I am a strong advocate of investments in sustainability for Columbia Heights. I would like to work on creating a commission to address energy efficiency, clean water, equity, native plants and trees for redevelopment projects.
I believe that we all have a responsibility to look to the future when making decisions today. We need to understand what impact our city’s investments (or lack thereof) will have on residents of tomorrow.
I would like to hear about your ideas for how we can improve the sustainability of Columbia Heights. Please contact me and tell me what you think.
As a council member, my responsibility is to encourage housing for all income levels and needs. I definitely understand that there is a strong need for affordable housing across the state, however, we also need to address the needs of those with higher incomes that would like to live in our community as well. It is a delicate balance.
Early on in my term, I strongly supported the workforce housing project now known as Grand Central Flats. Over the last year, we have been working on our first luxury apartment project on Central and 40th Ave NE. And now we are working on a project, in its early stages, that will offer affordable apartments for our residents and others who want to live in our great city.
A range and mix of housing options for all income levels is beneficial to a city. It is important to balance and grow city tax revenues so that we are able to make investments and improvements for our residents. I would love to hear about your ideas for how we can improve and grow Columbia Heights’ housing mix. Please contact me and let’s start a conversation.
I love the diversity of our city! We have people from all over the world living here. On my street alone, I have neighbors from Ecuador, Colombia, Russia, India, and Sweden.
I lived for twelve years in Seattle, where I met people from all over the world. It made life interesting. The experience taught me that we have more in common than we have differences. That we are humans first and everyone of us deserves to be respected.
After the horrible tragedy of Mr. Floyd’s death and the protests that followed, I believe that it is even more important for myself and everyone to honor his life by opening our minds and our hearts to those we consider different from ourselves. In doing so, I believe that we will discover that our human commonality will bring us closer together with a deeper understanding of each other. We are all worthy of respect and dignity.
Columbia Heights is my little Seattle. I want to continue to highlight and support the diversity in our community that makes ALL of our residents feel safe and welcome.
Improving our infrastructure is an exciting topic for me. A strong infrastructure improves the sustainability of our city. It makes sure that we get water, that we don’t have to worry about sewer backups, that storm water goes where it’s supposed to and not into our basement. A strong infrastructure provides safe roads to travel on, sidewalks that allow us a safe way to walk in our city and good street lighting to keep us safe at night.
Infrastructure is a component of our city that most people don’t need to think about, and I want to keep it that way. As your councilor, I supported investments in repairs and replacements to our aging infrastructure components, such as replacing storm drains and rebuilding alleys.
Infrastructure also deals with our energy sources. Right now we have four city buildings with solar arrays. This past year we added a solar subscription that will be operable in the near future. I would like to continue support for further projects that reduce our city’s energy use.
As your city council member, I would like to work on transforming our Traffic Commission from a stop sign commission to a transportation commission that focuses not only on stop signs but also on all the modes of transportation that get us from A to B: safe walking routes, bike routes, reduction in speeding, better lighting, bus routes, future autonomous car traffic, street improvements, scooters, etc.. All of these avenues of transportation are important and deserve a commission that focuses on these issues.
We can improve the access and functionality of our streets for all types of users. The future of transportation looks different than it is today, and we need to prepare our city to meet those needs.
Everyone loves the public parks in Columbia Heights. When the city commissioned a survey in preparation for the 2040 comprehensive plan, “Loving our parks” was the number one comment.
Parks are a valuable asset to any city. They can be used during good times and bad, by people rich or poor. Parks improve the health of our city. They provide a space where people can play, walk their dog, play sports, or to just sit and relax and enjoy. If elected to Columbia Heights City Council, I would like to continue working towards upgrading our parks. Upgrades that I support include investments to our trail system, developing a regulation-size soccer field(s) and a public skate park. I would like to hear your thoughts on how to improve our parks.
A few years ago, the Parks and Recreation Commission asked our Public Works Director to write a report on the upgrades needed and the cost of those upgrades for all parks. The price tag came in at roughly six million dollars. Currently, it costs about five hundred thousand dollars or more to upgrade a park.
As it stands, the money for upgrading parks comes from redevelopment projects such as the Legends, Grand Central Flats. If large redevelopment projects do not occur then there is no funding available to upgrade parks. There are several alternatives to this funding model that are worth exploring, and such as bonds, public/private partnerships and others. Prioritizing a long-range plan for our parks and developing ways to pay for them will be a benefit to Columbia Heights.
I am an advocate for the redevelopment of the Central Avenue corridor to include new independently owned businesses, housing, and gathering spaces. A healthy and vibrant commercial center for Columbia Heights makes our city attractive to new residents and businesses. This generates tax revenues that can be used for additional improvements and city services.
During my time as a city councilor, I’ve supported several actions that have made positive impacts on our downtown area. These include small business grants for facade improvements, moving our city hall to a new location, implementing a moratorium on auto-related businesses and others.
Our small business grant program has been a great success. Not only are businesses replacing doors, windows, signage and improving facades, but they are also taking advantage of the security camera program that our Police Department set up to help make our main street safer. The program expanded to 40th Avenue last year and more importantly, businesses are spending beyond the $5,000 grant limit and investing even more money into their building.
I support further investments in our downtown and working with business owners to learn what’s important to them. I would like to see the creation of new commissions to study issues like traffic and sustainability to ensure that our downtown corridor is prepared for future changes.