1.  What is your vision for the Station Center neighborhood (200 South to 400 South; 450 West to 600 West)? What investments do you think the City should make in this area?

My vision for the Station Center neighborhood focuses is to transform it into a vibrant, family-friendly, and sustainable neighborhood, fostering economic growth and community engagement. To achieve this, I propose the following investments:

  • Family-Oriented Amenities: We should introduce family-friendly amenities to attract and retain families in the area.
  • Balanced Development: A mix of commercial and recreational spaces should complement existing attractions like Pioneer Park and the Farmers Market.
  • Zoning Amendments: Amending downtown zoning districts to allow for increased building height can incentivize development.
  • Mixed-Use Development: Emphasis on mixed-use development, improved public transportation, and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Green Spaces and Parks: Create green spaces and parks to enhance the quality of life and reduce car dependency.
  • Affordable Housing: Implement policies and incentives to address affordable housing within Station Center.
  • Sustainability: Incorporate energy-efficient buildings, waste reduction, and green infrastructure for a sustainable environment.
  • Community Engagement: Actively involve residents and stakeholders in decision-making processes to align with community wishes and needs.

2.  What are the most important initiatives and investments you will lead to create a safe and welcoming downtown for residents, workers, employers and visitors?

To create a safe and welcoming downtown, I am committed to leading the following key initiatives:

  • Vibrant Communities:
    • Park Revitalization: I secured $15 million in funding for Pioneer and other District 4 parks, transforming them into vibrant recreational spaces. Additional investments will revitalize parks and make them more accessible.
    • Small Business Incubation: I supported small business incubation, particularly in the food industry, to promote economic vibrancy in our downtown area.
  • Supporting Local Businesses:
    • Financial Aid for Small Businesses: During the pandemic, I allocated $1 million to provide financial assistance to small businesses, later adding $2 million from federal sources. This aid helped businesses weather economic challenges
    • Promoting Safe Gatherings: I facilitated safe gatherings by loosening regulations and waiving fees for outdoor dining. We temporarily closed Main Street to create a welcoming atmosphere, providing financial support for outdoor dining equipment.
  • Ensuring Public Safety:
    • Dedicated Business Liaison: I added a police officer as a business liaison in downtown Salt Lake City to strengthen the connection between law enforcement and the business community.
    • City Departmental Audits: I reinstated yearly random City Departmental Audits to enhance transparency and accountability within city departments, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness.
    • Public Safety Investment: I have secured record funding for the police and fire departments and promoted alternative response models, including ambassadors.

In summary, my track record as a City Council member demonstrates a commitment to creating a safe and welcoming downtown. I will continue to advocate for these initiatives, focusing on vibrant communities, supporting local businesses, and ensuring public safety to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of District 4 and the city as a whole. Our downtown is the economic engine of our city, deserving of strategic investment to generate the return we need.

3.  Salt Lake City’s Central Business District population will double in the next two years. How can the City enhance and expand green space and public spaces to support a healthy and vibrant downtown neighborhood?

To support a healthy and vibrant downtown neighborhood, I propose the following key strategies:

  • Green Loop Initiative: We recently piloted the Green Loop to assess the need for more green spaces in downtown. The positive results indicate the importance of this project. We will invest in the Green Loop as envisioned in the downtown plan to create a continuous network of parks and green spaces.
  • Open Streets Program: Driven by the community's desire for pedestrian-friendly spaces, I have funded a study to understand the infrastructure changes and costs needed to permanently close streets to automobiles. This initiative is currently underway.
  • Sustainability Focus: Salt Lake City is a leader in sustainable practices. We will continue to prioritize sustainability by enhancing building efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and improving air quality. We will also work to ensure access to fresh and healthy food options in the downtown area and focus on conserving natural resources.
  • Zero-Waste City: My commitment to making Salt Lake City a zero-waste city involves comprehensive waste reduction, recycling, and composting programs.
  • Cultural Vibrancy: To maintain our district's status as a cultural hub, I will advocate for budget allocations to support the arts and seek partnerships with private donors and nonprofits.
  • Sustainable Transportation: I will promote eco-friendly transportation options, such as walkable and bikeable roads and efficient travel choices, to reduce our carbon footprint.

