What qualifies you to represent your district?
I am a doer. As a new American, I understand equity. I crafted municipal policy as a former employee of the SL County Council. I found resources to fund training and officers as a former civilian employee of the Unified Police. I am well-rounded and solve issues. I match our district's needs.
Identify two key issues that you are concerned about. As a city council member, what specific actions will you take to address those issues? Homelessness & Affordable Housing
Homelessness / Affordable Housing: Right now, the city's passivity is pitting neighbors against the homeless and each other. We are stalling and not doing anything meaningful. We push the homeless from one corner of the Westside to the other. That is not leadership. Short term: We need small legal camping zones created all over the city (other cities create partnerships with churches to host them). Protected camping would provide some sort of order so we can help unsheltered people while making sure our citizens can enjoy their own neighborhoods. Long-term: allocate a sufficient amount of the coming one-time federal money to tackle homelessness. I know there are many priorities to which this money can be allocated, but this is the most serious crisis we have, and we need to demonstrate it is by investing strategically and heavily.
Crime & Safety: Even in safer areas of District 2 people are wary of the stress we are under. Public safety must be a priority for our kids, our seniors, and all our families. We have too many family calls for high-priority calls that take far too long to answer. It is a serious matter. The Westside has a harsh reputation, and the city exacerbates our stress by not putting the resources we need to address the issues we face. The other side of public safety we need to address, are the issues with our roads, streetlights (or lack thereof), and crosswalks (or lack thereof). We've seen a disproportionate number of kids run over. We see unaddressed speeding in residential neighborhoods. Our sidewalks are impassible in areas. As a council member, I will be on top of this because this is what affects our quality of life.
What is your background, and what motivated you to run?
As an immigrant, I recognize the debt I owe to this country. I am eager to engage in public service that enhances all the wonderful things that made me want to become a citizen here, while helping fix those things that will make us even better. I decided to run because I asked the city to provide a stop sign and traffic light near my house, which is located alongside an elementary school. I've repeatedly heard refusals and excuses. I know the city can do better and my neighbors deserve more. So, I am standing up for us all.
Identify an example where you had to make a choice between doing what was right and what was popular/politically expedient.
When I was a student at BYU, I served as the international student president. There was a moment when we had to re-charter the club that gave a voice to students from all backgrounds and nationalities. We noticed that the standard anti-discrimination clause didn't include sexual orientation or identity. We all felt we needed to include it. My partners in the project understood the need to stand up for those, like me, that didn't fit in the boxes that were listed. Our group became a conduit between students and the university, helping them to understand the different needs on campus. Because we understood this unmet need in our student body, even though it was a risk to bring it up with the administration, it was the right thing to do. We were able to build consensus and understanding that protected students and demonstrated responsiveness to our university’s standards. Years later, BYU added those words as standard for all anti-discrimination clauses for all clubs – a sign that our work AND the approach we took were valuable and valued.
If you are elected, how will you engage with your constituents to know their needs/concerns?
I am intimately connected to my community. I speak the same language, literally, as the largest constituency in my district. My dog, Petunia is a well-known feature for the local school children and their families. I show up at the Sunday Market at Jordan Park in the summer and support local nonprofit events during the winter. My communication plan is rooted in my general connection to the community.
Outside of this natural strength, I bring to the table, I also run a consulting firm that manages communication forums. I am well versed in the newest and most effective communication strategies and will be using them to stay connected to my neighbors. I know that communication in my area needs to meet many needs. My neighbors work hard, often at several jobs. Their plates are full keeping up with the changing city and their families' needs. By using my well-earned skill in creating diverse communication strategies, I will be sure to engage as many people as possible. As a sign of good faith that I will follow through on this, everyone I meet during my campaign has received my personal cell phone number and I will always answer for them.