Secure Funding for MIYFS
When the City encountered a projected budget shortfall in 2020, two school-based mental health counselors were laid off in May just as the frightening reality of COVID-19 isolation was setting in for the kids.
If elected, I will work to increase the designated reserves for MIYFS so these critical programs can thrive in times of economic downturn — times when adults and families most need these services.
Create a Parks Conservancy
Mercer Island has an extraordinary system of developed parks and natural areas — the largest amount of park land per resident among neighboring cities. Our beloved forests and wetlands provide animal habitat, stormwater infrastructure, and critical erosion protection on steep slopes next to roadways. Forested parklands are the least expensive investment in stormwater infrastructure that money can buy.
However, the trees and wetlands of our beloved 300 acres of natural areas — the size of about 270 football fields — are at risk of being overrun by invasive ivy and blackberry. If left unchecked, these plants will threaten not only our parks, but also nearby roads and homes. Our current allocation of two part-time staff members to manage all 300 acres of parks (and one of whom is solely dedicated to trails), is insufficient.
If elected, I will work to develop an island-wide Parks Conservancy to restore and protect our forested parklands so they can be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren.
Sustain Middle-Income Housing
Affordable housing simply means that someone in a middle income bracket can afford to live in the community where they work. We must ensure that our seniors, young professionals, and essential workers are not priced out of their homes.
If elected, I will work with corporate philanthropies, the King County Housing Authority, non-profit partners, and my fellow councilmembers to ensure our community has a reasonable share of affordable housing.