Invest in our neighborhoods by attracting businesses that pay living wage jobs and strengthen our tax base.
Our vibrant and diverse neighborhoods are our greatest assets as a city and we need to promote and invest in them. This means ensuring that all neighborhoods are home to the services that residents need so people can walk or bike to a grocery store, drug store, health clinic, barber, auto repair shop, or bank. It also means attracting living-wage jobs to our neighborhoods so residents aren’t commuting out of the city to find jobs that pay enough to support their families.
Living on the West Side, I’m fortunate to be in one of our city’s most walkable neighborhoods. While I was on maternity leave last year, I was able to drop my car off at the repair shop, walk to my son’s pediatrician appointment, stop to buy some food for dinner and then walk home – all within a pleasant hour. In my work on the Planning Commission and WSCO, I have seen first-hand how the passion we feel for our neighborhoods makes this a greater city. Whether it’s dedicating time to carefully debating our neighborhood plans, tending a community garden patch, or showing up at public meetings to share our thoughts on new zoning ordinances, our neighborhoods thrive because of our commitment to them.
• Promote events and activities going on in every neighborhood • Conduct a study of vacant buildings in each neighborhood and work with district councils to attract critical services to occupy them • Create incentives for employers offering living-wage jobs to relocate to our neighborhoods
Step Up Services
Excel at basic government functions like public safety and street maintenance. Ward 2 residents should be able to expect outstanding responsiveness and solid infrastructure.
A city’s most basic compact with its residents is to provide basic services like public safety and street maintenance and to be immediately responsive to residents’ concerns. But many in our city feel, rightly, that we are not getting that level of service. From horribly rutted roads to slow response times when we call about problem properties to mountains of snow blocking transit stops, we are falling behind at providing excellent service to our residents and businesses. To remain competitive and attract the next generation of residents to Saint Paul, we need to do better.
While living in India, my husband and I spent an infuriating nine months renewing our 12-month visas. I spent almost every other day in the chaos of the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), not understanding which line to be in, whom to speak with or how to explain my situation. This experience taught me the importance of city government fulfilling its basic duties to residents and the frustration that results when it fails to do so.
•Work full-time as your City Councilmember and emphasize constituent services and responsiveness as my top priority
•Revamp the city website so it’s easy to find the services you need
Connect Our Neighborhoods
Make our city fully walkable, bikeable and rideable by expanding our transit network, improving our bus shelters, fully implementing the proposed city-wide bike plan and ensuring that our streets are safe for walkers of all ages.
Making St. Paul a fully bikeable, walkable and rideable city for people of all ages will be essential to attracting and retaining the next generation of residents. In order to gain critical mass, public transportation needs to be an attractive alternative to driving, which means our bus shelters need to be worthy of the name and our bus network needs to be robust enough to get people to and from light rail. And though we’ve made a good start with bike lanes, there’s a long way to go before people of all ages feel comfortable biking to where they need to go.
I’ve lived in cities with terrific transit options (Boston), cities where driving was a necessity (Baton Rouge) and cities where walking was intolerable (Pune, India). I know what it means to be able to take an interesting, comfortable and safe walk in and around your neighborhood and I understand how important that is to our quality of life. I was the only member of the Planning Commission to vote not to move ahead with another expensive study of a streetcar line down 7th proceeding and that there might be other ways to get the information besides hiring another consulting firm. I helped write the new West Side Flats Master Plan which advocates new bikeways on the West Side and that promotes greater density to support transit along Robert St.
•Support increased bus routes and more frequent service to ensure all neighborhoods are fully connected to light rail •Make riding public transit more desirable than taking a car by creating heated bus stations and encouraging the spread of bus rapid transit •Fully implement the citywide bike plan
Invest in Our Youth
Expand opportunities for our young people by making sure all our parks, rec centers and libraries are top-notch and building partnerships with private employers to make sure every young person who wants a job can find one.
Making sure our youngest residents have a fair shot at success must be our top priority. In a greater St. Paul, all our young people will be able to realize their potential – regardless of where they live, what they believe or what they look like.
I’ve dedicated my career to improving opportunities for young people – as a volunteer tutor and mentor, as a middle school science teacher, at education non-profits in Louisiana and India, at AchieveMpls where I have engaged dozens of new business partners to volunteer in our high schools and provide students with internships. As a founder of West Siders for Strong Schools, I’ve fought for a greater voice for parents and neighbors in decisions that affect our kids and I’ve realized the power we have as residents when we come together to demand equitable opportunities.
•Support kid-friendly hours and trained youth workers at all parks, rec centers and libraries •Fully fund park maintenance •Expand Right Track to serve 1000 students by the summer of 2020 •Fully fund the Circulator bus system to serve all children in St. Paul