People and Housing
People Are the Top Priority
In order to build a sustainable future for Des Moines we must make the people of Des Moines our top priority. I truly believe the health and future of any community can be gauged by how it treats the people within the community with the greatest need.
We must continue to find innovative ways to address critical insecurities and gaps in access, particularly in the areas of housing, food, and technology. The framework of needs for those who face housing and food insecurity is complex and is not solved by simply providing four walls or a hot meal. We need to lean into solutions that see the interactions with those in need as an opportunity to understand the complexity of their situation and connect them to services that facilitate long-term success. Similarly, as our world moves towards a more digital environment, many are being left behind without access to technology. This technology gap is preventing many from accessing services that are critical for getting jobs, seeking out professional resources, and obtaining an education.
As a leader in Des Moines, I will support and leverage solutions to these problems that are proven to provide long-term sustainability and leverage short-term tactics only to the extent they are aligned with a long-term strategy. Ward III has many local organizations and experts tackling these issues today, including our City Library system. We need to strengthen these partnerships and raise up the businesses dedicated to finding solutions to these complex issues.
Safety and Security
Community Safety through Collaboration and Hard Work
Ward III is home to a diverse set of people. This diversity enriches our community and gives us access and exposure to different points of view, beliefs, and ways of life that we may not otherwise have opportunity to experience. Our diversity makes us better as a community and enriches our lives as individuals. It is my belief that the diversity of our community also comes with greater responsibility for our leadership. Successful leadership in a diverse community is dependent on being able to listen to different thoughts and beliefs and bring those with differing views together to find common ground to build upon.
As a leader in Des Moines I will raise up and highlight the beauty of our diversity. I will also work tirelessly to engage in conversations and facilitate action that makes real progress to bring us together when our differences have created wounds and scars that run deep. If we are going to find ways to strengthen our communities to make sure that all members of our community feel safe and respected, a single person isn’t enough. But by having leadership that is willing to do the work, we can have a real advantage in the effort.
Growing the Community through Business Partnership
Des Moines is home to the most diverse business scene in Iowa. Ward III, in particular, has business districts that range from the corporate to the eclectic. This includes some of the largest employers and most thriving business in Iowa to some of the more unique and local options that you won’t find anywhere else. Our community relies on our businesses and our businesses rely on our communities. When our communities are healthy our businesses are healthy and when our businesses thrive our communities do, too.
For our community, it is these businesses that attract people to the city of Des Moines from far and wide. To visit and play or to work and stay. It is these businesses that provide jobs to put food on the table for many of our neighbors and their families and these businesses that provide access to services that our community needs.
For our businesses, it is the community that they turn to for their employees and the success of our communities attracts new and diverse talent to the area. For local businesses, the community is in many cases the main customer base critical for their survival.
As a leader in Des Moines I will find ways to partner with businesses to grow our community after one of the hardest years in recent memory. This means working with those businesses that were negatively impacted by the last year to find ways to put customers in stores and at tables across the metro. This means partnering with our bigger businesses to find ways to make Des Moines more attractive to talent they need to continue to thrive. This means working with those who have not historically had access to resources to build and grow a business to find ways to make those dreams more accessible.
With local leadership at the table during the conversation between our businesses and community, together we are sure to be a sum greater than our individual parts.
Securing our Future Through Innovative Education
Education is complex and we need to be flexible in our approach to providing education and support services. We need to seek out innovative solutions that meet student populations where they are in their journey. This means looking at innovative ways to handle basic needs before a student sets foot in a classroom, creating lasting connections by bringing mentors to students in the classrooms, and looking at creative solutions to bring education to students in a way that makes them realize its value and feel like the system is working for them.
As a leader in Des Moines, I will lean on my diverse education background to support a variety of education solutions that can work for our community. In my life I attended military schools, private schools, parochial schools, and public schools. I was a part of small classes in rural Iowa that grew up with each other from birth to large classes where you couldn’t meet everyone if you tried. I was a part of incredibly diverse classes on military bases to classes without any diversity whatsoever. I have taught classes to law students that had the world at their fingertips and mentored middle school students that didn’t know if they would have dinner that night. Through these experiences I have been exposed to quite a range of our education system and I know for certain that there is no one right answer to providing a successful education. What I do know is that we must be willing to be flexible and innovative in the solutions we explore to provide access to education.
Building a Community Focused Ecosystem of Sustainability
A thoughtful sustainability plan is critical for the future of Des Moines. We are the caretakers of our environment and responsibility for clean water and a healthy and thriving environment rests with all of us. Long-term success in any sustainability program, but particularly at the city level, must be a collaboration between local leadership, the community, and businesses. Without partnership between all stakeholders, even well-intentioned policy will fall short.
As a leader in Des Moines I will focus on finding local solutions to the issues of sustainability in Des Moines. Each ecosystem is unique and Des Moines is no different. While we should always learn from the successes around us and import the solutions that have found data-proven success in other cities, the threshold question on issues of sustainability should always be whether the solution is right for Des Moines. We can’t import our ecosystem and we can’t import the policy to govern the future of sustainability. It will certainly be hard work to find solutions that work for our entire community, but it is work that must be done to secure a sustainable future for all of Des Moines.
Leading as a Neighbor
Leadership is a service. A service to every individual, business, organization, and cause that calls our community home.
As a leader in Des Moines I will serve as a neighbor and community member. I will highlight the successes of Des Moines, challenge injustices in our community, and stand by your side as our great city grows over the next four years. As your neighbor I will share with you in the joy of our greatest moments and grieve with you in the moments of hardship. It would be a true honor to serve in this capacity and I welcome any and all of you to reach out and let me know what issues are important to you. Together we will build a bright future for Des Moines.