A New Vision
I believe it is time for a new vision for our district. A vision that includes the highest standard of services and quality of life for our residents. No elected body has more immediate impact on the opportunity gap and the social safety net than the county board. With a budget of approximately $725 million, Ramsey County has both tremendous resources and enormous responsibility to improve the lives of our residents.
As a commissioner, I’ll focus on providing the health, housing, and transit services that we all rely on. I believe that if we make investments that are equitable, economical, and environmentally beneficial we can truly put our dollars to work for the benefit of all.
My proven leadership in the military, along with my work in affordable housing, community programming and social advocacy has prepared me to serve as your County Commissioner. As commissioner I will ensure that we have a vibrant community where ALL are valued and thrive.
Our county government has a key role in growing our local economy. Our district has suffered severe hardships over the past 20 years with the loss of jobs and businesses. As your commissioner I will work to bring investments to our district. I will be a proactive partner that encourages businesses to set up shop and create jobs in our neighborhoods. Our diversity and human capital are our strength and as an advocate for our community, I will work with the county board to ensure that we are working closely with Saint Paul and Falcon Heights to bring quality jobs and development throughout the district.
Children and Families
We know that more and more of our families are being left behind when it comes to education, health, and income – especially children and families of color. This is particularly true in our district, which includes some of the most diverse neighborhoods in our region. It is imperative that we have a representative on the county board working to bring new resources to our community. As your commissioner, I will advocate for investments for residents at every stage of life, including early childhood services, Women and Infant Nutrition services, and youth services. Investing in children and families is an investment in our community.
Health Care and Families
Skyrocketing healthcare costs and reduced reimbursement rates are the biggest challenges facing Ramsey County’s budget. This kind of fiscal constraint limits our ability to provide services for those who need it the most. Making sure the Ramsey health support system is financially sustainable not only hels us to continue to provide quality healthcare, it put us on a stronger financial footing overall. As commissioner, I’ll support targeted and strategic initiatives to address the needs of communities experiencing health disparities.
Mental health issues impair people’s ability to succeed on multiple fronts, no matter what age, culture, and socio-economic group you may come from. Without the right support, these challenges can contribute to truancy, academic problems, legal problems, joblessness, homelessness, and chemical dependency. The county’s role in delivering mental health services should be balanced between both prevention and treatment. We should focus on making multiple points of access to care available to citizens across their life-spans, prioritize cultural accessibility, multi-generational treatment, and trauma-informed practices. Improving these services is an investment in our neighbors and our community, resulting in higher school performance, greater job productivity, reductions in crime and recidivism, reductions in homelessness, and greater life satisfaction for countless numbers of people.
Retirement and Aging
Projections show that by 2040 the number of residents in the region age 65 and older will grow by 150%. The County needs to plan now to ensure our growing number of seniors can lead safe and healthy lives. I will advocate for aging-in-place initiatives that coordinate support of transit, pedestrian safety, health, housing and other services. Programs such as Saint Paul’s block nurse program keep neighborhoods safe and allow our older residents to age with choices, dignity, and respect.
Housing and Homelessness
Our district has the highest rates of concentrated poverty in the state of Minnesota. I will advocate to ensure more families have access to high quality housing they can afford. I will work to ensure the county is encouraging affordable ownership opportunities by investing in rehabbing properties, increasing energy efficiency, and better assisting families that encounter financial hardship due to rising property values. While school districts educate our youth when they’re in school, Ramsey County can support learning and growth by reducing mobility among families with children.
My vision for Ramsey County is a multimodal transportation system that is highly networked and highly integrated. To grow our local economy, we must have a transportation system that allows workers to easily access jobs throughout the region. I also believe that building strong neighborhoods means making sure that children and seniors can safely walk to school, to local businesses, or a nearby park. I support initiatives that make choosing to bike, walk, or use transit easier. I will be a voice for transit-oriented development that increases equitable access to opportunity, and builds strong neighborhoods for people of all ages.
A Healthy Environment for All
I will partner with communities in Ramsey County to support a collective commitment to be a Zero Waste County. I support legislative efforts to return money to counties to fund recycling and composting efforts. As commissioner I will continue to find ways to protect our environment and protect against environmental impacts on our ground, air and water.
County Law Enforcement
From patrolling suburban communities to staffing our local correctional facilities, our county government plays an important role in ensuring our neighborhoods are safe places to live and work. As commissioner, I will work closely with the Ramsey County Sheriff to support continued implementation of character based recruitment and hiring to ensure our deputies reflect the diversity and values of our community. I will support holistic approaches to improving public safety like the county’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives program, which ensures we take new approaches to working with youth when they encounter the criminal justice system.
Libraries are ready-made community hubs. They expand opportunities for families, children, and individuals to engage in learning. They also offer an opportunity for workforce development and space for community programming. As commissioner, I will advocate for continued expansion of hours and services, and will pursue opportunities to partner with other city and county services.
Our region will be better served to the extent that services can be coordinated and decisions informed by data. I will advocate for standardized data sharing across administrative departments, to measure how lives are improved by the County and to inform investment and programming. I will work to update privacy policies to reflect today’s greater us of data in decision making.