The priorities that
drive what I do

Working and middle class families, young people, and many of our seniors are feeling strained from rapidly rising rent prices and a lack of affordable homes available for purchase. We need to both build more new affordable homes and apartments as well as work aggressively to reoccupy the thousands of vacant buildings that blight many of our neighborhoods.

On Council I will push to:

  • Utilize incentives and creative development practices to expand affordable home ownership opportunities for city residents.
  • Design zoning code reforms to encourage re/development at Valley View Mall, Towne Square, and similarly underutilize commercial areas to include additional housing rental opportunities.
  • Aggressively crackdown on the owners of the thousands of vacant, blighted single family homes across the city. Families need these homes and in their current state many are dangers and liabilities to their surrounding neighborhood.
  • Pursue redevelopment of the Civic Center complex to include mixed use, multi-family housing.

Providing children and adolescents with more after-school programming and recreational opportunities is a long term investment in our families and communities. Our kids need positive influences, support, and supervised social interactions and playtime with their peers. After-school programs have been shown to reduce juvenile crime and risk-taking behavior. They also benefit working class parents by helping offset after-school childcare costs. I will work to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide safe and supportive environments for our children and youth.

On Council I will push to:

  • Restore funding for recreation centers to allow for full-time programming staff and longer operating hours.
  • Expand after-school programming with a priority on low and moderate income areas.
  • Create a summer youth employment and paid internship program to provide hands-on experiences to high school juniors and seniors.

Our parks, trails, and greenspaces are among Roanoke’s greatest assets. It will be a top priority for me to ensure our Parks and Recreation Department, specifically the Urban Forestry Section, has what it needs to protect and expand these resources for future generations to enjoy. Less than 2% of the overall city budget is allocated to park and greenway maintenance, urban forestry, and recreational programming. We can and must do better. Making these investments will improve the overall health of our residents, and it will also support continued eco-tourism and our growing outdoor recreation economy.

On Council I will push to:

  • Begin urgently restoring our urban tree canopy, which fell from 47.9% in 2010 to 26% in 2019, prioritizing areas identified as facing extreme heat inequities. Restoring our tree canopy cover and protecting what remains of our greenspaces will provide significant public health and economic benefits. This is critical urban infrastructure that removes dangerous pollution from the air, shields people from deadly extreme heat in the summer, and contributes significantly to reducing stormwater runoff that causes flooding.
  • Increase Parks and Recreation and Urban Forestry Section funding to at least 5% of the overall city budget.  
  • Continue expansion and interconnection of our trails and greenways within city limits and beyond to neighboring counties.

Safe streets are integral to creating walkable neighborhoods, and walkable neighborhoods are necessary for sustaining thriving communities across the city. Whether traveling by foot, mobility device, or bicycle, everyone deserves to be safe getting around. We need to do more to address unsafe driving and speeding and ensure our streets are safe and accessible for all.

On Council I will push to:

  • Install traffic cameras in school zones and pursue needed legislation from Richmond to allow them to be placed anywhere.
  • Invest in fixing and installing sidewalks, prioritizing downtown and historically under-resourced neighborhoods.
  • Employ where appropriate permanent traffic calming infrastructure, such as curb extensions, speed tables or bumps, bollards or planters, and street trees and art.
  • Build more protected bike lanes to connect our Greenway system to more destinations and neighborhoods.

I am the proud product of public schools and Iwill always be a champion for teachers and support staff. Our work is to makesure kids in every part of the city receive a quality education and areprepared for graduation. That means paying our teachers competitive wages andbuilding a culture of engaged parents and neighborhoods. You can count on me tolisten to students and parents about their experiences and needs and work withour superintendent and school board to make sure their voices are heard. My prioritieson Council would be:

  • Moving to an elected school board. I believe doing so will help encourage more community involvement in our education system.
  • Creating an internship program that places high school seniors in city departments and gives them hands-on experience in public administration and trades.
Jobs & Wages

Hardworking Roanokers deserve jobs that pay a living wage, provide healthcare and vacation benefits, and allow them to save for retirement. Careers in the outdoor economy and renewable energy manufacturing create opportunities through protecting the environment and addressing climate change. We don’t have to choose between protecting our air and water and creating good paying jobs. Together, we can build a clean energy economy that carries us into a healthier and safer future that doesn’t leave anyone behind. On Council my priorities will be:

  • Using my voice to recruit clean energy companies. Green jobs are good jobs and we need to work with intentionality to build the economy of the future.
  • Passing an ordinance that allows collective bargaining for municipal employees. For generations labor unions have sustained the middle class by giving workers the ability to negotiate for better pay and benefits. It’s time to take advantage of this new authority granted to localities and rebuild the local labor movement.

Climate change and environmental degradation threaten our way of life and put our families and communities at risk. For more than a decade, I’ve worked to protect people and ecosystems from pollution that makes us sick and poisons our lair, water, and land. On Council I will be a strong voice for protecting our environment and public health. My priorities include:

  • Fighting to clean up the Roanoke River and our local waterways. We deserve a fishable, swimmable river and I’ll fight to make that a reality by 2030.
  • Pushing for the creation of a Department of Sustainability and Environmental Justice to lead the work on implementing our Climate Action Plan and ensure impacted and historically marginalized communities are centered in our solutions.
  • Working with Solid Waste Management to launch a curbside composting pilot program and construction of an industrial composter to process plant-based plastics.
Community Engagement

Roanokers participated in a robust public engagement process to help craft our City Plan 2040, a guide for our growth and development over the next 20 years. But without a commitment to implementation and the outlined principles the document is just words on paper. You can count on me to adhere to the recommendations and follow the guidelines that were informed by extensive input from neighborhoods and civic leaders.

To make sure I hear from residents regularly on what’s important in their neighborhoods, I commit to hosting monthly constituent-on-your-corner events in rotating locations around the city. I want to hear from you, and I want your voice to be heard on City Council.

Equality & Inclusion

Roanoke has long been a beacon of diversity and tolerance in Southwest Virginia, but we still have a long way to go in achieving full equality for all our residents.

Affordable Housing

Housing costs have skyrocketed in recent years and shortages of available homes and apartments are putting a strain on families and our economy. We need an all of the above approach that delivers more market rate single family homes, affordable rental units, and options for those battling homelessness. I’m committed to working with developers and neighborhood leaders to identify projects that provide diverse housing options.

Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods

Thoughtfully designed neighborhoods, investments in public transportation, and basic quality of life services make a huge difference in a community’s safety, health, and ultimately happiness. Every neighborhood in Roanoke should have easy access to fresh food, parks and trails, and streets safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. On Council, I will be a voice for:

  • Increased funding for our Parks and Recreation and Urban Forestry Departments. Our parks and tree canopy are critical components of our community’s health and well-being. Dollar for dollar, funds spent today on parks and trees are one of the best investments we can make in our communities and economy.

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