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Tuesday 28 September 2021
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City Council Candidates Respond to Key Issues

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The 16 candidates on the Democratic line were sent five questions from Minority Reporter. Candidate responses appear in the order in which their names appear on the ballot.

The following candidates did not respond to our request for information

  • Anthony L. Hall Jr.
  • Alexander White
  • Willie J. Lightfoot
  • Stanley Martin
  • Jazzmyn Ivery
  • Patricia McGahee
  • Kim Smith
  • Miquel A. Powell
  • Leticia D. Astacio

Mitch GruberMitch Gruber

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process and achieve more transparency?

It’s not enough to just engage residents, we must also empower residents with some policy-making authority. I believe in the creation of resident-led entities to create policy. That’s why I co-authored legislation on Police Accountability and a Food Policy Council. Both of these bodies are led by residents. I want to create more of these entities on critical issues like transportation equity and gun violence.

How do you as a city council member plan to help facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

The biggest opportunity in front of us right now is the marijuana industry. In Colorado, marijuana became a billion dollar industry in less than three years. That will happen even quicker in NYS, and Rochester is surrounded by incredible agricultural land for cultivation. It is critical that we create a marijuana industry that benefits Black and Brown folks who have been disproportionately hurt by the war on drugs. That is why I am calling for the creation of the first Marijuana Industry Incubator in NYS to be located here in Rochester. There will be thousands of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, and we need to make sure that we are training young folks, previously incarcerated folks, and underemployed folks from Rochester to get those jobs and create those businesses.

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes and how will you address these problems?

Homelessness occurs because of poverty. In my day job at Foodlink, I work with people experiencing homelessness every day. We must continue to build pathways out of poverty by creating pipelines to livable wage jobs. That’s why I support investment in job training programs like YAMTEP and MAPP. But not everyone is prepared for a job and a house, which is we also need to ensure that there is a wide spectrum of options. We need to have transitional, supportive, and permanent housing, but in addition we must create options for everyone by maintaining a sanctioned encampment, tiny home villages, and more.

How will you balance calls for defunding police with the need to protect residents?

We need to create new, innovative interventions to prevent violence and protect residents. Policing tends to address issues after they’ve already happened – police will come to the scene of a shooting to ascertain what happened and address criminal activity. But we need to invest in violence prevention initiatives. That doesn’t require sworn officers, but rather community organizers, mental health professionals, and civilian leaders. Creating alternative public safety units should make our community safer, save money in the long-term, and employ city residents.

What is the role of City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

City Council has to take a leadership role in quality of life issues. We have the tools as a city to deal with this issues; specifically, our Neighborhood Service Centers. We need to bolster our Neighborhood Service Centers, ensure that they are well-staffed, and expand their responsibilities to prioritize quality of life issues. An effective neighborhood service center knows the community, understands who is harming quality of life with things like fireworks, and seeks creative ways to address the issue. We need to get back to that. In addition, we MUST ensure that City and County are working together on these quality of life issues. They don’t end at the city border. I’m proud of my relationship with Monroe County’s leadership, and will insist upon that partnership model to address these issues.

 

Jasmin D. RegglerJasmin D. Reggler

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process and achieve more transparency?

I plan to involve residents in the decision making process by following a co-governance model. I will inform residents of any and all legislation that will have an impact on their lives. Through this, we will work together to make decisions that benefit us all. Although I’ll be in the City Council seat, the ones who elected me will inform me on how best to make decisions for our community as a whole.

How do you as a city council member plan to help facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

I plan to facilitate economic growth and development by eliminating the barriers that are in place to prevent growth. I will look into more ways to bring jobs to the residents of our city, without making them jump through hoops to obtain a job. I believe we can offer incentives to local business owners to hire people living in the city. By allowing people who live in the city to work in the city, it keeps the money circulating in our communities longer than if we were to hire people who do not live in the city.

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes and how will you address these problems?

