I want to invest in District 2 and make it an even more attractive place to live and visit and not just a bottleneck to get through.
I am committed to bringing rapid transit to Gwinnett County and fixing the existing transit system that doesn't serve the community well. This will bring many benefits to the region:
We also need a full range of transportation options. Gwinnett County is the second most populous county in the state and one of the fastest growing counties in metro Atlanta and our transportation demand is outpacing the existing services and infrastructure. This is due to a singular focus on roadway expansion. We need to be thinking about how our infrastructure can adapt and handle the changes coming in the next decade, such as a large population increase and a new wave of cheaper ride-sharing services.
The Connect Gwinnett Plan was a good start, however it lacks the interconnects necessary to create a healthy and robust network that can adapt to bottlenecks like the I-85 bridge collapse and is worthy of a major metropolitan area. I have been working on an upgraded transportation plan for Gwinnett.
I am running because I see my communities repeatedly being overlooked and underrepresented in leadership and economic development.
I have great respect for the work the previous board of commissioners have done in rebranding to embrace our diversity; however, we must embrace that diversity throughout the organization and improve transparency and representation.
Most of us have been discriminated against by someone at some time in our lives. We are all different, and our strength is in our diversity. People shouldn't be denied access to resources or rights because of their age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs. I have proposed updates to our non-discrimination policy that is more consistent and clear. I have implemented a blinded appointee process that has helped to find me qualified and diverse individuals to serve the county and has worked much better than the typical cronyism method.
We are one human race and an interconnected global economy. Gwinnett is the 4th most diverse county in the nation. We are not a border state, however, 1/5 of all 287(g) encounters and 1/10 of all deportations in the nation happen in Gwinnett! Gwinnett taxpayers are spending millions of dollars per year to do the work that should be handled by the federal government using an already underpaid and understaffed police force. Gwinnett has a homeless population second only to the city of Atlanta in Georgia. Instead of hiding the problem or trying to push the problem down the road, we should be leading in efforts to solve the problem and take care of all our citizens with the dignity and respect every human deserves.
There is a disconnect when the Commissioners are campaigning on safety when they cut the pensions of the Gwinnett County Police Department whose starting salary is $20,000 less than the surrounding counties. There is also a disconnect when the Police Department does not reflect the diversity of the community. Mass incarcerations for non-violent offenders means we're spending valuable resources unnecessarily and programs like 287(g) encourage violent criminals to roam our streets. We need to focus on programs that actually make our communities safer and show appreciation for the officers who put their lives on the line for us every night.
We need more affordable housing options. With power over zoning, it is the commissioner's responsibility to ensure new developments include provisions for affordable housing. It's also a safety issue as we want to improve the diversity of our police force and improve their connection to the community and our safety so our officers can live in the areas we want them to protect. To build an effective community, we also need affordable housing for other civil servants to help keep Gwinnett running smoothly. It is also important to keep affordable housing options for seniors who want to downsize but maintain independence.
As taxpayers, we want people to represent us who will fight to make sure our tax dollars are spent on our neighborhoods and not several miles away in another part of the county or on special interest projects. We deserve equitable distribution of resources across all the districts.
I want everyone in the county to feel like their voices are heard and their ideas are respected. Gerrymandering is the process by which legislators draw voting districts in order to protect incumbents and power. I am in favor of drawing district lines based on population and geographical features without using partisan data. Our voices need to be heard, so we need to elect officials who can do what's right and not just pick and choose their voters.
Accessibility is your ability to access or utilize information or resources.
There are many ways to interact with the government. My vision is to provide the most satisfying government experience. This would include the employee and vendor and resident experiences. I am working to make sure our government is modern and connected and responsive.
We have so many wonderful resources in Gwinnett County available to us. However, these resources are often hidden or hard to find, that is if you even know what you're looking for! So much of our district is being excluded because of the technology they use or the language they speak.
Ballot wording tends to be very confusing so that even if you know what the issue is, the consequences of voting YES or NO are unclear. I am a proponent of transparency and simplicity and I will work to clarify measures so that they don't require a law degree to understand.
The Gwinnett County website has now finally been designed with mobile-first in mind. For many of us, our phones are our primary computing device and for some, their only computing device. The website changed only after I started running to bring attention to this issue. I also have been instrumental in launching, developing, and promoting Gwinnett County's social media presence.
As we age, most people become farsighted, making it harder to read small text. Most devices allow you to change the font size of web pages or will speak the text for the visually impaired. A well designed site should be legible at all sizes and on various-sized screens. As county commissioner, I have had a close relationship with the technology and communication teams to make sure that the website is updated with usability and user-friendliness in mind. Usability and design isn't just how something looks, it's how it works and how easy it is to understand and use.
In 2017, the county did a good job of localizing the website and county connection newsletter into Spanish. However, we have large Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese populations that would also benefit from translations. Since I was elected, we now have our website translated into 16 languages!