Eradicate or substantially reduce homelessness
I believe that I am the right person who can make eradicating homelessness a priority at the City Council. I have experienced what homelessness looks and feels like. As a young refugee, I have seen and witnessed people who fled wars, lost all they had, and overnight became homeless. The concept of homelessness to me, in the wealthiest nation in the world, is a reality that is hard for me to digest and thus it is personal to me. When I speak to family and friends in Africa, they have a hard time believing that homelessness exists in the United States. We must make it a goal to refuse the normalization of homelessness by taking action. Eradicating or substantially reducing homelessness also encompasses my desire to fight for affordable housing for all.
Make Saint Cloud united by building bridges to overcome barriers
I believe that our divisions’ leading cause or source is rooted in misunderstanding, misinformation, and lack of open dialogue between our neighbors and communities. The goal of uniting Saint Cloud is attainable. I believe that I am the right person to spearhead the process of uniting us because I have worked with members from every sector, and background, in the community. As a former teacher, I know the importance of modeling positivity – by leading the way and encouraging others, whether they be students in a classroom or residents in a city, to do the same. I have proven over time that I prefer collaboration over competition and that the interests of Saint Cloud overcome any differences or barriers that exist. I will build more bridges and I will promise to break down as many barriers that exist. I believe the process of uniting our city starts at city hall, in committees and and all other governing bodies. City council members, and all elected officials must model the unity they speak of and prioritize diversity and inclusion. It starts there and continues in classrooms, clinics, hospitals, neighborhoods and within families. I believe I will be an asset to the community as a city council member because I will always prioritize our unity and community building efforts.
Transparency and accountability
The city budget must be transparent and accountable to the voters. Our priorities need to be clear for all to see, including significant participation by our residents. Funding is a key issue for me both as a resident and as a hopeful city council candidate. I believe what we fund says a lot about us. For example, funding public safety is paramount, but we must do it consistently and holistically. Our public safety isn’t limited to reducing crime, rather it is an end goal that is achieved through multilayered approaches and efforts. They include:
- Providing mental health services and resources to ALL community members.
- Bolstering our school districts by providing students the opportunities and resources to succeed in the classroom and beyond it.
- Encouraging the collaboration and cooperation of the police department, mental and medical professionals and community leaders.
- Holding ourselves accountable in whatever roles we hold and giving others ample opportunities to provide feedback.
- Increasing cultural awareness and competency and turning that awareness into positive actions.
- Providing more safe spaces for the most vulnerable members of our communities.
- Increasing community hubs where people can connect and come together to discuss issues and work together on solutions
These are the three areas I will focus on if elected for City Council and I hope you will elect me to enact these changes and to build a better Saint Cloud for all.