I am the House Coordinator at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality. We are a soup kitchen and an emergency shelter. I work with the most marginalized and vulnerable communities everyday. I believe policy is a major cause contributing to homelessness in our city. To address this issue, I will have to work closely with the County, as they control Social Services in our city. I would work to first change policy that sanctions people for far too long from receiving social services help, for something as little as missing an appointment. We need to continually work with those that need our help and not punish them if they fail to comply.

How will you balance calls for defunding police with the need to protect residents?

To create a balance of defunding the police as well as protect residents, we need to analyze what jobs police are doing, where there is no need for them. Currently if you were to have a chicken coop on your property, RPD has to do the inspection and the Police Chief issues the permit. We can easily reallocate those funds to hire more city inspectors to inspect chicken coops instead of the police. We need to create an environment where people feel safe around the police. That is not going to happen if we begin to let police encroach on every aspect and decision of our lives.

What is the role of City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

The role of City Council addressing quality of life issues, is to listen to the community. City Council should not tell people how they should live, rather they should listen to the people, when it comes to how they want to live. City Council should have multiple community sessions when it comes to issues that affect our community in a negative way. I will work towards this goal by having community discussions during my term on City Council and make an effort to hear all sides when we are addressing the issues in our city.

 

Jonathan W. HardinJonathan W. Hardin

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process and achieve more transparency?

Having worked with my neighborhood association for the past ten years as the former President of the Charlotte Community Association and as the first-chair of a diverse group of neighborhood associations from across the city with Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods, I know transparency is key to building partnerships. Once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, I would press the City Council and City to continue the broadcast of their meeting and press releases on YouTube and Social Media to reach as many residents as possible.

I would commit to doing the same by share as much information as possible and bringing residents concerns to the tables that they can’t reach. Trust has been broken with the constituents in Rochester this past year. To regain the trust of our residents our local Government must be as transparency and forthcoming with all operations at City Hall. Council-members must also be vocal and willing to speak up when they feel the entire trust isn’t being told to the public. The Constituents need a representative unafraid of the political consequences of speaking up.

How do you as a city council member plan to help facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

To facilitate economical and development growth that will serve the residents of Rochester well, we must first start working on our foundation. The foundation of the City of Rochester is our neighborhoods, and we can’t grow until our children feel safe to go to school or play on their streets.

We have neglected our neighborhoods for far too long and can not continue to equate building apartments that our residents can’t afford as positive economic growth. We must retool our Neighborhood Service Center (NSC) to be true Community Centers, with job training programs, GED classes, information hubs to promote grants and non-profit services for both residents and businesses. Some of our NSC offices are working on strategic plans that are over ten years old. I’m certain the needs and concerns of each quadrant have changed in the past ten years. We must add a fifth NSC office to facilitate to growing population downtown.

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes and how will you address these problems?

There are a multitude of difference reasons someone might end up homeless, and we need to think accordingly when address homeless. We have great organizations working right here in Rochester, and we must continue to support these non-profits, but we must also think about the development needs that their organization need. Can we as a city commit to building more facilities such as the Veterans Outreach Center’s Richard’s House?

Kicking homeless resident out of parking garages in the City without a long-term solution that involves, the County, City, State and Federal partners isn’t a plan that will work. We need everyone at the table, because it is going to take us all to address this complexity of this issue.

How will you balance calls for defunding police with the need to protect residents?

It will be impossible without first restoring Trust with City Hall, Rochester Police Department and the residents that they serve. We need less political press conferences and more working in the streets. Our resident demand that we give our full support to the Police Accountability Board (PAB) and that we reform policing. It is Council’s responsibility to ask tough questions of the PAB to make sure that constitutions funds are being spent improperly, but Council must also take a back seat to the day-to-day operations of the PAB.

The calls for service must be reviewed, and only emergencies must be sent to 911. We need to redefine the 211 and 311 system, to start directing calls to the appropriate agency. At the same time, we must move also continue to build the Persons in Crisis Team, their staffing and organization. But without policies and procedures changes at RPD this will not work to build trust with the residents.

What is the role of City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

I recently was part of a round-table of students from Rochester City School District and their number one concern was safety. We must as earlier mentioned work on the foundation of our City, the neighborhoods. If our children don’t feel safe in their communities, then that is on all of us, and we must start there.

