What issue or interest compelled you to apply for a seat on the Council?
First and foremost was the opportunity to work on issues related to racial equity and greater equity work with the Council. I am also passionate about being a voice for transit issues as we build out more into the East Metro, which is my area and I am very excited about that. The ability to affect important policy issues which touch all of us, including affordable housing and a greener future with greener policies/resources, is also a big part of my passion.
What are you most looking forward to during your service at the Council?
Building relationships of trust and working together across the region for good — working with my colleagues, staff, board liaisons and board/committee members to help build a strong Council that continues to do good work in the community as we strengthen our region.
Most of all, I am a people person and I am passionate about making connections and connecting people, be it to help diversify boards with my community connections or to strengthen my networks and working relationships with staff to keep the Council running smooth and doing its great work with integrity. I want to learn, grow and help advance the Council's work in general.
Within the Council’s work areas, what do you think is most on the minds of people in your district?
All of these are important, as the East Metro has a few great, important bodies of water as well as magnificent parks. But immediately, the pressing issues are water quality, housing issues as we plan for the retiring boomers and a newer, younger workforce, as well as transportation issues that will decide our fate as a competitive region in the next decade and for the next generation.
Considering your primary committee assignments, what will be your priority focus area in 2019?
I want to do as much as I can on issues relating to transportation and community development. We need strong, revitalized communities, and we need to resource a meaningful Equity Advisory Committee. Our region is booming and we need to be ahead of the curve on great ideas and innovation in transportation today.
Can you share your vision of the priority changes you’d like to see in the Twin Cities region by 2040?
I want this region to retain its talent and stop the "brain drain" of people who move here briefly for college or jobs and then move elsewhere. I want our region to be bustling and competing with the greatest metros in the world. We can only do this with a great standard of living, with well-maintained transit and infrastructure, enough housing for all income levels, and most of all, quality social programming and systems such as beautiful parks and safe, healthy water resources.
We must have the most welcoming environment and atmosphere to all peoples, where equity is laced throughout all our systems, policies and actions. We can't let infrastructure fall into disrepair and water quality diminish. We must be on the cutting edge of green energy to decrease our carbon footprint, from our energy plants to our fleets.
Companies will not relocate to or be headquartered and start here if we don't have these things. Young families will not stay here. Great folks who have worked a good life will not want to retire here. So we need them to love our great region, and we can only do that with careful policy planning and decision making in all areas of the systems we touch.
More personally, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love watching movies, and (go ahead and laugh) reading nonfiction (especially history). I know. I'm a nerd.