4. What is your plan for responding to the crisis of people living without shelter on the streets of Salt Lake City? Will you enforce no-camping ordinances? Please include your strategies for funding the initiatives that you propose.

Addressing the housing crisis, homelessness, and mental health issues requires a comprehensive and compassionate approach. Here are the key initiatives and strategies I will lead:

Housing Initiatives:

  • Safe Outdoor Spaces: I allocated $500,000 for safe outdoor spaces, offering dignified living conditions and enhanced security for unsheltered individuals.
  • Affordable Housing Investments: I successfully advocated for over $20 million in affordable housing investments, promoting affordable rents and neighborhood preservation.
  • Smart Zoning Changes: I championed zoning changes to allow for taller buildings in Downtown districts, promoting sustainable urban growth.
  • Balanced Rezoning: I approved rezoning while protecting existing housing and preventing displacement of affordable units.
  • Accessible Housing: I removed conditions for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and secured funding to promote affordability.
  • Family-Sized Housing: I incentivized family-sized housing and affordable homeownership to accommodate diverse needs.

Mental Health and Addiction Support:

  • Community Health Access Team (CHAT): I created CHAT to respond to service calls requiring specialized support, saving police calls and providing assistance to individuals in crisis.
  • Receiving Center: I secured $3 million for a temporary receiving center, diverting individuals with mental illness from the criminal justice system to receive medical services.
  • Community Policing: I funded police squads to support sheltered and unsheltered individuals.
  • Downtown Enhancement: I funded yellow shirt ambassadors to maintain order and cleanliness in downtown areas.
  • Advocacy for Mental Health Services: I've advocated with government agencies to prioritize mental health services.
  • Community Park Reclamation: I led efforts to reclaim Taufer Park, making it a more inviting and secure space for the community.

Future Initiatives:

  • Secure Outdoor Spaces: I plan to rally my colleagues for increased funding to establish a comprehensive, RV-inclusive second sanctioning camping ground, addressing the needs of our community to build off of the $500,000 I recently allocated for secure outdoor spaces, emphasizing dignity with amenities like bathrooms.
  • CHAT Continuation: I aim to continue the momentum of the Community Health Access Team I established in my first term, which, in under a year, saved over 100 police calls by providing specialized, compassionate responses, thereby enhancing overall community well-being.

These actions and future initiatives demonstrate my commitment to addressing these challenges in a compassionate, inclusive, and responsive manner to ensure the well-being of all Salt Lake City residents.

5.  Please share your strategies for attracting and retaining employers and skilled workers to Salt Lake City.

Attracting and retaining employers and skilled workers is crucial for Salt Lake City's growth. Here are my key strategies:

Infrastructure and Transportation:

  • Invest in mass transit and bike/pedestrian infrastructure to reduce congestion, improve commutes, and enhance quality of life.
  • Support Vision Zero to ensure safer streets and prioritize public transit.
  • Continue funding for UTA bus lines and the student pass program to encourage public transportation use.

Education and Workforce:

  • Partner with educational institutions to create a skilled workforce through training programs, internships, and apprenticeships.
  • Ensure access to quality education from K-12 to higher education.

Business-Friendly Environment:

  • Streamline permitting and licensing processes to reduce bureaucratic hurdles for new businesses.
  • Offer incentives for job creation, including tax breaks and grants.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

  • Promote business incubators and accelerators to support startups and innovation.
  • Facilitate access to capital for local businesses and startups.

Quality of Life:

  • Invest in cultural and recreational amenities to enhance the city's appeal.
  • Address housing affordability to attract a diverse range of workers.

Sustainability Initiatives:

  • Prioritize sustainability and environmental practices to attract environmentally conscious businesses and workers.