The fireworks, dirt bikes and noise complaints are nuisance issues that should have a reporting system through 311. Our first attempt should be education through visits to residents and this will require a reallocation of funds from RPD to our NSC offices. If education doesn’t work staring moving forward with a penalty system with fees and/or confiscation. We also seriously need to think about opening the discussion of a dirt bike park to discuss its feasibility and how to pay for it.

 

Luis AponteLuis A. Aponte

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process and achieve more transparency?

My plan for involving residents is actually very simple. Residents are tired of seeing their elected officials during election time. I have been a community leader for well over 15 years and know how to bring people together. Residents want a representative that is reachable and willing to sit at the table with them.

As a councilman, I would help residents organize block clubs and participate in neighborhood associations so they can express their united voices. With the current mayhem in our city, more residents want a platform to be heard and want resolutions, not empty promises. I would create a central location so that residents’ concerns can be received either by phone call, email, or a written complaint. Their concerns should be compiled by neighborhood and department heads should be made readily available to respond to such concerns.

The only way to achieve the trust of community members is to be transparent and a consistent advocate for them .  At the end of the day, our residents know that there is a limit to making some requests come to fruition (especially if the request involves money), but they want to know why and also why not!.Relationships are built on trust, and these relationships were not broken overnight, so it will  take time to fix it.

How do you as a city council member plan to help facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

In order to help facilitate growth, we need to create jobs! We need to support local and small businesses that provide services to our neighborhoods. We need to support new technology and create programs to help train individuals to become support staff for these new markets. We need to bring in our local colleges and local trades representatives to help form apprenticeships that lead to a sustainable financial future.

An investment in our people will bring investment to our community. We need to talk with lending institutions to invest and support small businesses looking to expand. Infrastructure is a proven way to spur economic growth. Investment in infrastructure brings businesses into communities which will then hire people from the area. We need to make sustainable good paying jobs in order to help individuals and their families. We can not just create jobs that would keep people living in poverty! We must make it more affordable for business owners to be able to supply goods to our residents. This should be a joint venture for all sitting council members. Economic growth in my eyes is about bringing in services that are needed and are assets to the community. They should provide local jobs!

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes and how will you address these problems?

Homelessness has many contributing factors. As a first responder, I have dealt with many homeless individuals in my career. Some people think that everyone that is homeless is an addict of some kind, and that is very far from the truth. I dealt with homeless individuals that were suffering more from mental illnesses than addiction. Unfortunately some of them end up turning to substance abuse to help cope with their mental illnesses. We need to create a place where individuals can get shelter, bath, and counseling. We need to get them the services needed to get them off the streets and into a safe environment. The community’s lack of psychiatric/substance abuse inpatient beds is a major issue here locally. We must look for more state and federal funding directed toward providing these services.

How will you balance calls for defunding police with the need to protect residents?

We must fix a broken system! We need to fund an outside (independent) police agency to investigate and rid the department of rogue police officers. I would rid our department of them immediately, but will allow them due process with full transparency. I have friends in the department that are great officers that protect and serve our community with respect daily. We MUST rebuild this relationship between our department and the members of our community. The horrible events over the last year have been devastating not only to individual lives, but to our community. We must start from the top in order to bring back the trust and respect. We need our police department not only to look like the community they serve, but to also be trained on our community’s culture. We don’t have a bad white cop problem, we have a bad cop problem. Some officers that are violating community members  look like the members in our community! We need to push the good ones to expose these bad officers in order for residents to start believing in them again.

We need to bring back programs that involve the residents and youth doing activities together with officers. We need to find the resources to help bring support services into our neighborhoods, and provide more community outreach programs involving police officers and community members. Safety of our residents is paramount! We can not allow for the current lawlessness to continue. We need to address the violence and quality of life issues in order to save our city. Our police department is currently the smallest its been in years. With police academy classes being cut and retirements increasing, I feel that we are headed down a bad road. We need to have our community safe.

