In answering questions, please try to keep your answers relevant to and within the scope of the office you seek election to. Try and list specific policy ideas you think would be helpful in addressing issues. Responses will be published on TempeYIMBY.org.
How would you increase overall housing production?
This is not necessarily a policy question; it’s a leadership issue. We need to develop a plan and have the strength to follow through. After all, what gets measured gets done. It’s imperative to maintain Tempe’s diversity and to find more affordable housing options for everyone from recent ASU graduates to senior citizens who want to age in place. In my time on Council, I earned statewide recognition for leading the way on innovative housing projects to do just that.
How would you strengthen tenant protections?
We’ve all seen the stories in the newspaper or on social media that we have some bad actors in Tempe who need to face the consequences of being absentee landlords. It needs to stop. We have to go after slumlords and find a way to bring the hammer down on people who are abusing their tenants.
How would you go about ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing in the city?
It comes back to placing a priority on developing more housing options for Tempe residents that are affordable. Tempe has already done much of the work when it comes to assessing what’s going on. We know how many units our city needs to meet the demand moving forward, but it comes back to leadership. An affordable housing impact statement is a great document, but that will never make a difference on the ground without the right leadership.
It’s imperative to elect someone with the passion and the knowledge base to effect real change on affordable housing. I’ve done that for more than a decade, serving as chair of the Council’s Affordable Housing Subcommittee; ushering in projects such as Gracie’s Village, Valor on 8th, Encore on Farmer and Apache ASL Trails; serving on the Newtown board and earning statewide recognition for my work on affordable housing.
What policies would you hope to enact regarding the issues of homelessness in Tempe?
We see an increasing number of people experiencing homelessness in Downtown Tempe,
neighborhoods throughout our city and encampments at Papago Park. Yet Tempe has no transitional housing or long-term shelter options. Increasing the stock of affordable housing and promoting financial stability initiatives will help prevent people from falling into a state of homelessness.
This is a Valleywide issue, and we frankly need to convene neighboring cities and towns to do their part on services and infrastructure that can help lift up our neighbors in crisis and keep public spaces accessible for all Tempe residents and visitors.
With the ongoing climate crisis, what city policies would you enact to take on climate change
and its effects?
I support the city’s plan that was led by the members of the Sustainability Commission, Vice Mayor Lauren Kuby and Dr. Braden Kay to start mitigating the impacts of excessive heat and climate change. This action plan is a great first step that outlines achievable goals to set the stage for resiliency hubs during disaster situations, establish solar and electric vehicle charging stations, provide efficiency upgrade incentives and more.
Do you support legalizing new and diverse housing options in parts of the city where it is
currently illegal to build them?
The Tempe Maker district is a good example of how creativity can help us boost affordable housing. It was a bold plan led by Councilmember Randy Keating that provided a thoughtful rezoning on the West side of Broadway Road to allow much-needed workforce housing opportunities. Given Tempe’s landlocked status, it is imperative that we identify creative solutions to meet our city’s challenges. Plans like this one can be a way to move forward.
How would you support multimodal transit options in the city? Would you support protected
bike lanes and expanding bike infrastructure?
I definitely support protected bike lanes and expanding infrastructure. We need to incorporate pleasant, safe and easy biking and walking pathways into transit projects. Intersection redesigns that prioritize the full range of users, including transit users, pedestrians and bicyclists, should be considered and installed as part of current and future transportation projects.
When it comes to public transit, what direction would you like to see Tempe take? What
improvements would you make to existing systems? Are there any new modes of public transit you would like to see?
I would eventually like to see the expansion of the modern streetcar project when there’s available funding. I’d also love to have a more interconnected light rail system. I know people who say they would become regular users of light rail, but the system currently isn’t expansive enough. We also need to make sure you can get from North Tempe to South Tempe and back again by one system of Tempe-based bus circulators. I’d also like to see us working more closely with Valley Metro to develop an app that gives more precise updates in real time and provides relevant information about detours.
In regards to parking in the city, are there changes you would make to current policy? Changing parking minimums, changing the cost of public parking, etc.
I’m open to suggestions and any new ideas about how to address the parking issues and pricing
concerns you’ve outlined. We need to work with developers and the entities that control parking in Downtown Tempe to meet the challenges of both present and future residents.