Open Dialog/Respecting those who are Represented- Hyattsville residents deserve and should expect honesty from their elected officials. I believe that it is a council member’s job to represent those that reside in our ward, even if our vision of Hyattsville differs. That necessitates civil and productive dialog and compromise, which means that the council member’s first job is to listen. Hyattsville is a diverse community, which is certainly one of its strengths, but can also lead to tensions between council members and neighbors who do not see issues the same way.
We are currently living in a time where politics, especially at the Federal level, is extremely partisan and filled with vitriol. As city council is a non-partisan office, I believe that it is the duty of a council member to rise above partisan politics, listen to all sides of an issue, and not stoop to expressing judgments of those with whom they disagree.
The role of a council member is one of a mediator, not an oligarch. Working toward a solution to a problem takes listening, compromise, and creativity. It takes someone who will be able to discern the best way to solve a problem, whether that be working with city staff, stepping in to mediate a dispute between neighbors, or finding a legislative solution.
Public Safety- Nothing is more important than knowing you and your family are secure. Being physically and emotionally safe allows us to thrive and be creative, productive members of society. While Hyattsville’s Police Department has worked diligently over the past decade to lower crime, there is still more that we can do as a city in order to create a secure environment for everyone. As captain of my neighborhood watch and having served as vice chair of the Police and Public Safety Citizen’s Advisory Committee, I know that we can all do our part to continue the downward trend of crime in the city. We need to ensure that lighting continues to be upgraded, that our public parks are maintained as secure places to play, and that bikers and pedestrians can navigate the city safely. Something as simple as maintaining the gate at the tot lot at King Park can help our community avoid tragedy.
Financial Sustainability- The city council can best ensure our future prosperity by committing to a responsible and sustainable budget. This requires delicate balance to continue providing the highest quality services possible while also minimizing the tax burden, especially for low-income residents. The sensitive nature of budgetary challenges must be met with compassionate and capable leadership in this trying economic season, while keeping goals like aging in place and finding opportunities for affordable housing.
Smart Development- Hyattsville is growing and changing as we work together to create a stronger community. As we grow, we need to be mindful of the environment and our neighborhood’s multifaceted requirements. In order to stay a walk-able community that provides for everyone’s day-to-day needs, we need to make decisions that take into account the strength of our economy and commitment to the dignity of people at all stages of life. The city has to meet developers halfway to ensure affordable housing, to continue to make aging in place a priority, and protect the city’s infrastructure, including the tree canopy.