There are many problems facing us in Ward 1 that I do not feel are being actively noticed, let alone focused on. Over the coming weeks, I will be expanding on these here and on Facebook.
- Communication between the city and Ward 1: In many ways, each ward's councilmember serves as a conduit of information from the city to the ward residents. Over the last year, the bar has been raised in this regard in a majority of the wards, and I very much would like to see modern technology utilized by the Ward 1 representative to keep the ward more consistently informed.
- Championing Ward 1 issues with Council: Conversely, we in Ward 1 deserve to have our issues consistently represented with Council. An effective councilmember doesn't just listen, they actively listen and consistently bring the issues of Ward 1 to the attention of Council. It's not enough to wait until residents seek out their representative to air their concerns. Hosting open access listening sessions and meetings with Ward residents, attending local events happening in the Ward, and reaching out to parents, educators, business owners, and faith leaders is essential to truly understand the issues facing our Ward.
- Partnerships with the community to develop a family-friendly, unique identity for Ward 1: We in Ward 1 deserve to be more than just a pass-through. We deserve a similar vision for east Norman that has benefited core and west Norman. We deserve a diverse business community, including family-friendly activity and restaurant options that we currently lack. Such a vision will require an active, engaged councilmember with the energy and ideas to follow through on these issues all year, every year.
- Work to form business districts and common-sense zoning: The lack of a thriving business community is in part due to a failure to enact any intentional, supportive business districts and zoning that encourage the growth of businesses desired by east Norman residents. Alameda and 12th Ave have existed in a state of complacent stasis for nearly a decade and deserve revitalization and attention.
- Senior Center: Several times over, seniors have been promised funding for a senior center that has never materialized. Norman Forward projects can and must be prioritized on the intended 15 year time table to ensure adequate funding for a standalone senior center, and public transportation access must be scrutinized to ensure Ward 1 residents have equal access to senior center services and activities.
- Continued support of our animal welfare center: The last eighteen months have seen significant improvements and positive changes at Norman Animal Welfare - changes I'm proud to have been engaged in as a member of the Animal Shelter Oversight Committee - including the hiring of a permanent part-time veterinarian to treat animals on-site.