I feel that we can fund both community social workers and our police department. We have proven that the social workers are making some headway, but they are not coming to help when my home is being burglarized! I believe in both programs, and they must be funded!

What is the role of City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

City Council’s role is to allow the police to enforce the laws that we have on the books. Enforcing the laws does not mean to be disrespectful, or violate individuals constitutional rights either. We also need to support our NSC offices and make sure that they have all the tools needed to help our residents. We need to address quality of life issues as fast as possible.

I have heard other candidates give cookbook answers around this question. I believe in listening to residents and resolving neighborhood nuisance complaints. When it comes to fireworks, I feel that I would love to look at legislation that may create some type of collaboration with residents. Livingston County has an event every year called The Ring Of Fire, which brings thousands of families together for a fireworks display every July 3rd. I see many city residents there as they involve the community in the display. We must get the dirt bike and 4 wheelers under control. These vehicles have become a huge danger in our community. We must regulate them with DMV regulations, or provide a safe place for them to be ridden that does not leave the city taxpayers liable.

I appreciate your willingness to hear candidates’ opinions. We must heal our community. I am willing to work with anyone that is elected to one of these seats. I am a grassroots community volunteer with years of service. We need to unite in order to move the city forward. Our city deserves a council that has the resident’s best interest in mind. I want to promote to a Community Driven Government, where everyone feels represented!

 

Miguel Melendez Jr.Miguel Melendez Jr.

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process and achieve more transparency?

Professionally, I have done a lot of community engagement around critical issues in the community. I believe there is much more to be done to engage and involve residents in decision making. People in the community have told me that many projects come to the neighborhood with many decisions already made, and that they get to “choose the color” or in other words they have superficial input. That may not be the case for every project, but in the interest of expediency and getting things done I am certain it has happened. With the pandemic, public input sessions have become more challenging but not impossible. As we come out of this, I believe we need to have more public forums, more working groups / task forces on specific issues, and more legislative responses to community issues such as dirt bikes or open-air drug activity. To achieve more transparency, we have to continuously improve our public communication methods and language access services.

How do you as a city council member, plan to help facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

I believe we must incentivize and entice businesses to relocate into our neighborhoods. We have a mix of old manufacturing and industrial buildings, as well as available storefronts on commercial corridors that could be utilized to enhance quality of life in neighborhoods. We have city residents that take two buses to the suburbs just to work in a call center. Coming out of the pandemic, we have learned that many of those jobs could be done from home, but I would propose that we consider repurposing some of our vacant structures to accommodate these opportunities closer to home. Center city, I believe we have to create more attractions to bring people downtown. Parcel 5 has huge potential to accommodate this need, in addition to MLK park. Rediscovering the potential of center city from an economic standpoint is a critical element of the Roc 2034 comp plan, and I agree with that.

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes and how will you address these problems?

Homelessness is a challenge nationally. Some of it might be pandemic related but homelessness certainly has been a problem for decades. The moratorium on evictions and the eviction prevention dollars administered through the county and city prevented further implosion of this problem. I think we have to work on housing and homelessness from multiple angles. This year, we established a housing trust fund. I believe those resources can have a significant impact on the opportunity for tenants to purchase housing and increase opportunities for home ownership in general.

Currently, the city is conducting a vacancy study which will help us understand some of the dynamics and might be the impetus for some form of rent control (limiting rental increases on an annual basis). We also intend to establish a housing court, which our state delegation is working on. Some members of council support “Good Cause” eviction protections, which I believe can be a useful tool to protect tenants rights while also ensuring landlords maintain a higher standard of housing for tenants. These protections exist for many large development projects and there are limited issues with its implementation. I believe these efforts, along with creating more economic opportunity and supports for our people, will go a long way towards addressing homelessness over time.

How will you balance calls for defunding police with the need to protect residents?

