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We need to increase and diversify our housing stock

Everett residents deserve to have access to affordable housing. Anyone who works hard to support their family and has played by the rules shouldn't be living paycheck to paycheck because of rent. 

If elected I will:

Work to create affordable housing and pathways to homeownership.

I want to create a sweat equity homeownership program to help hard working families escape the rent cycle and begin building their future. A hard-working family who can afford rent or a mortgage but just can't seem to put enough away for a downpayment should have the option of rolling up their sleeves and applying their good ol' American work ethic to create a future for their family through sweat equity homebuilding. Neighbors who've shared the experience of contributing their blood, sweat, and tears to the creation of their neighborhood will foster stronger community and better neighbors.

Push to create a land trust in the city of Everett.

The Kulshan Land Trust in Bellingham is a great example of the innovative housing models that our city could use to increase affordable housing stock. The creation of the trust would allow potential homeowners to purchase the house on the property while the land trust, a non-profit, retains ownership of the land. This model brings down the cost of a mortgage be removing the additional costs of purchasing the land.

The reduced costs of a land trust allow the flexibility to create different types of housing. For instance, in Burlington, Vermont a land trust facilitated the creation of co-op condominiums as well as sweat equity condominiums, thereby efficiently and effectively increasing affordable housing.

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We need transportation options for families here in Everett 

Getting to work is costing families more and more every year, and is contributing to climate change. A recent driving cost study found that the average vehicle cost of ownership adds up to $725 a month, and contributes to over half of Everett’s carbon footprint.

By building a rich transit ecosystem, we can reduce our carbon footprint and save commuters money.  

A multi-modal transit system comprised of walkable neighborhoods, rideshare programs, and bike lanes that reach into neighborhoods will lessen the burden on our roads and provide affordable transportation alternatives for our families.

We need to work to diversify our mobility tools by bringing in successful rideshare programs such as Car2Go and ZipCar, as well as developing a bikeshare system.

These are crucial steps in closing the first mile/last mile gap that exists in our local transportation network.  Overcoming the first mile/last mile challenge will enhance ease of access. These tools will also allow for transportation to have a deeper reach into neighborhoods.

Currently over half of Everett’s carbon footprint comes from how we get around. By building a rich transit ecosystem we can also be a leader in reducing our carbon footprint.

Everett is a wonderful place with amazing people but we have our challenges

Public safety is a top priority. A family should be able to walk down the street to a locally owned coffee shop and back home without worry. I believe that we can overcome these challenges by working together to solve these problems.

First and foremost we need to support our emergency services.

The Everett Police Department cannot move forward and effectively implement new initiatives, conduct strategic planning, or build meaningful relationships in our community if officers are constantly burdened with a heavy case load. Police force engagement is directly related to lower crime rates in communities like ours, and this will undoubtedly have a positive impact on our city.

We also need to be strategic in how we deploy police officers. I support the expansion of the embedded social worker program to help connect individuals who are in need of social services with the resources they require. I also believe that we can further maximize the effectiveness of our police force by reshaping how we are responding to opioid epidemic. If we work to reduce the workload of drug responses we can free our officers to tackle larger issues.

And lastly, we must support our fire department. As a center of urban growth, we need to make sure that fire is fully staffed and can respond to people in life-threatening situations. As our city grows so will our need for emergency services. We need to be certain that they are supported and ready to respond.

We need to make sure that we have the staffing levels that can attract business. Currently the city of Everett only has one economic development staff member.  Edmonds, a city half our size has two. We need to change that. 

Our current capacity of one staff member makes it impossible to fully support economic development and innovation in our city. One person simply cannot be at an aerospace trade show, in South Everett helping a member of a traditionally underrepresented community start their first business and simultaneously in downtown Everett working with a restaurant owner to see if expansion is right for her. Adequate staffing allows for new innovation to help recruit entrepreneurs and facilitate small business startups. Los Angeles recently started a small business portal that serves as a tailored road map to navigate all levels of bureaucracy, from state to local. These kind of innovations require staff to create them, but they then pay for themselves in the long run.  

Additionally, If our goal is faster, more sustainable  growth, we need additional staff to help cultivate and develop relationships between anchor institutions (such as Providence Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Washington State University) and our local businesses. These strategies and relationships have proved positive in other locations. For example, a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and small businesses in West Philadelphia created tremendous growth and opportunity. I believe these public-private partnerships are cost-effective strategies that create opportunity and foster innovation.

Investments in economic development will  deliver a great return in the future. It will create living wages jobs, support Everett families, increase our city’s revenue, and improve the overall quality of life.  

Everett Council Districts

All families in Everett should have a voice. We need to make sure that all people and all places have a seat at the table in Everett City Government. That is why I support creating city council districts. I support a 5-2 model that will ensure all parts of the city have a voice and that there are council members looking after the well being of the whole city. I also like the 5-2 model because it will prevent one district from having majority representation on the city council.

Urban Reststops

We need  to create a place where those experiencing homelessness can have access to resources. It should include access to hygiene, showers, laundry, a place to charge their phone, and lockers to secure their gear. This place will create a safe place for those experiencing homelessness, access to social workers, and create a place where our most vulnerable can have feeling of belonging. Urban restops would also help stop the misuse of library facilities and move housing insecure persons off the front steps of business owners.

Urban Villages

We need to expand potential throughout the city of Everett. Urban villages placed throughout the city can act like mini downtowns. By creating epicenters for Everett's neighborhoods, they promote population and economic growth throughout the city and will help grow our city’s economic base. Everett Mall is a perfect example of where we can implement this. Imagine a mixed use, mixed income, transit oriented, town center with shops on the bottom and all types of homes above. From market rate, to senior, to workforce and affordable housing. It’s the perfect location as it sits on local Everett transit lines as well as a park and ride for Sound Transit as well as the Interurban Trail. It could be the urban village that kick starts the redevelopment of Everett Mall Way. We can make this dream a reality.