Fighting for Affordability
The lack of affordable housing is a crisis that has been growing in our city, and others, for years. Affordable housing can not be solved with just one approach: we must engage in a multi-pronged strategy. Provide pre-approved plans for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) to streamline the zoning process; make interest-free loans to people putting in ADU's who are willing to guarantee affordable rent; work with developers to increase quality affordable units for people with the lowest incomes; follow the planning commission's recommendations and clean up the parts of the zoning code that are worsening the affordable housing crisis; provide energy-efficient low income units to reduce our carbon footprint as well as keep utility bills low for low income residents. These ideas are not the whole solution, but these combined with others can end this crisis.
Reducing Barriers & Building Bridges
Education has come up in many conversations that I’ve had recently. Our middle school buildings are beyond max capacity and are old. Despite much good work by theschool board, we must continue to improve our efforts to reduce the achievement gap between minority and non-minority children. I do not know all the answers to these problems, but I want to hear from people who have ideas. In UVA’s Curry School, our community has access to one of the best schools of education in the country. I look forward to learning from the experts about the newest and most advanced thinking on education equity.
Challenging the Inaction in Government
Climate change is a world-wide problem and needs to be addressed at every level of government. We can do things locally to reduce our impact, like increasing incentives for solar and wind installations, committing to reducing our investments in fossil fuels, installing solar panels on all city properties, and committing the city to becoming carbon neutral by 2035. These are all ideas that could be instituted on a city wide level to make a difference locally.
We can take difinitive action steps to increase our tree canopy and green space, clean up our local rivers and streams, replace all street lights with LED bulbs, extend programs such as LEAP's renters energy effieciency program.
I've worked for Region Ten for over a decade in intensive services and later PACEM (cold weather homeless shelter) for 4 years. The issues related to housing come full circle with those who have untreated mental illnesses and addictions. Institutions such as drug court would allows those with addictions to pursue treatment while going through the court process.
CLOSING THE GAP
Drug court would be an equalizer for those underprivileged and more at risk of systemic racism, and ultimately be served to rehabilitate members of our community.
Many of these issues faced in Charlottesville and addressed in my platform are not singular and come together. If on Council, I am committed to working through with my council members to address the pressing concerns of our citizens.