Collaboration and Networking:

  • Encourage business participation in local associations and foster a collaborative ecosystem.

Diversity and Inclusivity:

  • Embrace diversity as a strength, celebrate differences, and promote equal opportunities for all residents.
  • Act as a unifying bridge that transcends backgrounds, fostering inclusivity and unity in the city.

In conclusion, Salt Lake City's attractiveness to employers and skilled workers is enhanced through a combination of infrastructure investment, education, business-friendly policies, innovation support, quality of life enhancements, sustainability, collaboration, and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity. These strategies will contribute to the city's continued growth and prosperity.

6.  How can the City best support the Utah Jazz’s long term residency in Downtown Salt Lake City?

Ensuring the Utah Jazz's continued presence in Downtown Salt Lake City requires a multifaceted approach that strengthens our city's cultural and economic vibrancy:

  • Lease Renewal: We've taken the crucial step of renewing the Utah Jazz's lease, providing stability and commitment for their long-term residency. This extended partnership fosters trust and encourages further investment.
  • Development and Infrastructure: To bolster the Jazz's residency, I am actively supporting the development of the surrounding area. This includes both land use and financial incentives to attract businesses, residential projects, and entertainment options. This thriving ecosystem around the Jazz arena benefits the team and the community alike.
  • Historic Japantown: I recognize the cultural significance of historic Japantown. I am dedicated to preserving and revitalizing this unique heritage, transforming it into a key attraction. Our plans involve restoration efforts and initiatives to celebrate and showcase the rich history of this area.
  • Transportation Accessibility: To ensure fans can easily access games, we're investing in transportation infrastructure. This extends beyond airport connectivity and encompasses improved public transportation links to downtown. Convenient transportation options are vital for the Jazz's long-term success.
  • Community Engagement: The Utah Jazz are more than just a basketball team; they're an integral part of our community. I am committed to fostering a strong connection between the team and local residents. Initiatives include partnerships with schools, charities, and community organizations, ensuring that the Jazz remain woven into the fabric of our city.
  • Economic and Job Creation: The presence of the Jazz has a substantial economic impact. I’m focused on on maximizing these benefits, such as job creation and increased tourism, by supporting the team's long-term presence.
  • Sustainability and Modernization: To keep the Jazz arena competitive and attractive to a diverse range of events, we're investing in sustainability measures and modernization. A modern, eco-friendly facility not only benefits the environment but also enhances its appeal to a wider range of audiences and events.

7.  What is one of your favorite dishes from a restaurant in the Central Business District?

This is probably the toughest question I’ve been asked on the campaign trail since there are so many great dishes to pick from. However, one of my all-time favorite dishes from a restaurant in the Central Business District is the Steak Sandwich from Franklin Ave. Its succulent flavors and perfect balance of ingredients make it an absolute delight. Of course, the district offers an abundance of exceptional dining experiences, and my family and I are on a mission to explore them all. The Central Business District truly has something for everyone to savor.

8. What else would you like downtown property owners, merchants, employers and residents to know about your campaign?

Downtown Community,

I'm deeply committed to our city, and my record speaks to my dedication. With your support, I'll continue fostering fairness and balance, drawing on my expertise in city planning, small business, and my passion for sustainability. I'll be your voice, working to unite our diverse community.

I bring professional acumen and advocacy, which uniquely positions me to mediate among different groups, striving for unity and constructive collaboration. You can count on me to prioritize your concerns, making sure our downtown thrives.

I'll build on my past achievements and experiences, advocating for policies that improve life in District 4 and make our downtown more welcoming, safe, and prosperous for everyone. My vision includes inclusivity, sustainable growth, and a thriving business environment, ensuring our downtown remains a vibrant and diverse place.

I promise to continue to be accessible and accountable, valuing your input and actively seeking your perspectives. Let's shape the future of our downtown together. Join me in creating a place we're all proud to call home, work, and visit. Your support is invaluable, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve you.

Together, we'll make our downtown even better.