My lifelong “why” is influenced by my father, sister, and mother. My father instilled in his children that education was our path to a greater future; my sister taught me that I must have the permission of those for whom I advocate for they live with the consequences; and my mother taught me about the importance of serving others. My parents were wise yet did not have high school diplomas and were migrant workers until they had children when they found jobs in town; my sister was born with cerebral palsy long before the American Disabilities Act and education ensured via 504 policy.  I have been advocating for others since I was in middle school and visited the Louisiana State legislature. I have chosen to live in Billings for 41 years and running for the Billings City Council is a continuation of my lifelong work in serving others.

The 3 most important policy priorities are: 1. Affordable housing for families in all economic levels; 2.Public safety policies that serve our growing city well; 3. Development policies that include Parks and Recreation, concentrated living areas, public transit and infrastructure needs. The impact of sound policies will help in demonstrating that we are interested in growing our city by providing needed services and housing to our citizens—new and seasoned—from minimum wage workers to professionals. Sound policies take into consideration the needs of families living within our community.

Current planning has had bright people contribute to planning. We need to continue exploring how we can develop smart communities that incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles. Such development helps in attracting young and working families.

Yes. With or without mill levy funding, I would expect our City Administrator and Staff to provide a plan on how public safety concerns will be addressed, how we can measure the results, and how we manage safety concerns with the available funds. The recent report from independent safety assessment help inform expectations.

The One Big Sky development plan would significantly contribute to attracting new and current Billings’ residents to Downtown Billings to work, play and live. Additionally, our City and State needs larger convention facilities to host meetings and groups, thus the successful construction of this plan would bring economic benefits to our community. In order to become a destination city for visitors and to draw employees, it is crucial to consider all existing economic and investment tools that would effectively implement the One Big Sky development plan.

I again support asking the State Legislature for a local option authority. We can use tourist dollars to fund safety and infrastructure funds for the future. The City’s Public Informa on Officer can work with community partners to share this information with our community.

Our City Council recently approved a budget that included the hiring of a Public Information Officer. Our City Administrator can direct the PIO to create a public campaign to educate our voters about the importance of reauthorizing Park District 1. City Council members and community supporters to advocate to passing parks funding.

It would be helpful for the City Staff and Council to engage in community conversations that address the housing needs of Billings. While there is much information available from numerous housing groups, participants can be challenged in examining all current available resources and potential investors to problem-solve. In order to demonstrate we have a welcoming and growing community we must address housing needs of recruited professionals, working families, and our homeless. Incentives for developers and investors can then be identified and we can work to alleviate our housing needs. One measure of our success in this area could be seen by the decrease in the number of homeless students a ending our public schools. Communities across the country have creatively addressed housing needs. Let’s invite those who are seeking housing to the conversation on how we might solve this conundrum.