LISTA DE ASUNTOS
Creo que todos nos beneficiamos cuando todos tienen un asiento en la mesa. La congresista Shirley Chisholm una vez me miró a los ojos y dijo: "Sólo recuerde. No pueden ignorarnos si estamos sentados en la mesa ”. Necesitamos que cada persona, género, raza, orientación sexual, religión, situación económica, discapacitados y personas con discapacidades se sientan seguros y bienvenidos en el Condado de Atlantic. Necesitamos una representación más diversa desde el ámbito político hasta la sala de juntas, el aula y entre todas partes. Y una vez que estamos allí, merecemos igual salario por igual trabajo.
El Condado de Atlantic necesita mejorar la calidad del aire, continuar luchando contra la perforación en alta mar y vigilar los niveles de plomo en nuestra sangre. Debemos asegurarnos de que nuestras escuelas cumplan con la Lista de verificación de la evaluación de la salud y seguridad de los edificios escolares del Departamento de Educación del Estado de Nueva Jersey. Ya sea que estemos hablando de la seguridad de nuestra agua potable o de la conservación de nuestro océano, tenemos que llevar el tema de nuestro medio ambiente al frente de la conversación. Nos merecemos un Ejecutivo del Condado que se preocupe por lo que estamos dejando para nuestros hijos y sepa que debemos actuar, y actuar ahora, para enfrentar el cambio climático.
Shortly after the people of Northfield elected me to sit on City Council, we had a snowstorm. I noticed many of the sidewalks and driveways were not shoveled. I became concerned that these homes may belong to Senior Citizens who were not able to shovel their walks. I immediately got to work recruiting volunteers, both kids and adults (myself included of course), and connecting them with Senior Citizens who need their sidewalks shoveled. Both our volunteers and our Seniors love this program. I have met with our Sheriff and we will take this program Countywide.
Providing housing for our Seniors is a priority as is making sure our Seniors have safe, reliable transportation to and from their medical appointments.
Every month, Northfield’s Senior Citizens meet for lunch at our Library, and I have rarely missed a meeting. I attend these meetings because I made a promise when I was running for City Council that I would not be the type of politician who only shows up around election time. I attend these meetings because they allow me to keep my finger on the pulse of what is going on in the world of our Seniors. I attend these meetings because I now have friends there, some of whom attended my 50th birthday party and some who have reached into their pockets to support my campaign for County Executive. I would give just about anything to have my grandparents here, and I wish I had taken better notes while they were here. For now, listening to and taking care of our Seniors will have to do.
One of the first events I attended was an event sponsored by a wonderful organization which provides mentorship for young girls. The event was a mock election where middle school-age girls each gave a campaign speech. Without exception, every girl promised to end gun violence. To clarify, we are discussing gun violence and not gun ownership. We can protect the Second Amendment and protect our children at the same time. One of the girls in this “election” said that she wished there was a way for kids to anonymously report another kid with a gun. We have something like that in Northfield. I immediately got to work and found out that it is an app where kids can anonymously report anything from bullying to another kid with a gun. The cost is nominal and insurance covers the app. I will put that app on every kid’s phone in Atlantic County. Will it solve gun violence? Of course not. But it is a start. We know we need to provide more for our young residents, such as jobs, activities before and after school, before and after school child care, mentorship, and opportunities for kids to experience life outside of their immediate experience. We get that an app on a phone is just a beginning. The point is that a child shared that idea in a room I chose to be in because I care. The point is that I heard her after I had only been campaigning for five (5) minutes. Imagine what we can do with four (4) years.
Women in Atlantic County are not being paid equal pay for equal work. According to the Report on Status of Women in Atlantic County 2015 (prepared by Stockton University – 2015), compared to all other counties in New Jersey, Atlantic County has the lowest median wage for women working full-time, year-round ($36,727) and the third largest wage gap (27.9%) between men and women in the State of New Jersey. This will be addressed when I am our County Executive.
Todos en el Condado de Atlantic deberían tener acceso a una educación de calidad. Todos nuestros niños merecen la mejor educación que podemos ofrecer, y cada uno de nuestros niños merece sentirse seguro en nuestras escuelas. Trabajaré para asegurar que su código postal no determine la calidad de su experiencia de aprendizaje.
