I am running for 5th District City Council because of my deep desire to improve the western part of Duluth through a common sense, collaborative approach to problem solving.
Western Duluth has a wealth of opportunities for business growth and economic expansion; large tracts of available land, access to water and transportation routes and a ready workforce.
For too long the western part of the city has been an afterthought for developers, of all types. We need to redefine how we promote manufacturing, recognizing that we aren’t building steel mills any longer, now the manufacturing opportunities lie in the new technologies. If elected I will work with the administration and other leaders to promote our HUB Zones (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) which exist to help small business by providing preferential treatment from government contracting officers. A business registered in the program will receive opportunities for which only HUBZone entities can submit offers. The 5th District is rich with HUB Zones and they should be promoted by the city.
We have outsourced our economic development strategy and initiatives to outside sources for too many years. It’s time we put resources and talent into development and actively seek new business for the city, while continuing to nurture and grow Duluth businesses that need assistance. We need to helpful and provide assistance from start until completion. Our strategy should not include making developers work for a decade or more to complete their project.
In the next 10 years 15,000 Duluthians will retire and stay in their homes for some years. These houses won’t enter the housing market in time to make available housing for a new workforce. We need to be proactive now to ensure that we have adequate housing for retirees looking for single story living which will in turn put those homes back on the market for a younger workforce.
I am running for 5th District City Council to help solve the problems around our streets and infrastructure. We must conduct an inventory of ALL our streets, along with the utilities under them. We have to leverage city funding with Municipal State-Aid Street Funds and the county transportation sales tax where applicable. We need to be diligent developing a a maintenance and operations schedule for any new projects, we cannot afford to defer our maintenance until it’s a dire situation.
I am running for 5th District City Council to help our police officers, fire fighters and first responders with the enormous challenges they face dealing with the epidemic of opioid use. We expect these professionals to not only do the jobs they’re trained to do, but to be social workers and mental health advocates as well.
I’m a lifelong community activist and have spent decades promoting western Duluth and working with others to achieve our goals. I know the value of partnerships, collaboration and just plain hard work to get things done, and that is why I’m running for 5th District City Council.