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. We must do the same in Pierce County.

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.

As a member of the Pierce County Council, I pledge to:

  • 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

As the Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, I’ve worked hard to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 shutdowns on small businesses in my community. I worked with my fellow city council members to establish an assistance program dedicated to providing funding for small businesses to sustain operations and retain employees. The program converts the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding to grants, ensuring capital arrives to qualified businesses quickly.

Serving on the Economic Development Board (Tacoma – Pierce County) has also given me the opportunity to make a difference for businesses in communities across Pierce County. Initiatives like the Business Retention and Expansion program assist growing companies – including a maritime manufacturer and food processing companies – to ensure job creation. We also continue to attract more companies to our county through recruitment programs. These include a PPE manufacturer and an electric vehicle company. 

Our efforts resulted in a noticeable improvement in many industry sectors. Pierce County is ahead of many other counties across our state on the path of recovery. Of course, far more must be done for the health of our communities. I am ready to help lead Pierce County toward recovery. I know what it takes to recover from an economic downturn. I am confident I can help communities across Pierce County come out from our present challenges stronger. But, I also know our challenges aren’t just financial — the burdens brought on by COVID-19 impact our mental health, which is why I am committed to increasing funding for mental health services in Pierce County to ensure better access to care for all of our residents in need.

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Advancing Access to Mental Health Services

I strongly support increasing mental and behavioral health services for those in need.

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.
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
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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