Families and children are the foundation to any society. Investing in our children is to invest in our future for many generations to come and how we value children, is a reflection of a society. As a teacher and community leader I will continue being a champion for children.
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
The issues are affordable housing, mental health, and education. Affordable housing because if a family does not have a home where they can be nurtured, thrive, and be protected, then it causes a windfall of other problems. The effects are school, and mental and physical health. I feel that adolescents and elementary school children need more mental health services such as counseling services because of the stresses in the family of our modern age life. To address housing, I would create an ordinance to create more affordable housing. On education, I would fund preschool and school age programs.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
When going through our budget I will always consider what is important for families to thrive and how my decisions will affect their quality of life. I will invest in what will help families. Reflecting on my personal background as a single mom, a teacher, and mother will help guide my decisions. As a former council member I was able to open up two family resource centers in my city. During the CDBG-Development Block Grants I voted to fund youth and family projects. I have a good track record in advocating and funding youth sprts and educational programs.
What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?
To alleviate the high cost of affordable child care I would like to set aside a special fund in our budget to subsidize universal early child care programs for families in our city. Create partnerships with other agencies to help in finding quality early education programs for children and resources for adolescents.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
I will make sure that recreational programs we offer will be inclusive for children with special needs. Make sure we are in compliance with ADA and find alternative solutions for our adolescent youth such as create summer job programs for low income students. I would also set aside a special fund to provide sports opportunities for youth who have special needs and work in partnership with the school district to identify and refer those students who may need additional resources to succeed.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?
Providing job skills to adolescent students is critical for them to learn responsibility and gives them a good work ethic. This gives them a sense of accomplishment . I feel creating summer job programs for students opens up opportunites for them. also during budget allocations I feel that funding after school programs such as academic remedial services, sports, music, technology and the arts are good ways to close teh oportunity gap for childre of color or economically disadvantaged. Also making sure our libraries are well funded to remain open longer hours for student access.