My chief priority is restoring transparency and trust in City Government to do its job, which is meet the ever-evolving needs of the city: effective communication, anti-racist policies, environmental sustainability, and development of a vibrant downtown. Temple Terrace needs an advocate who welcomes the opportunity to listen to residents from all walks of life. As a teacher and mom, I am well suited to amplify these voices so the priorities of the City are aligned with the needs of the people.
This is a time for hard conversations and honest assessments of what is working and what needs to change. It is critical to update how Temple Terrace functions both socially and financially using common sense and multiple perspectives.
Of primary importance for Temple Terrace is improving communication. Many residents I have spoken to lament their lack of information about the City’s decisions, and even though responsibility is shared, we need to assess how to remove barriers to communication. Communication is not just about distributing information, it is also about actively seeking out the viewpoints of citizens. As a City Council member, I will listen to stakeholders regardless of their income, identity, background, and/or owner/renter status. As a teacher, I lived by the idea that feedback is a gift and a sign of respect. It provides an opportunity to have greater understanding and improve. I am ready to listen, receive feedback, and let it inform my decisions as a representative.
City Council members must take a careful pulse of local, national, and international current events and take thoughtful and conscientious actions. It is not enough to just “not be racist” as individual citizens; rather it is critical to create an updated and well-enforced policy to dismantle oppressive systems in all of their forms in our city, specifically including racial profiling or discrimination based on religion or sexual identity or orientation. Let's make Temple Terrace the model of a caring and conscientious city.
With the widespread concern over suspension of recycling in Temple Terrace, it is clear that most residents really care about the environment. Incorporating more environmentally sustainable practices will engender greater pride in the City and bring about a better future for not just our city, but the world that we live in. Beyond resuming our recycling program, I will spearhead an effort to initiate the first municipal composting program in the area. Composting will keep waste out of landfills and provide a resource for rich soil for local gardeners and the city alike. This is only a beginning; working toward sustainability is a mission that requires constant vigilance and adaptation.
Temple Terrace must ensure its ordinances are equitable and apply them with compassion and consistency. In addition, City procedures must be clear and explicit. This will save City employees an enormous amount of time when they interact with citizens and improve the City's reputation.
Temple Terrace must draw in businesses that not only local residents but also people from surrounding communities want to frequent. We have the gift of being a stone’s throw from USF, New Tampa, and many workplaces. For Temple Terrace to bring people in, we need policy that is friendly to individually-owned, unique businesses. My vision for Temple Terrace is for it to be a destination where people can have a coffee or a beer, visit some quirky shops, and see a play or view an art gallery. Other cities have accomplished this, and we can too. As a representative of City Council, I will have open ears to the needs of the community and the businesses that serve it, and I will work to reduce barriers to success in our city.