Issues & Political Concerns
Time for Change
Our Kids Deserve the Best
Wear 'Red for Ed' to stand up for our underpaid teachers. Thirty-five North Dakota school districts now pay better than Fargo! And as those variances persist, we continue to lose excellent teachers to those higher paying districts.
I realize that education costs taxpayer dollars, but sixty years ago, property taxpayers largely funded my public school education, for which I am very grateful. Now that I am the property taxpayer. I just figure that it is my turn to pay.
Inclusiveness and Diversity
Welcoming and Respectful of All
My vision for our city is one where all individuals, irregardless of their skin color, accents, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion are viewed by all as essential, full members of our community.
Fifty-seven years ago, Martin Luther King and 250,0000 participants rocked our nation's capitol with their 'March on Washington.' Since then, some progress has been made, but much remains to be done. That's especially true of our City Commission.
The Stakes are High
Greta Thunberg is right. We are in a climate emergency that requires the efforts of all to mitigate the worst of global warming. And there is so much our city can do.
Setting annual goals for our city's carbon imprint is good, but that is just the easy part and a start. The real work comes with concrete measures like electric city vehicles, carbon-neutral civic buildings, and community solar gardens. And the time to get going on this is now, not tomorrow.
The Minimum Wage
Making Work Pay
The minimum wage in Fargo has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. If this were to be adjusted for inflation, it would be $8.63.
Meanwhile, the minimum wage for large employers in Minnesota is $10.00 and South Dakota's is $9.30. And across the border in Manitoba, it is approximately $8.77 USD ($11.65 CAD.)
And yet, the minimum wage remains $7.25 in Fargo. Isn't an increase to our minimum wage way overdue?
Ending School Lunch Debt
An Investment in Our Children
Placing toll booths for our hungry children in our school cafeterias is a particularly cruel act. Let's end 'Student Lunch Debt' and assure each and every student the nutritious breakfasts and lunches needed for academic achievement.
While generous donors have stepped up to pay off old school lunch debts, students continue to rack up new lunch debt every school day. So this issue has found only a temporary fix and remains in need of a long term solution.
No More City Hall Handouts to the Rich
Our city has a curious property tax system. Wealthy land developers, multi-millionaires, and businesses are routinely excused by our City Commission from paying their property taxes. When this happens, middle-class property taxpayers, like you and I, are left to pick-up through increased property taxes, the costs of fire, police, and garbage services for those of much greater wealth.
Unfair! Enough said.
Protecting Our Neighborhoods
Zoning ordinances exist to protect the ambiance of our neighborhoods, as well as the underlying property values. Our existing city commission has the habit of granting variances that I fervently disagree with. It is my intention to tell the land developers 'no' when they need to be told 'no.'