A Pew research study showed only 20% of people trust their government ‘to do what is right”. This speaks to the importance of strong communication in our local government for building trust with its citizens.
As a hospice chaplain my role is all about communication. I listen to the concerns and needs of others and involve them in creating solutions to problems that matter most. As your trustee, I will bring the same kind of listening, action and trust.
I grew up in northern Wisconsin where I gained an early appreciation for our natural resources and the crucial role we play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. This experience continues to guide my life decisions. I will encourage and support options that address the urgent concerns of climate change and that promote clean energy, a sustainable future and a healthier place for all of us to live and for our future generations to inherit.
A survey taken after our recent November election found 66% bipartisan support to fight climate change and to highly prioritize clean energy. In Arlington Heights we have experienced the effects of stronger and more intense storms with an increase in property and tree damage, flooding and poor air quality concerns.
As trustee, my decision making will occur through the lens of urgent care for our earth. I will promote green initiatives such as improved walkability and biking options. I will advocate for community and Village collaboration in the care of trees, use of native landscape and innovative options to increase recycling, composting and rain barrel opportunities. And I will support the increased use of clean renewable energy sources through solar panel use, additional electric car charging stations, and replacement of Village vehicles with green equipment. Arlington Heights has been ranked as one of the most livable small cities in the U.S. and an increased Village commitment to clean renewable energy will ensure we remain a top livable community for future generations.
I have heard from many residents that property taxes are a number one concern and that a top priority is to resist raising taxes whenever possible.
I believe our taxes must be used responsibly and in ways that best provide for the health, safety and welfare of our community at large. Seeking alternative revenue sources will be my primary strategy for minimizing the need to increase the Village property tax levy. Any increase in property taxes will only be a final option. Within my healthcare role, our services must be provided within a certain government mandated rate. This necessitates a careful and considered use of resources. I fully commit to this same kind of responsible financial decision making for the common good of our residents and businesses.
The human and financial consequences of COVID-19 are still unfolding and will continue to affect Arlington Heights for many years. This global pandemic has revealed how interconnected we all are and how what affects one, affects all. Increased collaboration between our village, healthcare providers and other human services in our area will be needed to strengthen and support the health and well being of our residents. This, in turn, also benefits the businesses in our community.
At this time the majority of voices on the village board are from the business sector. Currently, there is not one healthcare voice on the board. My 28 years of public service as a hospice chaplain will bring a much needed human service and healthcare voice to the decision-making for our community and will especially be of benefit with our post COVID-19 recovery needs, options and challenges.
Our Mayor and Village Board have prioritized efforts to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in our village. Even so, many residents have asked the village to do more to foster an increased sense of safety and belonging for all residents. These concerns combined with a lack of affordable housing excludes many people in our village.
As a hospice chaplain and clergy-person I have committed my life to being a voice for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized. I have devoted my life to work for a more just and equitable world. I am knowledgeable, experienced and seasoned in the issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion. As a trustee I will bring this same commitment to ensuring that all in our community have the freedom to participate fully and feel they belong. I love that our village motto is “City of Good Neighbors”. My years of active involvement working for inclusion will help ensure we live our motto.
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