I strongly support increasing mental and behavioral health services for those in need. My record proves my commitment – and my ability – to produce the results we need. You can count on me to advocate for proper mental health funding.

Healthy communities require adequate funding for mental health services and substance abuse treatments. Vulnerable members of communities across Pierce County struggle with mental health and/or drug abuse challenges. Providing needed relief to our mental health crisis requires access to essential behavioral health services.

I have a track record of getting results for my constituents in Lakewood and am proud of the work the work I did with my fellow Council Members, such as ensuring a mental health professional would be available on police calls for those in crisis, by committing one percent of our general fund to human services, including mental health services, and by partnering with Pierce County and the Cohen Veterans Network to bring Washington’s first mental health clinic serving veterans and military families to Lakewood.  

As your council member, I will work to:

  • Increase access to needed, localized care by properly funding mental health services and substance abuse treatments in our communities.
  • Implement proactive reforms dedicated to mental health services and substance abuse treatments for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Provide law enforcement with the proper resources to address mental health and substance abuse challenges.

The lack of mental health services and substance abuse treatments creates a burden for communities across Pierce County. Families struggling to help mentally ill or addicted loved ones need access to care – that means proper mental health care locally. People experiencing homelessness and who suffer with mental health and/or substance abuse need opportunities to improve their lives with access to proper treatment.

I am committed to improving access to proper mental health services in our communities. As we look at ways to reform and improve our police departments, the presence of mental health professionals reduces the pressure placed on police officers dealing with difficult situations involving people suffering from mental illness. Additionally, given the opportunity to establish access during a critical time, the presence of mental health professionals opens the door for long-term mental health care. 

The far-reaching implications of the COVID-19 crisis include a devastating increase in alcohol and drug abuse, depression, and suicide. Many people are experiencing lost employment and face uncertainty over their futures. Addressing the lack of mental health resources and substance abuse treatments in our communities is more important than ever. 

The spike in mental health related cases brought on by COVID-19 also reminds us that many key challenges facing our communities are interconnected. Losing your job is devastating – even the prospect of a job loss can produce overwhelming anxiety. I understand how much our communities are hurting financially – and I have the needed experience to navigate our present economic downturn and produce successful results. I will work toward solutions that produce needed job security, not only by incentivizing more businesses to create jobs in Pierce County but also by increasing transportation opportunities and encouraging affordable housing near job centers.

As a member of the Lakewood City Council and Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, I helped Lakewood come out of the 2008 economic downturn stronger than ever. As a member of the Pierce County Council, I will continue to fight for revitalization in our communities as a key component of overall health. 

I am prepared to serve Pierce County by leading the way on practical solutions to solve key challenges facing our communities, including the lack of mental health services. My record proves my commitment – and my ability – to produce the results we need. You can count on me to advocate for proper mental health funding. 

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Improving and Reforming Public Safety

As Deputy Mayor, I helped implement reforms in Lakewood, including eliminating our role in Metro swat to increase accountability, reviewing our use of force and de-escalation policies, and ensuring funding for a mental health professional to be available on police calls for those in crisis. These are the kinds of common sense reforms I will continue to push for as your next County Council Member.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department does a lot of great work in our County. The calls to defund the police will not solve our communities’ problems. Removing officers from the streets will make our families less safe and is not the answer. The County Council should dedicate adequate resources to ensure that the Department can recruit and retain the high-quality deputies we need and can provide proper training to ensure both their safety and the safety of all community members, including our communities of color.

As your Council Member, I will work to:

  • Implement reforms to rebuild trust in order to keep all members in our community safe
  • Increase the number of deputies on the street to reduce response time and increase community coverage
  • Provide the funding deputies need to receive excellent training, including all necessary training to instill a greater sense of community confidence in our Sheriff’s Department
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic

Communities across Pierce County face unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between health concerns, job losses, and business closures, our communities are in emotional and financial pain. But I know a strong recovery is possible. As a member of the Lakewood City Council, I helped reinvigorate the City of Lakewood by attracting more jobs and achieving financial security following the 2008 economic downturn. We ensured Lakewood created a healthy rainy-day fund to respond to emergencies and economic downturn, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and we pushed to invest more money into mental health services.

I am confident that – through smart policies implemented by the right leadership – Pierce County will experience a strong COVID-19 recovery.

  • Listen to the experts and follow the guidelines outlined by them
  • Increase mental health services throughout the county
  • Ensure small businesses have access to the resources they need to recover financially and retain employees
  • Implement smart incentives to attract more businesses to Pierce County, as well as more affordable housing, creating more jobs and reinvigorating local growth
  • Create a robust rainy-day fund capable of helping our communities overcome unexpected future emergencies
Building an economy that doesn’t leave people behind

I believe a healthy community requires a healthy economy.  Not long ago our economy was vibrant, growing steadily, with low unemployment.  Our reality is much different now; many in our community are hurting. Everyone needs that sense of financial security. More than ever, we need experienced leadership to guide us through this economic downturn in order to rebound stronger than before.

I will be a positive, experienced voice for the County during this time. I was on the Lakewood City Council following the economic downturn that started in 2008. Through the hiring of a highly competent City Manager and the adoption of sound financial policies, we guided the City through challenging financial waters. The City is now financially strong, maintains solid reserves, enjoys an improved bond rating (with very low debt), and consistently receives accolades for transparent and thorough municipal budgeting. While COVID creates a new set of financial challenges for our cities and County, I have the experience to help guide us through this latest challenge.

Action must be taken to ensure we:

  • Scrutinize the budget to ensure cost-effective delivery of services with available resources
  • Adopt sound policies that promote, sustain and grow family-wage jobs
  • Ensure affordable housing is available throughout the County to accommodate all our residents, including those experiencing homelessness
  • Coordinate and leverage our resources to help our existing businesses stay in business and thrive while seeking opportunities to attract new businesses to Pierce County
  • Embrace available resource options to ensure stable and adequate funding for mental health services and substance abuse treatment for our most vulnerable
Fiscal Responsibility and Government Accountability

In this midst of this pandemic and the economic uncertainty, we need a council member who has the experience necessary to deliver for our communities.

As Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, I worked with fellow council members to ensure city government had a healthy rainy-day fund to respond to emergencies and economic downturn, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hired a highly competent City Manager and adopted sound financial policies. Together, we guided the City through challenging financial waters. The City is financially strong, maintains solid reserves, enjoys an improved bond rating (with very low debt), and consistently receives accolades for transparent and thorough budgeting.

While COVID-19 creates a new set of financial challenges for our cities and County, I have the experience to help guide us through this latest challenge.

To ensure strong government operations that can serve all residents, even in times of crisis, we must:

  • Create a robust rainy day fund to respond to emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Keep our government nimble enough to adjust to changing economics
  • Adopt sound fiscal policies and use taxpayer money wisely
  • Hire excellent staff

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