Neighborhood: Ward 17
Occupation: Urban Planner
Political experience: None
Your take on crime: Currently, we have a reactive crime fighting model that focuses on arresting people and locking them up. This is costly and it is not working. We need to make investments in proven programs, such as Cure Violence, a proactive violence prevention and crime fighting method that addresses violence and crime as a health issue. We need to expand such programs in St. Louis to address the root causes of violence and crime and mitigate it.
Your take on city finances: I believe that there needs to be more transparency in terms of the city’s finances and I support the use of participatory budgeting both at a city-wide level and in the 17th ward to increase resident participation in the budgeting process. I believe with the new $500 million of COVID relief funding the city will receive this spring that we need to make sure that there is a transparent process in budgeting and allocating the funds, in which decisions are made through an equity framework and that community needs are placed at the center of those funding decisions, especially those community members who have been most harmed by the pandemic.
Your take on the city’s COVID-19 response: In terms of the city’s COVID-19 response, my priority is to close the public health disparity in how COVID-19 resources are allocated to low-income neighborhoods. As a result, I will advocate for increased transparency in allocation of CARES Act funding and any subsequent federal funding the city receives. As Alderwoman, I will communicate clearly and consistently with the 17th Ward and city residents about COVID-19 developments as we continue to respond to this crisis.
Where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? – Progressive, moderate, conservative, liberal? Progressive. The status quo does not cut it anymore. St. Louis’ population has been on a 70-year decline, crime levels are at its highest and our city’s budget is at a crossroads. A lack of strategic and long-term planning has created a city where developers, rather than communities, are driving decisions. As an urban planner, and co-chair of the Anti-Displacement Work Group of the Vacancy Collaborative, I look forward to working to creating a city that is more intentional about its development decisions so that we can create a city where all people can thrive.