Since joining Salem City Council in late 2019, I've made Salem's most vulnerable residents my top priority. I've also worked with business leaders to support locally-owned businesses through the pandemic. Here are some highlights:
As a member of the City's Citizen Budget Committee since 2017, I have kept Salem "in the black" for years. Year after year, the City of Salem received clean financial audits and earned one of the highest financial ratings from Moody's. Salem is nationally recognized for its sound financial management.
I voted to (1) build permanent supportive housing for hundreds of persons experiencing homelessness; (2) create low-cost managed shelter sites with wraparound services; (3) create housing for low-income seniors, families, military veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons with serious mental illness; (4) direct grant funds to non-profit partners dedicated to ending homelessness; and (5) fund a Navigation Center for persons experiencing homelessness.
INVESTING IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
I approved private-public partnerships to increase affordable housing. I increased our Salem Housing Authority staff, so that staff can reach more people and apply for more affordable housing grant funds. I voted to approve affordable housing projects in West Salem, South Salem, Southeast Salem, downtown Salem, and more. I also voted to fund Redwoods and Sequoia Crossings, which provide housing to persons with severe mental illness and persons struggling with homelessness. I also voted to support funding for the ARCHES Inn, which opened its doors to house survivors of the Santiam Canyon wildfire.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
I voted to approve grant funds for folks who want to open or enhance a downtown business. I voted to support a downtown outdoor dining program to help restaurants survive the pandemic. I voted to increase security staffing for downtown parking structures. I also voted to approve a rapid response sanitation team in order to timely respond to complaints of garbage from illegal camping. I also voted to direct state grant funds towards improvements in our airport's infrastructure.
HELPING LOW-INCOME SENIORS
I voted to sell unused city land to the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley so they can build tiny homes for low-income seniors. I volunteered for Meals on Wheels and recruited volunteers to support low-income seniors during the pandemic.
SUPPORTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
I directed grant funds towards the building of low-income housing and support for survivors of domestic violence.
ENGAGING AT-RISK YOUTH
I voted to approve a youth shelter on Center Street. I raised awareness about youth homelessness after touring Salem's overnight youth shelter and day center.
TAKING ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
I voted to approve the City's first-ever Climate Action Plan and served on the Climate Action Task Force. I support the Salem Bike Vision and voted to invest in bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure around the city.
I voted for a performance audit of the Salem Police Department. I voted to increase police funding, including funding for the Behavioral Health Unit, which handles high-acuity 911 calls involving persons struggling with mental illness.
HELPING SANTIAM CANYON WILDFIRE SURVIVORS
I brought a team of volunteers and supplies to Gates, Oregon to assist with the wildfire relief efforts.
COLLABORATING WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS
As a member of the YMCA Board of Directors since 2019, I helped raise funds for our new flagship Y facility and a housing project for military veterans. The new YMCA is on track to open in late September 2022. The YMCA military housing project is currently under construction. I have also supported directing grant funding to Seeds of Faith Ministries, Church at the Park, the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, the Center for Hope and Safety, St. Francis Shelter, and the Marion-Polk Food Share.
INVESTING IN OUR PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM
I voted to create free, three-hour parking at our Main Library branch. I also voted to include two library branches in our infrastructure bond measure, which will be decided by the voters in November 2022.