The personal and economic burden of traffic delays and auto accidents cannot be ignored. Improving our transportation infrastructure and mitigating traffic congestion must remain one of the county’s top priorities. I am committed to improving traffic light synchronization, pedestrian walkability and embracing different forms of mass transit.
Business and government should work together to ensure that economic opportunity and prosperity is available for all our residents. Local government has to play an active role in creating opportunities for residence and creating an environment where our small businesses can thrive. As a Commissioner, I would execute a dynamic “Economic Opportunity Agenda” that would fully support Gwinnett’s greatest resource: its people.
Identify and repeal or reform any county regulations or processes that are unduly burdensome for Gwinnett’s small businesses
Encourage competition in government contracting by ending the current practice of picking from pre-selected firms as it disadvantages women and minority-owned businesses
Continue to work in attracting business, as well as cultivating a reputation as a destination for women and minority-owned businesses
Create the Office of International Affairs with the purpose of developing and maintaining relationships with Gwinnett’s international community, foreign partners, global constituents and create quality job opportunities
Improve Gwinnett Place Area
County leadership has guided new development across the county while neglecting the Gwinnett Place area, at the expense of the adjacent communities. Easy access to I-85 and $9.5B in total annual economic output from surrounding businesses are indicators of the areas potential. We desperately need leadership that will focus on addressing housing, economic redevelopment, community aesthetics, public safety concerns and homelessness in this part of our community.
Vital employees such as teachers, emergency service workers, nurses and social workers, find that most newly constructed housing is simply priced beyond their reach. I would create an ambitious Housing Master Plan that will incorporate more affordable housing options into new developments, encourage senior housing options and put forward new policies that assure an adequate supply of homes at different price points, phases of life and personal taste.
Expand the Housing Maintenance and Rehabilitation Assistance Program for homeowners
Provide educational programs to ensure successful home ownership
Improve the quality of life in our aging multifamily apartment communities
Smart Sustainable Growth
Gwinnett County is the second largest county in Georgia and is on pace to add a half of million more people by the year 2040. This amount of growth will have a dramatic effect on the increased demand for county services. We must make sure we have services in place that can accommodate our growing population such as housing, sanitation, public safety and water. A community that grows without these structures in place is at high risk of poverty and instability.
Parts of our district face disproportionately high crime rates. This is wrong and it has to stop. No matter if you live in an apartment complex or a subdivision, everyone deserves to feel safe in their neighborhood. I support community oriented policing that identifies neighborhood concerns and solicits community support to solve problems. Regardless of immigration status, people should feel comfortable reporting criminal activity in their community.
Here in Gwinnett, immigrants play an essential role in shaping our community. The Board of Commissioners voluntarily joined a federal program called 287(g), which deputizes local officers to do federal immigration enforcement work. Gwinnett spends at least $2 million a year to participate in this program, which accounts for more than one-fifth of all ICE encounters nationwide. While it is important to enforce our immigration laws, immigration is a federal issue. Our focus needs to be on protecting communities, not doing the job of the federal government. I am committed to creating an environment where everyone feels welcome.
Smart on Crime
We can protect our citizens, reduce crime and help those who have paid their debt to society to gain a renewed sense of purpose and better life. Those goals are much more achievable when those being released from incarceration have a path to marketable skills and gainful employment. These reforms are not “soft on crime”; they are smart on crime.
Create the Office of Reentry Services to develop and implement “wraparound” programs to reduce recidivism, services will include counseling, housing, adult education and job training and placement
Adopt a tax credit for local employers that hire non-violent ex-felons within 6 months after being released from incarceration
Partner with the District Attorney to enhance pretrial diversion and restorative justice programs for youth and nonviolent offenders
Partner with the business community to support more intensive mentoring and job placement services for non-violent juvenile ex-offenders
Voter Access and Security
It’s no secret Gwinnett County had issues in the 2018 election with precincts and ballot access. We must do more as a county to eliminate voter suppression. We need to increase access to early voting, provide accessible polling locations, recruit multilingual poll workers and make sure voters know when, where, and how to cast their ballots as well as how to file complaints if they encounter resistance.
Making local government accessible to everyone and improving transparency will be one of my top priorities as a Commissioner. Gwinnett residents should have more of a voice in shaping the budget and determining how their tax dollars are spent.
Increase transparency and reduce wasteful spending in the procurement process
Within the first 100 days, I would sponsor an ordinance establishing a “participatory budgeting” pilot program where neighborhood leadership and Gwinnett residents set the priorities for capital improvement projects in their community
After the completion of the pilot program, I would encourage each commissioner to develop a participatory budgeting program for their districts to identify neighborhood projects in their districts to include in every annual capital budget
Move our monthly work sessions to evenings to increase transparency and citizen participation