My Thoughts on the Issues
It would be easy for me to sit on my keyboard and list everything that is wrong, but what is wrong or who did what is, frankly, irrelevant now. Federal Way is a city with many positives and more coming, but that also means we have to fearlessly attack our challenges head-on, to make thoughtful yet aggressive decisions. It’s time to stop being reactive and start being proactive. Ask yourself, when you drive down 320th, is this the city you would invest your money into to start a business?
My experience in leading global digital products has taught me how we can look at these issues through different lenses, test proof-of-concept solutions rapidly, and revise as long as we see value.
Federal Way is a growing city with an already understaffed police force. For us to be prepared for the future challenges ahead of us, we need to increase the number of public safety officers and be ready for not only our growth but the still unsolved challenges directly in front of us. Employing more community resource officers will allow for better engagement, trust building, and opportunity for personal growth. The formula is simple: build the police force to match our population needs, hire new officers to work on community outreach and engagement, clean up the decay that is happening on our street corners, and by implementing these steps, we have the proper resources for a growing city, we have a safer city, and we have more reason for business to come and spend their hard earned money to open shop in Federal Way.
If we better engage our youth with activities in the city and focus on engagement before intervention, we will produce leaders that are prepared for the real world, not fantasy land. By replicating the success of vocational schools in Federal Way, we can generate a workforce development center within our city that can provide training, jobs, and opportunity, but at a fraction of the cost. We need to listen to our youth, collaborate on solutions, and provide guidance to help invest in their future. By building partnerships with tech and gaming companies, we can provide opportunity never seen before in Federal Way, and I truly believe our youth deserve it.
If elected and allowed, I will be donating a minimum of 25% of my City Council salary to a different youth program each year in office. I encourage the other candidates to make the same commitment.
To get new businesses into Federal Way, we need to start thinking outside of the box. We have far too many empty buildings that are now beginning to project an image that we, as a city, do not want. Simply put, we need to give businesses and families a reason to invest their money into our city. We have to elevate the level of safety our businesses feel and that they are being listened to. We need to better manage and evaluate our business relationships in the city. We have to be open to all ideas that can stimulate growth. Maybe it means we revisit old ideas, maybe it means we try something that worked in a similarly sized city– we won’t know unless we try.
My concept is simple: Clean up the city, make it safe and attractive, and then people will come, then business will want to grow in Federal Way. It all starts with us.
Let’s get a misconception clear. Panhandling does not equal homeless.
If someone needs help, is in a bad situation and wants help, then I see no reason why we cannot have the resources ready to help those. The problem is that we estimate the budget for the total amount of people, not the amount of people who actually want help. I’ve walked the streets, I’ve talked to numerous panhandlers, and it’s ironic that the most common complaint I got from panhandlers was that there was TOO MANY OUTSIDERS. Yes, even the panhandlers who are local know that people are coming to our city because we do nothing to deter it.
If elected, I will look at bringing options to the table where we can replicate ordinances in other cities that had success against panhandling. By crafting sidewalk permit solicitation laws, traffic safety laws, and also a text-to-donate program, we can give to those that do the helping for those in need.
Yes panhandling is protected by the 1st Amendment, but other cities have found other options that have stood review in the legal system. We need to be bold and act.
With access to great schools like the University of Washington and companies such as Amazon and Google both local to us, we have a fantastic opportunity to partner up and create the digital city of the future. As a city, we need to keep in mind that technology usage can increase productivity and efficiency. We have to be aware of the latest trends and find the areas where we can generate value through technology.
In the next months of this campaign, I will have a huge announcement and release of a digital product I’ve built that will show how embracing new technologies is a necessity for the future of Federal Way.
You need to know where your taxes are going, and you need to be clear about how your taxes are being spent. The city has done a better job with being more transparent on spending and goals and I appreciate that, but I want more. We need to make sure this kind of information is accessible to all, but also to make sure that it’s comprehensible. There are numerous county, state, and federal grants that have specific use cases, and those need to be better communicated in public forums. I believe the city must utilize every resource (social media, mobile apps, text messaging) to provide information so people will be informed and engaged.
It’s your money– you need to know how, where, and why it’s being spent. Am I wrong?
Our goal cannot be to cure homelessness or any other similar situation. The problem is bigger than us, but that does not mean we cannot still provide supportive and empowering resources that can help those who want to help themselves. By bringing more partnership programs where the city provides incremental resources based on hitting short and long term goals, we can make an investment in possibly being one of the few cities to safely bring the homeless population down. Mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness are just 3 of many challenges we are seeing statewide, and it’s important to balance compassion with enforcement to achieve success.
I want our city to be known as a city that will help you if you’re ready to meet us halfway and work hard. A lot of us are one bad day away from possibly having to utilize these very services. Think about it.
PHASE 1: INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY RESOURCES
Hiring more officers focused on community and youth programming will build youth resources and mitigate roster constraints.
PHASE 2: SERVICES AND ENFORCEMENT
With better engagement, capacity can be freed up to offer more direct services to those wanting them and also enforce public health and safety hazards directly.
PHASE III: BUSINESS GROWTH
With attention being paid to upgrading the optics of our city while being empathetic to challenges of the community, people will want to invest their money in our city.
Days Until General Election