Atlantic County is a haven for sex trafficking and we need a County Executive who is going to work with law enforcement to tackle this crime head on. Sex trafficking is not just scary men snatching homeless girls from the bus stop. All of our children are at risk for sex traffickers. They are contacting our children online and outside of schools. Our plan will include increasing awareness, coordinating law enforcement efforts, implementing stricter punishments for sex traffickers and going after the offenders on line before they meet up with our children. Ramping up our cybersecurity efforts will be an integral part of our attack. Atlantic County will no longer be a safe haven for these criminals. We can and we will protect our children.
Aumentar el acceso a una vivienda de calidad nos beneficia a todos, tanto moral como económicamente. Necesitamos recaudar impuestos a la propiedad para proporcionar servicios a la comunidad, pero no podemos simplemente confiar en el mismo juego antiguo de continuar aumentando los impuestos a la propiedad año tras año. Nadie, especialmente nuestros ciudadanos mayores y veteranos, deben pagar impuestos de su hogar
Cuidado de la salud
La atención médica es un derecho básico y no un privilegio otorgado a unos pocos. La tasa de mortalidad infantil en Atlantic City supera con creces el promedio de Nueva Jersey. Bajo mi cuidado eso terminará. Trabajaré el día 1 para implementar un plan integral para mejorar la salud de nuestras comunidades que actualmente están siendo descuidadas. Nuestra solución debe incluir un enfoque multifacético en el que abordaremos temas como el acceso a la atención médica, la calidad de la atención prenatal, la educación, la seguridad de la comunidad, la disponibilidad de alimentos saludables y el impacto de los prejuicios y factores estresantes específicos de quienes viven en comunidades minoritarias. Nos merecemos un Ejecutivo del Condado que priorizará la salud de todos nuestros residentes.
I currently have two (2) four (4)-legged children (some say “dogs”), both of whom I rescued. Cocoa a/k/a The Bean was fifteen (15) years-old when he and his sister were abandoned by two people who were not worthy of them. We adopted both Bean and his sister who we have since lost. Our other child, Copi, is a border collie mix who came from an out of State rescue. I have the utmost respect for those who work and volunteer their time with animals. Accordingly, I will prioritize ensuring that the Atlantic County Animal Shelter is run smoothly and with compassion, integrity and accountability. The shelter needs to be accountable for the care and well-being of all of its four-legged residents.
As County Executive, I will create an Animal Shelter Oversight Committee to review current Animal Shelter policies and procedures, make recommendations and report any issues. The Committee will work to make the County Shelter more efficient, and investigate any issues brought to the Committee’s attention by the public or Shelter volunteers. An independent veterinarian, vet tech or veterinary assistant may or may not officially be on the Committee but, in either event, will make random inspections of the Shelter and report to the Committee.
I credit our current Atlantic County Freeholder Caren Fitzpatrick for the aforementioned plans and look forward to working with her as we make Atlantic County a safe and happy place for all of our four-legged friends.
Increasing access to quality housing benefits all of us both morally and economically. We need to collect property taxes to provide services for the community but we cannot simply rely on the same old game of continuing to increase property taxes year after year. No one, especially our Senior Citizens and Veterans, should be taxed out of their home. Atlantic County has consistently led the country in foreclosures. We will help those paying their mortgage to work with the banks and make sure every effort is exhausted to keep our residents in their home. If foreclosure is the only option, we need to hold banks accountable for selling the properties and, moreover taking care of the properties in the interim.
We will get to work building good quality, affordable housing with preference for our Seniors and Veterans. Those who are working to support their families or who who have worked all of their lives should not have to worry about having a roof over their heads.
Everyone in Atlantic County should have access to a quality education. All of our children deserve the best education we can provide, and every one of our kids deserve to feel safe in our schools. I will work to insure that your zip code does not determine the quality of your learning experience.
If I could have run on a “Can We Please Just Fix Our Roads” ticket, I would have. I rarely go to an event where someone does not come up and ask why it is so difficult to simply fix our roads. The same streets have been flooding and/or in need of maintenance for years. We each have an expectation when we pay our taxes that our tax dollars will go to repair our roads and bridges. We need to make that happen.