Montgomery County and Rockville provide extraordinary opportunities for residents, but we can always seek to do better. As a city we must identify educational, social, and economic achievement gaps and strive to achieve equitable outcomes, not simply settle for equality of services. The illustration (below) is a great representation of the differences between equality and equity – the first is about resource allocation, the 2nd is about outcomes – do the resources match the need.
Image from https://www.equitytool.org/equity/
In order to identify how to achieve equity, it is critical that we have diverse and inclusive participation in the running of the city. I may know a lot, but libraries are full of things I don’t know, and none of us know as much as all of us. Diversity and inclusion is an area in which failed efforts are too often accepted as ‘good enough because we tried.’ It is up to the city to find the mechanisms to which people respond and to be judged by outcomes, not efforts. On the City Council I will;
Identify and address achievement gaps
Work ceaselessly to insure full representation and input
Review city policies to identify and reduce or eliminate
punitive fines and penalties
Prioritize affordability for individuals and small
and independent businesses
Establish a business-incubator for service-based
and light industrial startups
Even with a high-quality professional job, living in Rockville as a single co-parent was financially daunting for many years, sometimes requiring a second job. City policies must account for their impact on those who do not enjoy the luxury of a white-collar full-time job with benefits. We should re-examine our fine structures and penalties to make sure they are not unduly punitive. And I am very aware of the need to hold the local tax burden to as reasonable level as possible.
The city needs to prioritize the widespread availability of affordable and attainable housing throughout all neighborhoods. Rockville cannot be strong if the teachers who work in our schools cannot afford to raise a family here! I trust the vast majority of my neighbors to make good decision and support their rights to build accessory dwelling units as a way to equitably add housing stock for a growing population.
I view the role of city government as supporting the lives of residents and community members. For most of us this includes our jobs. It is important to support an environment in which Rockville’s residents can find employment, acquire goods and services, and create their own business opportunities. I will work with local businesses to further streamline permitting and licensing practices, reduce wait times, and identify other opportunities to support businesses. However, city support for business should be geared toward helping Rockville residents, not special interests.
Benefits should be spread evenly across the city, and it is important to have an economic development infrastructure that recognizes the needs of residents without college degrees and our need for local services. I will work to identify nonprofit partners to develop a business incubator for service-based and light industrial startups; catering and cleaning companies, yard service and construction concerns, etc. And will work to maintain affordable service and light industrial zones within the city.