Access to high-quality primary and secondary public school education should be available to every single child in Austin.
I support a healthy public school system and I will prioritize innovative workforce development strategies, financial and digital literacy- including robust efforts to bridge the digital divide. Austin’s future success will be determined by our diverse and educated workforce- let’s invest in children.
Environmental stewardship and public health depend on all of us taking collective responsibility. Austin is poised to lead innovative efforts to further this goal. Our resources must be cherished and used wisely. Our current climate challenges are an indication that it’s time to take sustainability policy to the next level, locally and beyond. The number one reason children living in economic poverty experience school absences is asthma. Frequently, asthma is caused by environmental exposure and exacerbated by compromised living conditions.
We must confront the reality of climate change. As a city, land–use is arguably the most pervasive force driving the degradation of our ecosystems. Factors like emissions and increased exposure to flood hazards are permitted by our city’s current land use and transportation patterns which are fundamentally unsustainable. Electric cars and other technological solutions can help, but we can achieve a much greater reduction in carbon emissions by updating our land development code to minimize sprawl and to create a more compact, connected city with walkable, transit-accessible communities.
Our community depends on the resiliency of its diverse and passionate citizens.
Small businesses are just as likely to be feeling the pinch of high property taxes as well, among other issues specific to their needs. I will show up for small business owners.
Austin must have robust mental health services to meet the needs of its growing population. Each year, an estimated one out of every five children and adults will experience a mental health issue. These members of our community deserve compassion, dignity, and access to safe treatment.
Austin has made great progress in recent years, but there remain urgent issues that must be confronted. A recent city audit found that the number of mental health-related calls Austin police officers responded to in the past ten years nearly doubled, and many of those ended in deadly shootings. I will ensure that APD has the resources it needs to provide better training, improved staffing, and safer dispatching.
Meanwhile, with our state government increasingly shirking its load, we have to find new and creative ways to maintain and reinforce our safety net. Existing services must be maintained while we also work with community partners and health providers to develop new programs, particularly to bring more coordinated and affordable care into District 1’s under-served communities.
Finally, we must also understand that mental health is not a problem we can simply throw money at. Too many of those on the verge of crisis fear being stigmatized and hide in the shadows until it’s too late. Diversity creates strong communities, but tolerance sustains them. I will tap into District 1’s human resources to facilitate a community conversation to break the culture of silence in which so many suffer.
PUBLIC SERVICE AND SAFETY
Our city’s service men and women need the resources to enable them to care responsibly for our community.