"Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland, and recognized by CNN as one of America's great comeback cities in the United States. We have so much to be proud of. But we do face some obstacles—the perspective of many city residents is that we cannot address the big challenges or even the small ones anymore, because of the lack of political leadership, vision, and will.
I am running for elected office because I believe we can do better to ensure that we provide good schools, safe streets, a vibrant economy, and a strong sense of community for future generations. I want to help build and shape a community that offers my daughters the option to live, work, and retire in Frederick.
My focus as an Alderman will be fiscal responsibility, managing growth and infrastructure improvements, and building a diverse and forward-thinking economy that will benefit all the citizens of Frederick."
Growth & Infrastructure
Frederick's growing population is approximately 70,000 residents and growing. We have so much to be proud of. But we do face some obstacles with growth and infrastructure, especially in our newer communities. With new communities springing up all across the city, it is important that sidewalks, water and sewage systems, roads, public schools, and other vital infrastructure be in place before commercial or residential developments are built. The City's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances (APFO) policy must be strengthened by revising the outdated 3-year wait-and-go policy into something more appropriate to Frederick’s current needs. Investment in the Frederick Airport will also bolster economic activity in our area.
Healthy and Safe Communities
Heroin and opioid abuse is rampant throughout the Frederick community. In order to address this pressing issue in our communities, we must strengthen our partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Frederick County Government, and seek resources from the state to establish recovery and substance abuse programs.
We must also take action to revitalize our aging communities, using the recommendations of the task force on how best to address blighted properties in the city, and reward exemplary renovations. To further uplift neighborhoods facing economic, health, and safety challenges, we should establish a Transform Neighborhood Initiative (TNI), to find ways to improve the quality of life of those citizens. To combat the influx of gang activity in our city, we must establish a strong "no tolerance” policy for gangs in Frederick, and appropriate the necessary funding to the Frederick Police Department to combat the impact of drugs and violence in our community. We must also develop innovative policies to recruit and retain more minorities for the future Frederick police force.
Sustainable practices not only benefit the environment, but they also help to create jobs and conserve resources. In the future, small cities like Frederick can become a model of sustainability for the nation by investing in renewable energy technology and other green businesses, focusing on waste reduction and composting programs to reduce the burden on local landfills and limit emissions, working toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, exploring solar energy and optimizing city buildings for energy savings, and educating the community on how they can incorporate green habits into their daily life. By implementing Frederick's Sustainability Plan, we can work to achieve these goals. Frederick must also develop metrics to measure the progress of our sustainability efforts, so that we can understand what works and what doesn't. We are the stewards of our environment, and we must ensure that we pass on a cleaner, healthier city to future generations.
The challenge of balancing prosperity with affordable and workforce housing is real. To address this challenge, we must strengthen our partnership with Frederick County on Affordable Housing Initiatives, and establish a Housing Trust Partnership—a nonprofit aimed to establish programs and receive contributions toward a common goal. We should also explore the Tiny Home concept, where quality homes are constructed for low-income and elderly families for rent or ownership.
Seniors & Youth
Senior citizens make up a rapidly growing age group in Frederick, and we need to create more programs that effectively address their needs. The City of Frederick can do this by partnering with Frederick County on the Seniors First Initiative, which can provide recommendations going forward. Our goal should be to establish affordable and housing options for seniors, reduce the tax burden for our seniors and military veterans, and establish a legacy leadership program, so active retirees have an opportunity to give back to the community.
The future of Frederick lies with our youth. Young people should be an integral part of Frederick's community comprehensive planning, and so we must establish a Youth Commission to increase their input and involvement in the City of Frederick. The Youth Commission would advise the Mayor and the City Board of Alderman on summer job programs and after-school activities, as well as other issues facing our youngest citizens.
The New Economy
Frederick can and should be at the forefront of innovation. To establish Frederick as a center for the new economy, we must create an Infrastructure Investment Fund to build job training programs and bring cutting-edge industries like cybersecurity, life sciences, renewable energy, and robotics into our area. Furthermore, we should be working hard to make sure all our communities have access to this future, and that no one gets left behind. The Golden Mile can be transformed into an International Mile, highlighting the changing demographics of the community and attracting new and innovative businesses. And an ambitious vision for East Street could revitalize that area, creating a hub of creativity and invention that would provide jobs and resources to the city.
Civil rights isn't just a national issue, it's a local one as well. And so in every local decision, the rights of our women, our minorities, and members of our LGBTQ community must be respected and upheld. Our schools and our streets should be safe places for all, and every member of our Frederick family valued as equals.