My connection to inclusion and participation
Growing up in a rural part of St. Louis county in Missouri, I saw a city divided from its county based on race, wealth, and social class—divisions driven by sprawl and segregation. As a student, I didn’t understand how my vote affected my community’s direction.
In college, conflicting ideas from my upbringing in a conservative family and what I was learning in school left me feeling like I did not know enough to vote in what would have been my first presidential elections. I understand that there are many reasons people don’t participate in our democracy—systemic barriers of wealth, time, access, and education lead to citizens without a feeling of ownership or a voice in our community. In St. Louis, I didn’t see how I could affect change, but in a small, tight-knit city like Boulder, I see the opportunity to communicate with and include more people in the type of immediate, impactful local decision-making that affects their lives the most.
Openness and Transparency
Boulder prides itself on being a small community where people can know and talk to their city council. As the city grows and faces more complex issues, it’s even more important that we lead in making data, discussion, and decision-making open and available to everyone. We need to keep the quality, small-town feel of local decision-making while embracing new technology and innovation to reach all people and ensure open, equitable public processes.
- Good governance in financial responsibility and budget transparency
- Reasonably-sized issues to ensure that the community benefits are substantial while allowing a robust public process
- Improve processes to build trust in the city and its leaders, including easier access to information about plans and decisions that people care about
Access to decision-making bodies
Many feel that their voices are not heard through the city’s public engagement processes. I will work to ensure people’s concerns are heard and can contribute to decisions that affect them.
- Reduce late meetings and long agendas
- Enable online sign-ups for all forms of public participation
- Allow video testimony for people who have families can’t attend meetings
- Develop a system for giving input on city issues that ensures age, gender, and racial representation are considered when making council decisions