My focused initiatives are issues that influence the lives of DeSoto citizens’ every day. I have heard the frustrations from my neighbors and believe, if addressed immediately, the current trajectory of DeSoto can change in key areas that will help remarket DeSoto as a community that ALL citizens can be proud of and feel represented. By listening to the voice of the people and meeting, the needs of ALL citizens will make DeSoto a better place to live, work and play.
Investing more COVID-19 resources to help small business owners impacted by the pandemic with financial hardships secure necessary funding in order to survive. Using the federal grants DeSoto has currently received, I believe there is a way to make a great impact with businesses. Collaborating with SBA and other nonprofit organizations to assist those who need help with applying for PPP will work to ensure that we do not end up with more empty buildings. Making it easier to apply, assisting those with technology restraints and assisting those who qualify for these resources.
Work in partnership with EDC to offer more façade grants or tax credit/rebate options for our more tenured local business to improve signage and make DeSoto more aesthetically appeasing. In addition, addressing the current overage of empty commercial real estate through better marketing strategies, offering our tenured business an opportunity through grants to improve signage and store front.
I am fighting for better grocer options, healthier food options, family entertainment options and less dollar stores and fried chicken restaurants. Collaborating with EDC to market more businesses to our 35 S frontage area and more efforts to marketing our opportunity zone.
Enhancements & Entertainment
Enhancing our library programs could add instant quality of life for all. In a Covid-19 safe environment, it is beneficial to offer educational classes for citizens to become better versed in the technology world that the country has succumbed to in wake of Covid-19. Offering technology, ESL, and GED preparations classes would offer the advanced learning for our retirement and young adult citizens.
Reimagining our parks, libraries and recreation center to attract growing families of all ages in our neighborhoods. Today our children and young adults are limited on entertainment options and often have to travel to sister cities for entertainment. We need to make a concerted effort to add entertainment for all ages and family in mind.
Providing more variety of fitness and wellness programs that will help keep the community fit physically and mentally.
Preservation of older communities through a concerted effort of providing landscaping and community upkeep projects to rejuvenate these communities.
One known fact is lower crime equals higher property value. Increasing the property value and prioritizing public safety will ensure that DeSoto attracts the best businesses and developments that will align with the cities long-term economic development plans.
I have worked tirelessly as a citizen advocating for community partnership with DeSoto Police Department. During the time when our nation was seeing total civil unrest myself and other community leaders, Emerging Leaders of DeSoto, met with Chief Costa and City Manager Brandon Wright, advocating for better transparency, mental health resources, policy changes that would promote community trust and transparency through a police advisory commission.
This advocacy was instrumental in conversations that led to the development of CPAC, Citizens Police Advisory Committee, and CARES. I believe that we need our police and as a community, we can work together to decrease crime and reimagine community policing.
With a joint effort from DeSoto Police Department and HOAs, I would like to create a community of volunteers dedicated to reducing crime within their communities and driving awareness to crime related issues. I also believe that we should require DPD to have mandated training hours for the officers in this city increased to bring more cultural training and relationship building with citizens.
Increase code enforcement resources to ensure that DeSoto amplifies a more its pristine image. Are you tired of trash in the streets? Or unkempt landscaping? We deserve better. I believe this can happen by curating a community volunteer program focused on identifying opportunities within the community, and creating community awareness through education and training.
PARTNERSHIP WITH DESOTO ISD
While the city does not govern the school board, we do have an opportunity to strengthen relations and improve how we market our school district. This opportunity can begin with shared short term and long- term goals to drive increased enrollment and to improve the overall branding of the district. It is no surprise that families choose where to live in areas with thriving a school district. Creating and executing a strategic plan focused on advocating from a city perspective what the school district does best will help better market to new families.
Expanding programs for children and young adults offering an elaborate STEAM and reading program both (in-person and digital) to provide after school resources for working parents.
Collaborate with DeSoto ISD to launch Pre- K3 for all to not only increase enrollment but also attract families. The city could assist with allocating financial assistance to fund efforts and marketing to families.
Better Communication & Transparency
I personally will attend monthly Place 6 HOA meetings to stay abreast of changes that are occurring in the community.
Similar to the Mayors 360, I will offer a quarterly Place 6 round table with residents to address your concerns for our Place 6 community and city as a whole.
Lastly, I will propose to the city council and staff a Citizens’ Budget Commission, to offer participatory budgeting beyond just the annual meetings. This commission will have a voice on which projects are prioritized and serve to provide the city with feedback concerning allocation of the budgetary resources.