If elected, what is the single biggest issue that you will address in your home ward?
A profound issue in Ward 4 that I want to address is the current sense of constituent priority. There are many concerns within Ward 4 that have not been addressed. One resident had an issue that they wanted to report for three months that went unnoticed until I reported the issue myself.
My ward deserves a representative who is willing to invest more time and attention in their constituents and develop new ways to improve our political landscape. More outlets need to be established so that Ward 4 residents can communicate more effectively with their representative and resolve concerns.
I have started to address this issue by creating a website for Ward 4 called Beaconward4.com and a website with the details of my platform on BeaconWorks.org. I plan to establish outlets online and offline that residents can access to ensure better communication and information.
What is the single biggest issue that the City Council must address?
Beacon needs a more open and progressive local government. We need to involve our residents in decisions more often and approach politics in a different way. We need to not only provide more opportunities and outlets for residents to voice their concerns, but ensure that we have answered them. It is very easy to just tell us what we can’t do. Let’s have a conversation about what we can do and see where it takes us.
This campaign season demonstrates our current weaknesses. Voters have not been given many chances to meet and question candidates. I have witnessed many voters expressing frustration and feeling that they are being deprived. They are absolutely right. Newspaper articles are helpful, but they are released very close to election day. Palm cards and flyers are vague and often don’t address key issues.
I feel that voters deserve a fair time frame to make their choice, as their votes will impact them for years after. I plan to improve [the] campaign season for voters of all affiliations so that they are more informed and the political process is a more positive experience for them.
What can you offer Beacon citizens that the incumbent has not?
My opposition has mentored local children in the past; however, I have not seen any changes in Ward 4 since his term as councilman began in 2013. As the candidate with life-long knowledge of Ward 4, I know our youth need much more than mentoring to succeed. Our youth deserve a leader willing to push for youth programs beyond athletics, who will promote opportunities that contribute to quality of life, and who has a passion for improving and contributing to local education outside of politics.
As a younger candidate of 19 years and recent Beacon High School graduate, I can also relate to local youth. Additionally, I am dedicated to not only being involved with local youth, the arts, and education, but also to preserving Beacon’s history, paying more attention to our elderly residents, encouraging more volunteerism, and ensuring our people are not only heard, but listened to.
Our youth, arts, education, history, elderly, and volunteerism are just some parts of Beacon’s identity. It is vital that we preserve our past as we move forward, as well as provide the next generation with the tools needed to thrive.
What skills or experience qualifies you to serve as a council member?
As a resident of Beacon and Ward 4 resident since age 4, a volunteer for local organizations since age 12, and a Fashion Institute of Technology honors student, I know I can bring new ideas and solutions to local issues that have yet to be addressed. My current full-time commuting and working student status shows that I can multitask effectively, have perseverance, and a good work ethic. I have a strong civic mind and intend to take $10,000 of my two-year salary and donate it to benefit my ward.