Cultivate a vibrant city economy by developing a business-friendly culture that encourages entrepreneurship and increases the number and diversity of businesses.
Without a strong local economy, large scale sustainable development will always be difficult to create and sustain. As a community, we must harness the excitement of sustainable change. It is time for us to spend our time and money on supporting local businesses, developers and community members. We should celebrate past successes, but we must also identify and correct city policies that have hurt local businesses and developers.
Workforce Education & Development
We need to identify the workforce needs of our local businesses. Using a “community solution” approach, we must model our educational system to meet those needs so that our educational goals align with our economic development goals. We need to include all stakeholders and community partners to create a transformative workforce development and education plan.
In order to sustain economic growth, we need to have decent, affordable housing that provides a safe environment for our young families. Some parts of our current housing stock are unfit to raise children and reflect poorly on our community. Building safe housing requires the support of developers who have a proven track record of successful investment in our community. We must encourage owner-occupied, co-operative housing models and diversified ownership programs that will restore pride to our neighborhoods for both tenants and property owners.
Public transportation must meet the needs of local residents, employees, and employers. We need to view transportation, and our infrastructural investment not just as a way to get cars to move more effectively, but as a full system that serves bike and pedestrians as well. As a community, we should continue to build upon recent efforts to improve transportation routes and welcome passenger rail service which will also boost our economy.
I am committed to maintaining and broadening the reach of our existing CityLink busses that provide a vital means of transportation for many residents to get to work and shop. With our partners, the Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee and Lewiston Auburn Complete Streets Committee we should increase ridership, convenience and safety while reducing the burden on local property taxpayers.
Reducing Generational Poverty
As a community, we must understand that having a high generational poverty rate adversely affects our economy and takes a toll on our residents. We must find ways to support ongoing efforts to lead our entire community to prosperity. We can accomplish this through a holistic approach that demands measurable outcomes. Local government and non-profit agencies must focus on systems that empower and incentivize people to be self-supporting.