ISSUES

Environment

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like . . .””

Charles de Lint

Charles De Lint would have appreciated our incredible city with dozens of opportunities for random moments of every day magic.

Since these are priceless, it behooves us to do all we can to preserve these treasures in our community – not only because they help to preserve the treasure in our spirits, but because we have a responsibility to sustain the life that surrounds us – for ourselves and for those who follow us.

It is essential that our City, surrounding agencies, and those who contract with us are all held accountable for environmental impacts of doing business.  I have already been involved in productive mediation regarding both the Port of Seattle Flight Corridor Obstruction plan, and our possible Shellfish Protection District.

In addition, I believe that we have a responsibility to move forward and create a more sustainable environment in our community every year through engaging with businesses and stakeholders in creating plans that preserve our earth, water and air, such as; tree canopy expansion, green stormwater infrastructure enhancements, or encouraging home conservation practices with friendly zoning or planting/gardening incentives.

It is my hope that our city will never stop creating a healthy, sustainable environment!

Safety

police

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because courageous people stand ready to face violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell*

I am one of those who sleeps peaceably and I never want to take it for granted.

I took a bit of liberty with the quote above, as the original was written in a day when only men stepped into this honorable calling; that of a community protector.  Whether it be as a firefighter, police or security officer, or a brave, selfless citizen, those who face danger in order to protect others belong in a noble class of their own.  They deserve our honor, respect and thanks.

If elected to Des Moines City Council, I will always work earnestly not only to support these community servants, but to preserve the strength of these organizations.

In addition, I believe that a truly safe community not only fights crime, but works to eliminate crime through:

  • providing support, education and transitional services to those wanting to come out of compromised lifestyles,
  • resisting co-dependent organizational behavior such as the institution of “safe” injection sites,
  • working to transform neighborhoods through attention to the environment, clean up efforts, lighting, and road and sidewalk improvement, and
  • collaboration with property owners and landlords to attend to abandoned property and reduce aggressive/transient residents.

I also believe that the most effective way to promote these projects is through engaging, supporting and networking with our sister cities and with our non-profits in order to create a cohesive and synergistic approach to our challenged communities.

*Original text by George Orwell: “People sleep peaceable in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

A Destination City

panatoni-commerce-2

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

I couldn’t agree more!  Growth and progress are what keep healthy cities from becoming worn out ghost towns.  Improvement, achievement, and success belong to all who desire to live well and are also some of the greatest gifts we can give to the next generation.

Des Moines is quickly evolving into an exciting and thriving destination for millenials and their families!  Ensuring this process requires conscientious community development revolving around education, healthy commerce and suitable housing.  It will take creative leadership with a broad range of life and business experiences to support this endeavor.  I am that leader!

Tongue-in-cheek, I like to say that I would love to create a parking problem in downtown Des Moines!  Evenings can produce a park-n-walk situation here and there, however, during the day I generally hope I don’t hit a tumbleweed 😉  We need daytime businesses, but we also need attractive places for them to put out their wares!

The advent of on-line shopping has brought many brick and mortar stores to their knees.  Downtown Des Moines will continue to struggle if we try to provide only what people need.  In order to become a destination, we need to provide an experience.  Our shops, artisans, restaurants, plazas and marina need to create a day’s worth of entertainment and accommodations for the whole family.  Visiting a destination town is not for fulfilling needs, but for creating memories.  How do we do this?

  1. Create a Plan: Through collaboration with the community, stakeholders, and partners, create a plan to connect a vibrant Marina Floor (with a bustling market, recreation and entertainment) with a charming downtown corridor.
  2. Adopt a Theme: Engage the community and businesses in designing a theme which can easily accommodate festivals and celebrations which encourage tourism.
  3. Engage Partners:  Through public and administrative efforts, engage financial partners in building projects, art contributions, fortifying small business, and attracting corporations.
  4. Streamline permitting and Development:  Self-explanatory 😉
  5. Advertise: Through the use of social media and community support organizations, let the world know that we are here, ready to entertain, feed, accommodate and create memories!

It’s a big plan and a fantastic vision.  And it is possible!

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