I believe we have to be strategic and responsible. I understand the concept of defunding the police, while I don’t support the rhetoric I support the concept of reallocating resources to achieve public safety. We have to right-size the job of an officer. There are components of the job where I think an alternative first responder could be considered. Mental health calls might require a co-response model but certainly we need to evaluate that, we could look at neighbor disputes and finding a civilian restorative approach to those situations, and calls for issues like overdoses may or may not require an officer. The point is, there are parts of the job that don’t belong in their purview and we need to evaluate our 911 calls for service data to try to narrow the scope of their work and create alternative models. When I engage and listen to residents they care most about preventing violent crime, solving homicides, illegal guns, open-air drug activity, and quality of life issues. I believe these other situations piled onto our department have taken them away from the work that needs to be done in neighborhoods.

What is the role of City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

City Council helps fund the systems and creates laws/ordinances that are to be enforced. From a violence perspective, I believe the answer to violence is creating more opportunity. How do we create the right opportunities for our residents so that they keep busy at an R-Center or find an employment pathway that stabilizes them. Much of the violence we see is dispute related – whether over an incident at a party or over a relationship or gang/drug related – and for me much of these issues are preventable. Council can help provide the resources to create more investments for our community.

With respect to noise and fireworks, the ordinances are there and residents must continue to be persistent and engage our neighborhood service centers. I understand the frustration and I have worked with many residents to address these concerns successfully. Dirt bikes are a major concern and have been for a few years. We are working on legislation and there is interest in creating a park to accommodate (similar to the skatepark). However, I am not sure that will address the issues of people riding recklessly in neighborhoods. I believe an educational campaign and community conversations should be considered in addition to potentially creating a park and enforcement for illegal bikes.

 

Victor H. SanchezVictor H. Sanchez

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process and achieve more transparency?

I have seen how often community leaders and organizations at the forefront of work are left out of conversations and decision-making. I plan to bring the community to the table. I am committed to attending neighborhood meetings throughout the city, hosting open community conversations, and being accessible to the community.

How do you as a city council member plan to help facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

We need policies that remove barriers and actually help foster small business growth. We need to create a direct and intentional pipeline from educational systems to quality, good-paying jobs. I am working where I am now because of the co-op opportunity while I studied at RIT. Internships and apprenticeship opportunities are a great kick-off point for young people looking for jobs. At the same time, we need to invest in our communities to create jobs. By better supporting our small businesses and entrepreneurs, we will incentivize local job creation in our local communities. We live in a city of innovation, full of high-tech industries and higher education institutions. We need to incentivize these well-educated young people to stay here in Rochester after graduation. By investing in them with good-paying jobs, we are actually investing in Rochester’s future.

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes, and how will you address these problems?

Several challenges contribute to homelessness, from lack of access to good-paying jobs to increasing housing costs and lack of critical service.  We need to stop investing in luxury housing and, we must incentivize quality low-income rental properties. We also need to support ways to increase homeownership and be creative with the diversity of housing options developed.

How will you balance calls for defunding police with the need to protect residents?

I absolutely believe that we need to reimagine public safety, and this cannot simply include policing. For far too long, we have added to the responsibilities of law enforcement. By doing so, we have criminalized social challenges such as mental health crises or substance use challenges. We need to apply the appropriate response to best handle the various issues that need to be addressed. Redirecting funds from RPD to trained mental health professionals for responding to mental health care crises makes sense. A person in crisis needs care and sees elation, not use of force. I’m a firm believer in creating comprehensive, community-based solutions for public safety. We also need to address the root causes of the challenges that lead to the need for law enforcement response in the first place. Poverty and lack of access to basic human needs and critical services are underlying factors. I also support fully funding and empowering an independent, fully-staffed Rochester PAB.

What is the role of the City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise, and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

I believe that City Council has a role in addressing quality of life issues. City Council should bring community stakeholders together to solve the challenges affecting our City. That would be my first step to determine a community-centered solution.

 

Brittan HardgersBrittan Hardgers

How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process and achieve more transparency?

