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Issues

City Debt and Debt Reduction Plan

Our city debt has steadily been decreasing over the last 3-4 fiscal year budgets.  We've reduced our city debt from nearly 300 million to a current FY budget debt load of 267 million.  A decrease of roughly 30 million.  We've also decreased our debt utilization from 90% down to a projected 51%.  Now is not the time to abandon or lose sight of our debt reduction strategy.  If elected to another term, I'll continue to support our debt reduction strategy and continue to advocate for fiscally responsible spending.


Continued Voice Of the People

To paraphrase and personalize a quote from President Obama:

if there’s one thing that I’ve learned during my first term, when the silent majority speaks loudly enough, lol and behold, your city government listens.

Truth is, public input matters.  Be heard.  Stay involved.  Our city works best when we have its citizens helping to guide the way!  I’ll do my part and keep advocating on your behalf and pushing for our city departments to expand our methods of obtaining public input. 

When I say This is our city.  I want to be your continued voice!   To me, this is more than just a slogan.  It’s my why.  It’s why I advocate for you.  It’s what motivates me to fight for you each and every day!  It’s why I want to again earn your vote.   I want to be your representative because I want to be your trusted voice that will listen to you and most importantly, will get things done!  I believe every citizen deserves to be heard and with your support, I’ll continue to fight on your behalf for a second term.

 


Safe Communities

“We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons.” - Bill Clinton

Being a safe community requires a consistent focus each and every year.  We've made positive progress since 2015 in reducing some levels of crime but more work remains to be done. 

Our Dubuque Police Department however can’t do it alone.  We must commit to being part of the solution, together, in order to maintain the safe community everyone desires.   I’ll continue to support:

  • The continued use and expansion of our city camera system
  • Continued efforts focused on community policing efforts.  


Infrastructure - Street improvements

We must invest in our community streets and infrastructure before our streets deteriorate further.  Essential services and infrastructure priorities should always be at the top of the budget list.  We need to ensure we keep well maintained streets, well lit neighborhoods and improved gateways as part of our city priorities.  Though the SW Arterial may help divert some traffic, we’ll need to continue to advance our East-West Corridor planned improvements and also work with the IDOT and needed agencies to perhaps expand hwy 20 with an added traffic lane to keep traffic flowing.


Affordable Housing

An affordable housing shortage is not just a Dubuque issue but a broader regional issue.  Locally we need to continue to work with partners and investors willing to invest in our community to meet this demand.  One way to spur investment may be by strategically leverage TIF incentives.  I’d support working with my council colleagues to seek ways to increase incentives offered to developers based upon the number of units or the percentage of affordable housing units they develop and offer.


Upward Mobility and Poverty

More and more families are struggling today than ever.  Since 2012, our city has seen a steady increase in the percentage of families falling into poverty.  Despite a few council members efforts, including myself, to make addressing our rising poverty rates a priority a few years ago, the issue failed to get majority support.  Today, we can no longer look the the other way or pretend there isn't a growing poverty rate and income gap within our community.    

If we truly are to provide a hand up to those who need it, we need to start by:

  • Investing in education.  We must work with state and/or local organizations to help students meet their last dollars needed to attend community college 
  • Increasing job training programs not simply for jobs of today but for jobs of tomorrow.  Technology jobs will be the jobs of the future.
  • Continue to partner with organizations to offer expanded Jule bus services and keep working to help and connect citizens with needed services like affordable child care.



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