Below are my responses to the candidate questionnaire from the Ann Arbor League of Women Voters. For a complete Voter Guide, go to vote411.org.
What in your education and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this position?
My education and experience will enable me to get right to work for the residents of Ward 3. As a Lecturer at UM-Dearborn, I teach students to advocate for policies based on a combination of top-down data-driven best practices and bottom-up community-based solutions.
As Chair of the Park Advisory Commission, I enjoyed solving problems, engaging the community, and making a direct impact on the quality of life of all Ann Arbor residents. I worked to improve golf course operations and the Senior Center, incorporate sustainability practices, and map the future of riverfront recreation, the Allen Creek Greenway, and downtown open space.
What are your goals should you be elected and how will you work to accomplish them with current resources?
Ann Arbor needs leaders that make consensus-based policy decisions reflective of best practices, robust and transparent community engagement, and the progressive values of our community. Ultimately, my goals are to provide quality core services, strong constituent communication, and foster safe vibrant neighborhoods which attract residents of all ages.
To achieve these goals we simply cannot cut our way to prosperity. In order to fund safety services and better maintain our roads, parks, and infrastructure, we must make fiscally responsible, long-term investments that will enable us to expand our tax base.
What would you like to see happen with growth and density in Ann Arbor in the next ten years?
I would like to see growth and density that is consistent with residents’ vision for our neighborhoods and downtown. Responsible growth and density are essential to increasing our tax base and meeting the changing needs of our population. By reflecting upon the lessons learned from the most recent round of development, we can incentivize future projects that are aesthetically pleasing, target a range of ages and incomes, and complement adjoining residential areas.
How well is the city handling the problem of homelessness? What changes would you like to see in dealing with this issue?
Homelessness is a complex regional problem that demands collaborative relationships with the county and not-for-profit sector. We should support the permanent supported housing approach wherever possible, make needed improvements to our existing housing stock, explore innovative housing solutions, and incentivize low-income development. At the same time, we also need to address the root causes of homelessness by continuing to fund human services (e.g. mental health). Finally, council members should conduct the necessary outreach to address neighborhood concerns regarding proposed projects.