I plan to involve city residents in the decision making process and achieve more transparency by reminding all residents that we have a voice and we will be heard. Each resident of this city must be given the opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas when building the framework for our community. When folks are heard, it opens the door to build rapport for all not just some folk. As a city and community we will be able to accept the decisions that need to be made on behalf of all city residents not just some.
I plan to listen in order to ask the clarifying questions surrounding RCSD, public safety, housing justice, police brutality, poverty, refunding our city, youth resources. The answers are right here amongst the residents of our city. We will lead each other by example, transparent and accountable leadership as a city whole.

How do you as a city council member plan to facilitate or foster economic growth and development in Rochester?

I support a new vision for civilian-led public safety that directly engages and employs folks from marginalized communities in Rochester in good paying, unionized jobs. In particular, creating community safety centers that would provide a wide array of services including family assistance, conflict mediation, civilian crisis intervention, and funds to compensate individuals and families who have experienced racism and other forms of discrimination.

It means developing sites offering paid peer counseling, treatment programs, legal services and case management to improve housing, health care, employment opportunities, immigration advocacy and public benefits. In addition, this would involve enacting a civil life corps to work with communities to help resolve day-to-day problems and address community needs and aspirations including quality housing, voting rights, environmental equity; and conservation. It would also involve creating civilian response teams who are trained in first aid, car mechanics, and de-escalation and conflict resolution. This plan can help create real employment opportunities to uplift neighborhoods across Rochester and concurrently puts the control exactly where it should be: in the community.

Homelessness continues to be a major issue. What do you see as major causes and how will you address these problems?

Creating the future of public safety: This will mean an immediate and significant reallocation of resources away from RPD and into a new model of emergency response that prioritizes care and safety over violence and incarceration, so that unforgivable harm like the murder of Daniel Prude will never happen again. It will mean ending the persecution of folks struggling with addiction and/or access to mental health services, which has disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities, with long-term impacts that have inflicted generational harm.

Transparent and Accountable Leadership: Rochester has had a tumultuous history with corruption and a lack of transparency, and even those who campaign on fair representation within local government quickly change their tune once elected and bow to the whim of local donors like the Locust Club, the local police union. The People’s Slate will not be accepting campaign contributions from any such organizations or special interests, and every member of our campaign has demonstrated a commitment to this community long before the campaign began, by putting their bodies on the line in protests for police accountability and housing justice.

Housing Justice for All: Amidst another frigid winter in upstate New York, there are thousands of Rochesterians without a place to call home, or a reliable place to sleep. 55% of Rochesterians are “rent burdened” and at risk of eviction. We need to partner with local organizations to make sure that land ownership is trending towards city residents. This means slumlords (most of whom live outside the city) cannot be allowed to continue to control local real estate and that they are held accountable. We must end sobriety requirements for shelters immediately, and make sure that every person in Rochester has access to safe and affordable housing.

How will you balance calls to defund the police with the need to protect residents?

When elected, I will fight for a new vision of public safety transitioning funds away from the local police department and into community-based resources to help ensure resident safety. This includes creating community safety centers providing a wide array of services including family assistance, conflict mediation, civilian crisis intervention, and funds to compensate individuals and families who have experienced racism and other forms of discrimination. It means developing service sites offering peer counseling, treatment programs, legal services and case management to improve access to housing, health care, employment opportunities, immigration advocacy and public benefits.

To reimagine transportation and traffic safety, we will replace police officers with civilian response teams who are trained in first aid, car mechanics, de-escalation and conflict resolution. In addition, we must fully invest in quality, accessible, no-cost public transportation. We must work to create community-based crisis intervention services that do not involve the police, including a 911 health care corps and treatment center. Lastly, we will enact a Civil Life Corps to work with communities to help resolve day-to-day problems and address community needs and aspirations including public art, quality housing, voting rights, environmental equity & conservation.

What is the role of the City Council in addressing quality of life issues such as violence, fireworks, dirt bikes, noise and what will you do to work toward fulfilling that goal?

The role of the City Council is to step in with sound solutions to these issues when the city’s mayoral administration is lacking in the area that initiates the needs of the people and their quality of life. We work towards fulfilling these goals by listening to the people, and finding ways to eliminate violence, and creating safe spaces for the people to enjoy other recreational activities.