+ Crime, juvenile justice support, and community relations with our police department
Overall crime has been declining in Davenport. By working together with our police department, community members, and community organizations, I will ensure our community continues to be a safe place to live. We will need to identify the underlying issues that lead to crime, work as a community to find ways to improve quality of life, and help divert people from engaging in crime.
Juvenile crime has been declining since 2016 and, although car thefts have been in the headlines consistently since that same year, the Scott County Juvenile Court Services (JCS) has been making progress towards diverting youth from detention and additional crime. I would support the continued use of restorative justice and diversion tactics (such as providing counseling, resources that will help the youth and their families, and mentoring), and work with the community and the police department to support youth and mentor youth.
Community relations with police departments across the country are fraught. There are misunderstandings and stereotypes held by police officers and civilians, and there is often a sense of fear between the two. I plan to improve the relationship between our police officers and community members, as well as diversify our police force to include more women and people of color. I envision a police force that serves and protects all citizens equally, and has reduced use of force and zero use of deadly force.
+ Climate change
Climate change is already negatively affecting Davenport. Flooding and extreme weather patterns have put pressure on farmers, local businesses, and home owners. We can’t control how our state or federal governments respond to climate change and the damage it’s causing, but we can control our response here in Davenport.
I would like to create a green initiative, in which Davenport would follow the guidelines and goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, and work towards utilizing 100% renewable energy by 2050. We can make a positive impact on our local environment and do our part to address the greater problem of climate change by utilizing green building materials, requiring new construction to use wind or solar energy, and offering incentives to homeowners for installing residential wind turbines or solar panels.
+ Riverfront and flooding plans
For many years, we have managed to coexist with the Mississippi River with few problems. However, with this year’s flood, the extreme weather we will continue to see in the future, and the likelihood that increased flooding will be a yearly occurrence, we must create riverfront and flooding plans that take climate change, riverfront development, and current downtown residents into consideration.
With local businesses, parks, and a river view that bring visitors from around the Quad Cities and beyond, Downtown Davenport continues to be a vibrant part of town. Together, we need to take action to ensure its sustainability.
+ Poverty and jobs
According to a recent report by United Way of Iowa, 37% of Davenport residents can’t afford basic essentials and 38% of households live in poverty. We have a responsibility to address this issue and find ways to combat the negative impact on children, such as universal preschool. When we give a hand up to the most vulnerable in our city, our entire community can become more successful.
It’s my hope that when people from Davenport graduate from high school or college, they choose to stay in and contribute to this community because there are plenty of job opportunities for them to choose from. I will work to increase the availability of jobs in Davenport and to utilize local workers and businesses when completing projects. I plan to invest in green energy, which will bring well-paying jobs to the community, and work with our community schools to prepare students for college or trade school before graduation.
Our city is almost 200 years old, and we need to address our aging infrastructure. Our bridges (some which have been designated as structurally deficient for several years), roads, riverfront, and other vital infrastructure need to be improved to ensure or city is safe for decades to come. Infrastructure is expensive, but polls consistently show that taxpayers are willing to pay slightly more in taxes, if it means their roads, sidewalks, and bridges are updated and safe.
We also need to make our infrastructure climate change ready. The financial effects of climate change can be devastating, and if we don’t update our infrastructure with our changing environment in mind, we’ll pay the price. I would like Davenport to explore issuing green bonds and sustainability grants for green infrastructure upgrades. I would also work at the state and federal level for infrastructure to be a priority in terms of funding.
+ Supporting our community schools
Quality education is key to improving the entire community. It provides students with the tools they need to accomplish goals, pursue their dreams, work hard, and make a better future for themselves and their families. Schooling also provides a vital support system for students who may not have support elsewhere, and this support can positively shape their future.
I want to provide support to the Davenport Community School District as it continues to help shape students’ futures by pushing for collaboration between the city and the school district, and supporting the district in its efforts with the state.
I would encourage the school district to prepare every student for adult life, college, or trade school, so they can have the best chance for success after graduating high school. This includes helping every student apply for the type of higher education they wish to pursue, providing trade skills and training, teaching relevant life skills, and offering mentorships or internships with the city. I also plan to form a diverse committee of high school students, giving our young citizens a voice in our city government, and educate seniors about their roles and responsibilities as citizens so they can become actively involved in our local government.