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 most of you know, the council voted for a new city hall last year. It will be located on the first floor of the new luxury apartments located at 3989 Central Ave.
I support the new city hall project. Our current building has $6,600,000 in needed repairs and it is more cost effective to build a new city hall than to repair the old city hall. With your support, I look forward to seeing this project through in the upcoming year.
Murzyn Hall has been a beloved building in our city that has been home to many city events over many decades. I believe it is the heart of our community. It is a place where children can enjoy dance, martial arts and plays. Adults and seniors can enjoy fundraisers, bingo, yoga, dance, celebrate birthdays, weddings, and retirements. Our community center has been so loved and well-used that it is time for some repairs and upgrades.
The money we saved from putting our city hall into the new building on 40th and Central can be used to help renovate our beloved Murzyn Hall. With your vote, I would like to be a part of the decisions that go into the project. I would like to make sure that we are able to keep its old charm with the new renovations and repairs, maybe even expand it so that it can handle all the people who love to attend its special events.
In 2009, our city police department chose to adopt the philosophy of community oriented policing. The following is a brief definition of community policing that our Police department relies on to steer their organization forward.
“Community Oriented Policing (COP): Working with stakeholders (neighbors, business people, schools, other departments/government entities) to find out what the community needs from local law enforcement to reduce crime and increase public safety (note—perception and reality can also be two different things).
COP is also an opportunity for law enforcement to work with stakeholders in a way for everyone to understand what we can, and cannot do to help with public safety.
COP cultivates relationships
COP has to involve as many community partners as we can.
And…. COP allows us to problem solve and share the responsibility of crime and public safety together. We are much more effective when citizens understand that crime and public safety is their responsibility too.”
As a Columbia Heights City Councilor, I strongly support community policing in our community. Every year our police department conducts a review of their community policing policies, strategies, strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their ability to keep our city safe in a more equitable manner for all of our citizens. This style of community engagement by our law enforcement officers has been successful in reducing crime and improving safety for everyone.
Our law enforcement officers also participate in many activities in our community to develop and strengthen relationships with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. For instance, they have picnics for residents throughout our city during the summer. They partner with other departments to host our Truck and Treat event. They conduct a resident Police Academy workshop for our residents to educate people about their policies they use when conducting police business. They host gym night for the teenagers at our high school. Many of our police officers participate in our Big Brother/Big Sister organization in our community. They have hosted Conversation events at First Lutheran church where residents can discuss their concerns and questions about policing in our city with our police officers. They conduct door to door policing surveys in our city. This is just a smattering of all the activities our police do to strengthen their relationships within our community.
If you re-elect me to the council I will work hard to help our police department improve our community policing. I think it is very important that all residents in our community feel safe and are treated with respect in all ways.
I have several priorities on my platform one of which is increasing our economic tax base. This means building larger buildings in key areas of our city. The two run down strip malls on 37th /Stinson and 40th/ Central are prime spots. Strip malls do not bring in a significant amount in taxes, larger buildings do. If we placed larger buildings, four to six stories, in these two areas, they could help carry more of the tax burden for our city.