Growing up, my parents instilled an emphasis on service and community in myself and my sisters. They were both educators. My dad was a volunteer firefighter, and he served on the local Board of Education and later City Council. My mother was on the Zoning Board and also a Probate Judge. I want to be a visible participant in the Forest Park government to build trust ensured by action. I want to be your Ward 2 Councilman, someone who is accessible, approachable, and capable of providing appropriate representation.
As neighbors and fellow residents, I’m sure we share similar concerns for Forest Park and wish for similar improvements in our community for everyone’s safety and well-being. I envision a community where everyone has a seat at the table with leadership that is respectful and responsive to the citizens. As your Ward 2 Councilman,
I will support the inclusion of all citizens.
Improve communication between local government and residents.
Promote good-paying jobs.
Guarantee fiscal responsibility.
Establish safe neighborhoods (especially for our seniors and children).
Facilitate a better quality of life and economic stability through more businesses, grocery opportunities, and dine-in restaurants.
LIST OF ISSUES
Better Quality Of Life
I believe a vibrant and diverse community offers a variety of opportunities like shopping, dining, and entertainment. It should also offer good paying jobs and affordable housing. Special events that unite our community that are inclusive but also celebrate our unique differences are a great way to observe other cultures as well as invest in the people who make up the entirety of our community. Joy is priceless. As Forest Park works toward its goal of better economic stability, we already find our joy through community events. As your Councilman I will provide continued support and outreach to our residents as well as focusing on the long term goals that improve an overall better quality of life.
It's disappointing and frustrating not to be aware of what's happening in your community, whether it's good or bad. Participating in person or attending meetings is often difficult or impossible for working families. As your Councilman, I will strongly advocate for a consistent and reliable system that allows council meetings and authority board meetings to be accessible online and recorded and the minutes of those meetings updated quickly and efficiently on the city’s website. Everyone in the community should have a seat at the table, and with today's technology, there's no reason not to have complete accessibility to public meetings that matter most. A monthly newsletter to provide updates of all activities as well as a strong presence on social media will ensure all residents are aware of upcoming opportunities in a timely manner.
Research has shown that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially. I believe this to be true for communities as well. Forest Park is rich in diversity but somewhat slow to gain full inclusion when it comes to local government. As an educator I witness firsthand our next generation of bright young adults and I feel a genuine sense of urgency to provide paths to success that begin with all individuals having a seat at the table. As your Councilman it will be my goal to ensure opportunities that offer full inclusion to all who live here.
Financial transparency increases trust. Community input matters when it comes to spending your tax dollars. Fiscally responsible governments positively impact their communities by better meeting the needs of the residents. As your Councilman I will analyze city budgets for cost-saving strategies and eliminate waste
Everyone deserves to live in a community where they feel safe and secure, especially our senior residents and children. Crime does exist and I believe the best method of tackling this problem is addressing our poverty problem.
"Poverty is the parent of crime." -Aristotle
Studies have shown improvement by providing:
· Equality and representation for all
· Building resilience through education and support systems
· Food security
· Reduction of conflict
· Good paying jobs
As your Councilman, I will network and identify resources that address these vital issues. Also, police personnel should maintain appropriate and ongoing training, especially in de-escalation techniques. There should be officers on the force who look like and speak the language of all who live in our community. Other cities have also seen very favorable results with the addition of a unit that specializes in mental illness. I think this would be extremely beneficial for our community as well. Personal experience determines whether we feel safe and secure and not everyone’s lived experience is the same. Having diverse and appropriately trained police officers is essential.