As our campaign for City Council reached the final ten days before officially filing, we decided to share one pledge a day. These are promises from me to our community.
I believe in accountability, especially for myself. This means that I believe in giving Hendersonville something its residents can hold me accountable to.
These are my ten pledges to everyone in our community:
My first priority when elected will be to work tirelessly to mitigate our community exposure to the critical and pervasive housing crisis that we face.
Since announcing my intention to run in February, we have met with elected officials, community leaders and hundreds of Hendersonville, NC residents. I am deeply committed to listening and, after hearing those voices, I believe that it is time that we work with residents, community leaders, legal allies, zoning, developers, stakeholders, nonprofits, and literally anyone that has the time or resources to act.
Hendo floods. Hendo floods, like, a lot. Presently there is no formal action plan in our city government to take care of the waste accumulation after serious flooding and hold upstream property owners accountable for the toxic pollutants that effect residents downstream.
After speaking with one county resident, that now has years of aerial photographs of the waste during flooding and complaints lodged, it’s clear that many people don’t feel like anyone hears their repeated calls for action. So, I pledge to have a proactive action plan, based on the accumulated evidence in our community, to keep our waterways clean and unobstructed.
I know this, like many other projects will take patience and compromise and research and conversations with the county. I’m prepared to meet whoever I need to, wherever I need to, and have those conversations.
It isn’t a secret to anyone that my focus when elected to city council will be advocating for folks that feel left out of the conversation. We have a robust and invaluable tourist economy that generates the revenue that we need to continue to thrive and I will be supportive of it by drafting the charter for an advisory committee of industry workers that brings their concerns to the table.
We have such a strong, eclectic and inspiring food truck industry in our small town as well as the much larger region of Western North Carolina! I believe that these folks deserve a great deal of respect and appreciation for the incredible work that they have done and will continue to do for our community.
I say let’s show our vendors we care and give them the autonomy and mobility they need!
During the pandemic, any Hendersonville City resident that did not speak English had a sum of zero resources for information about our local government discourse and response to the crisis at hand and, honestly, that is unacceptable.
My campaign for city council is focused on Equity above everything and this means dismantling our language barriers brick by brick, because our Latinx community deserves to easily navigate our meetings, ordinances, policies and more, just like everyone else! So, I pledge to work with Latinx community leaders and advocates to develop a pragmatic, sustainable and comprehensive process by which we can collectively overcome our language barriers.
This process will begin with Spanish; however, it is important to acknowledge that we have a significant Micronesian and East Asian population as well and I look forward to cultivating a practical approach to bridging those language barriers as well if and when it is possible.
Many residents feel that large projects have been approved without a voice for the environment in the room. These project concerns originate around building in flood plains, as well as sediment displacement during construction and significant decline in tree cover… to name a few.
While the city has policies and procedures in place to ensure that we preserve our trees as we build, I will advocate for replanting or replacing larger portions of destroyed foliage, as well as appropriate and consistent responses to significant run-off into our water. I pledge to also open a dialogue with our county regarding stricter environmental impact enforcement procedures.
Our city deserves autonomy and the ability to enforce regulations in order to better serve our residents in a timely and equitable manner. This also means updating our language and procedures with a keen, 21st century focus on our ever-changing climate and establishing sustainable processes in ink for future generations.
I believe in equity above all things in both my personal and public life. When I am elected to Hendersonville City council, I pledge a firm commitment to uphold the City Council’s strategic objective to prioritize equity and inclusion and create a culture of belonging, addressing past inequities and treat everyone with respect and dignity.
I pledge to not only stay committed to these objectives, will work to ensure that our beautiful and historic city drafts modern language and adopts sustainable implementation for future governments, to ensure that we not only address pass inequities but cultivate a culture of accountability and education that protects future generations from repeating them.
I know this may seem simple, but I think that it is valuable for Hendersonville voters to hear from me personally. This is 2021. Short of an act of God, or serious emergency, there is absolutely no excuse for not showing up to do my job. Especially with the development of platforms like Zoom, I refuse to allow the reasonable expectation of 100% attendance to go unestablished.
So, I am going to be there. I’m going to show up and work for you, because you deserve the security and confidence in knowing that your voice is heard, and that someone is going to act as timely and effectively as possible to improve your quality of living and show up for not just you, but your neighbor… and their neighbor… every time.
After a great beginning of community dialogue at the Boys and Girls Club and following up with the folks that attended on June 30th, 2021, it is apparent that the threat of historical erasure and potential gentrification of the existing neighborhood surrounding 7th Avenue is real and felt by the whole community. There are activists, artists, stakeholders and more affected by the possibility of Hendersonville’s growth, passively erasing vital history for the surrounding neighborhoods.
We need someone on our City Council that is committed to being an ally for the long road ahead in organizing and preserving the history, land and continuity of this community pillar. I pledge to listen, act and work for the folks in the neighborhood presently identified as Green Meadows and the 7th Avenue Historic District, in preserving the history and culture of their home.
As our city grows it is of the utmost importance that folks most effected by our decisions do not react or respond to them after the fact but inform them as they are considered. This means meeting people where they are and cultivating a sustainable culture of proactive engagement with under represented communities in our city.