In your ward, what are the biggest challenges facing your constituents? What plans or strategies have you formulated to address these issues?
Crime: The city has been dealing with a small segment of the population that continues to make criminal choices, those problems have been experienced in the 2nd Ward as well. First is awareness of how individuals can make themselves less susceptible to crime such as locking up their cars. Second is using tools like Nextdoor.com and the YourGov app to create a greater neighborhood and civic participation. Third is utilizing and creating partnerships to address the systematic issues which are incubating criminal activities. Lastly is being willing to devote resources to real solutions that will have a meaningful impact.
Speeding: Everywhere I have knocked on doors I have heard about unsafe driving and excessive speed, especially in neighborhoods. While I am glad to see the addition of speed indicators to help drivers voluntarily reduce their speed I will continue pressing for additional tools to address speeding and other unsafe driving practices in the city.
Economic Development: Jobs are vital to productive individuals and thriving neighborhoods. As the economy adapts to changing national and global forces I intend to work with staff to update economic development tools to make it easier to be an entrepreneur or grow a business. There also needs to be a focus on attracting businesses with something other than a tax break so that residents do not have to make up the difference.
What have you identified as priorities or goals should you be elected?
Crime: Partnering with other agencies to create diversion programs to keep serious crime from occurring in the first place.
Economic development: Review zoning and approval processes so that it is easier to establish and grow small or medium businesses in addition to growth in our industrial park.
Parks/recreation: Continue to invest in recreational amenities and find opportunities to have unique offerings.
Youth engagement: Create opportunities for youth to learn about local government.
Increase civic participation: Continue raising awareness apps like Nextdoor, YourGOV, Crimestoppers, and continue to support Davenport University (city citizen's academy).
Davenport’s riverfront is often times referred to as its greatest asset. Is Davenport on the right path to develop a “world-class riverfront?” Do you have a specific vision for what you would like to see or are there certain amenities you would like to incorporate?
I see my role when it comes to the riverfront as listening to the community and helping to vet proposals. Development should go forward (or not) at the direction of the community at large.
Davenport NOW was credited with spurring development at a time when construction was lacking. With the program scheduled to sunset next year, would you support continuing the program or what modifications would you like to see?
I would like to see an update for 2018. Many older neighborhoods are experiencing blight from abandoned houses or infrastructure that has degraded. I would like to see new programs with more focus on repopulating existing areas, especially the areas where schools have seen depopulation. I think there will need to be a discussion about allocation of resources and how to utilize what is available to create the most future growth.
Why are you running for Davenport City Council?
I have young children and I want them to grow up in a thriving community with abundant opportunities and diverse experiences. I want to help steer Davenport and the Quad-City Region to be a place where individuals and families seek to get their education, live, and work. I believe Davenport is at a point where smart investments in long term solutions can create a virtue cycle that will create growth and prosperity for decades to come. While we have experienced some recent setbacks and challenges I believe that the way leadership reacts to and addresses those challenges will be defining for the community.
How does your work, public service or volunteer experience translate to serving on the Davenport City Council?
I have a unique set of experience in governmental roles as well as advocacy roles. I have also spent extensive amounts of time getting to know all about various nonprofit organizations within the region which the city has the option to partner with for the accomplishment of common goals. I intend to use my accumulated knowledge to seek out underlying issues and address them with real solutions.
In your estimation, what are the strengths of the city of Davenport?
Davenport has natural assets that give the city a distinct advantage over many other areas of the country. The beautiful riverfront that the community has reclaimed is a great selling point and Davenport has a great mixture of urban, suburban, and rural structured areas. We also have access to very affordable energy and water. I believe our biggest strength is the people who have made Davenport their home. The skills, wisdom, and work ethic of my fellow Davenporters always makes me proud and the collective community service of all the individuals here is what really makes this a great place to live.
What are the areas the city of Davenport can improve on?
We are still catching up on street and sidewalk improvements, we face challenges of being an older city and having to retrofit some of our older infrastructure but I think we are up to the challenge. We are still looking for opportunities to become more data driven, especially in our budgeting process and there will always be more opportunities to increase civic engagement. I hope to be a voice within the city for taking a stronger leadership role in the region and act more proactive.