At last night’s League of Women Voters Candidate Forum, candidates were each asked to give a two-minute opening statement to explain our qualifications, our reasons for seeking this public office, and how we would address the major challenge as City Commissioners. Below are my full remarks:
I believe I’m hardwired for civic duty because everywhere I’ve lived I’ve been drawn into local issues. When I studied in Taiwan, I even tried getting my neighborhood to address a dangerous intersection — one of many lost in translation stories during my time there.
Since returning home to TC in 2002, I’ve served on numerous nonprofit boards and community committees, chiefly through the non-profit SEEDS which runs community resiliency & energy efficiency programs. These have been valuable personal development experiences where I’ve learned that good governance, true public engagement, and collaborative work towards shared missions and shared values is paramount.
In 2009, I was appointed to City’s Parks and Recreation Commission, where I was I chair before being appointed to my current position on the Planning Commission. Two of the more public endeavors I help lead were the Bayfront project and the establishment of the region’s first public off-leash dog park — or as I call it, the off-leash people park.
I’m also a community advocate in Traverse City, and statewide, for complete streets. Complete Streets is a process and design principle aimed to ensure that our streets are designed as places that one, add economic, social, and environmental value to our community and two, ensure that transportation choices are built into the system by design, not as an afterthought.
If elected, I will address major challenges by ensuring to the best of my ability that we have clear measurements of success when we choose one path over another.
I’m also the type of person who asks, “what are we overlooking?” and “who do we need to talk to that isn’t being represented?” Community is fundamentally a discussion and we have far too little true discussion in this community. We more often have comments and positions, but very little true discussion.
I believe I can help us do better. If elected I’d continue doing what I do now, meeting both praise and criticism with the same response — let’s meet for coffee, discuss it more and find our common ground.
* Click her answers to all nine of the LWV’s questions.