It is crucial that we support our community by providing opportunities that connect us to one another, cause us to care for our neighbors, and enrich our lives with new perspectives and worldviews. We will never create the change we wish to see if we continue to stay in our own bubbles. As a community, we need to grow in compassion for one another by listening to the concerns, hardships, and disparities that exist among us. Each person has their own unique struggles, and when we begin to listen to these struggles, it gives us the chance to grow our empathy. I think this is crucial to moving forward as a community. When we listen to our neighbors, we have the incredible opportunity to be enriched by their culture, traditions, faith, and worldview. I plan to facilitate these opportunities on the council, as I personally have been benefited every time I’ve experienced a different culture than my own. When we begin to do this work of listening to our neighbor, we will be able to target areas where groups in our community are excluded and redesign policy to include them. We will begin to heal the divides between various groups in our city. Finally, we will realize that we are more similar to our neighbors than we thought, and our differences are actually what make us stronger. This is the way we will move forward as a city.

Expand Cultural Affairs Department

Although our city currently has several outlets for the arts, they are not always attainable for all residents. I would evaluate expanding this department so it is not only geared toward serving the Civic Arts Plaza, but creates opportunities all over the city for the arts & cultural education. This includes bringing more young people and people of color into the conversation and giving them space to tell their stories.

Host Regular Community Conversations

Until our community views our neighbors’ issues as our own issues, we will never see lasting change in the city. We need to take a serious look at the pervasive NIMBYism that exists in our city. I plan to explore ways we can have community conversations with those with different backgrounds to increase our community’s empathy. I believe that these conversations will be the first step in creating a community that works for us all.