What can we do in Westminster?
The Westminster downtown development is a large reason I moved to the area. I purchased a home across the street from the new downtown in early 2020, within walking distance of what was for the most part, a large pile of dirt. I knew that soon this space would be bringing in businesses, food, retail, jobs for Westminster, shared spaces for our community to gather, and what I personally look for first in a city, pedestrian traffic. It is fulfilling its potential; one by one shops have opened and I have been excited to become a patron of each, inviting friends in neighboring towns over to celebrate and try every new establishment.
Community spaces like these are inherently great places to meet new friends and gather with old friends as there is space to walk around, shop, window shop, have a coffee and spend quality time in. My personal favorite is a lazy Saturday afternoon sitting outside in a shared community space with a book, where I may run into my neighbors.
I want to ensure we continue to focus on this development with key priorities in mind as it grows; bringing in small businesses to encourage our local economy to stay strong, ensuring the development stays on track and in scope in the coming years, and through it all, succeeds in creating a welcoming shared space; for citizens of this city to enjoy at our leisure, and to bring in the wealth of tourism from nearby cities, like our sister Arvada does so well.
Our city is one of great opportunity; it has seen incredible growth over the last decade, and as it resides in the direct middle passageway between Denver and Boulder it will continue to do so. There is immense potential here; without the restrictions of crowding such as in Denver, or restrictions in development such as in Boulder.
We have much to offer in terms of pristine natural areas, and this will continue to draw new neighbors our way. If we incentivize and work with businesses as they move in, work with housing development, and practice preservation of our lands and open spaces, this city will be seen as an example of strong growth without losing what made it so interesting and beautiful to move to in the first place.
With growth, residents can be pushed out of their hometown with the rising cost of housing. With the future of continued economic growth in the balance, our priority must be to ensure that residents can afford to live where they work.
My education is in environmental studies, where I studied point source pollution; its effects to air, water, and soils, and its relevance in cities and neighboring communities. This background provided me an understanding of the responsibilities of corporations, federal, state, and municipal regulations to ensure the safety of its residents, and the overlapping layers of cooperation necessary for a single resource.
It is important to have someone in our local government with an understanding in industrial water treatment systems, with an understanding of the long-term effect on lungs of airborne particulates especially from wildfire, and an understanding of the ripple effects of utilizing best eco practices in city design and maintenance to reduce water consumption and "heat islands" - that is, the elevated temperatures that exist over urban areas.
At the center of all environmental justice issues, is water.
We must ensure residents have safe drinking water. This is a health concern, an environmental concern, a public safety concern. We must ensure we have the correct infrastructure for our city's size, geography (prone to wildfire), and scaled for growth. We must ensure we do not end up in an irreversible public health situation, or in a worse situation economically, where it costs taxpayers more down the line to reverse the results of delayed decision making.
I will ensure that I use my education, the research of professionals, and the voices of constituents to make the most informed decisions possible on this issue, to have the infrastructure in place that best meets Westminster's needs that is the most economical solution for our city and its taxpayers.