requires those involved to be meticulous when reviewing the 300+ page document. Many considerations are discussed that affect individuals, families, and small businesses alike. Accountability and attention to detail are a must, while also having a creative mind to find new ways other than taxes to fund projects and services that benefit our communities, small businesses, and City as a whole.
I encourage everyone on this site to reach out to me so we can expand further on these and other topics. Your input is critical in making sure our City government functions for all.