CITIZEN SELF SUFFICIENCY
Financially Empowering Residents
Keeping our community safe is a top priority. We have seen an increase in gun related violence within our community and unfortunately, it has been primarily at the hands of our youth. My vision for a safe and welcoming Urbana is only realized when we, as residents, are actively engaged in public safety. This begins with addressing the root causes of crime through law enforcement, through appropriate civilian oversight and accountability. As your mayor, I will be your advocate, working directly with local law enforcement to create community participation. Together, we will create a recurring police open house where citizens and law enforcement can meet each other in our community. This access will prompt better relations. We will also recognize that law enforcement is better positioned to keep us safe when officers are engaged and active off the job. If residents know officers, improved relations will follow. That is why I will work with the department to achieve citywide engagement. I believe and our residents know that over-policing is not the answer. My alternative is fostering trust between law enforcement and our community, so all residents — including officers— know that the police are there to protect and serve ALL URBANA RESIDENTS. As mayor of Urbana, I will ensure that investment across our city has an equal impact on our low to moderate-income areas as it has on high-income neighborhoods. How do we do that? We will systematically address the unemployment and low educational gap by creating incentives and vocational training opportunities for residents that will put them on a path to a productive and fulfilling livelihood. We will work with local agencies to incentivize residents who complete financial literacy and/or housing programs and seek housing within CRA-qualified areas. This will not only build our low to moderate-area neighborhoods but also provide an opportunity for affordable housing and development while addressing long-term poverty; a significant root cause of crime. We will improve conditions, reduce crime, and create prosperity under this vision for the city.
As Mayor, I will empower our residents financially. I will create a homeownership and financial literacy team that will work directly with local organizations focused on the rebuilding and development of citizens within our community. We will work with local agencies to incentivize residents who complete the financial literacy and housing program and seek housing within CRA-qualified areas. This will not only build our low to moderate-area neighborhoods but also provide an opportunity for affordable housing and development. It is through my plan for financial empowerment for Urbana residents, that we will provide individuals with the tools necessary to combat the systemic inequities that our city and citizens have shouldered, which can only be addressed by a mayor committed to standing up for a fair economy. Our plan will emphasize an urgent support system for the following: a. Homeless or temporarily displaced citizens b. Veterans and their families c. Senior Citizens seeking independent living As Mayor, I will lead in a way that creates a prosperous, growing, and viable Urbana. We will provide information and the tools needed to ensure citizens from all backgrounds have an opportunity to be financially successful.
As mayor of Urbana, our city will be open for local and small businesses. While we will welcome big corporation opportunites, Urbana will not allow big corporations and out-of-town investors to take Urbana residents’ economic opportunities — we will ensure Urbana residents are leading economically. As mayor, I will ensure city development resources align with this vision for a thriving small and local business community. How do we do this? We support small businesses that treat their workers, our fellow neighbors, and Urbana residents, fairly. We will create opportunities by partnering with the trade unions. I will always seek to have city contracts fulfilled by unionized workers because Urbana has a role in leading on the issue of fairness in the workplace. We will also partner with the trade unions to ensure residents who do not plan to attend college or university succeed through one of the many trades right here in the city of Urbana. I know how to move the city forward economically because I’ve done it professionally. I created the KidzBiz Pop-up Shop, which not only teaches our youth the art of business but also brings additional foot traffic to our downtown business district. As mayor, I will incentivize local business owners to partner with or KidzBiz youth program to encourage economic development and growth. These efforts are strengthened by my plan to promote sustainable economic growth through start-ups, supporting existing businesses, and growing city support. I am committed to fostering an ethical and fair economy in Urbana, and I have shown a commitment to the vision that promotes growth from the bottom to the top, not the other way around. As mayor of Urbana, I will focus on promoting strategic and sustainable economic growth by encouraging business start-ups, supporting existing businesses and atrracting new businesses to our city.