I entered the at-large race for Columbia City Council because I believe this election is about the future of our city. Fiscal responsibility and fair policies are always at the top of mind when running any organization, but vision is something different. I want to be your new at-large councilman to make sure the Columbia of the future is more innovative and inclusive and a safe place to live and work.
I believe we must focus on smart growth. The Urban Land Institute projects that the Columbia region will gain 500,000 new residents over the next 30 years. To make our city thrive now and for the long term, we’ll have to make smart investments, focusing on urban density, public transportation and responsible stewardship of our natural resources. Preserving and restoring green space in our flood plains, developing complete streets linking our neighborhoods to our urban core, and encouraging vertical development downtown will all help us grow in a responsible and sustainable way. And from experience, I also know how our arts and cultural organizations can drive economic growth. These smart-growth initiatives will dramatically increase our quality of life as a city — a critical element in recruiting and retaining a 21st century workforce.
Columbia City Council election has something for everyone
As a nation and as a city, we are seeing our population become more diverse. The cities that will thrive and prosper in the future are those that take advantage of this transformation. No city can reach its full potential when segments of the population are disenfranchised. I am committed to representing all citizens fairly, regardless of the color of their skin, who they love, how much money they have or where they worship. One of Columbia’s greatest assets is its diversity; failing to recognize this will only hold us back.
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Finally, in order to become a world-class city, we must have safe neighborhoods. While I will be a strong supporter of Police Chief Skip Holbrook and will fight to ensure his department has the resources it needs to keep us safe, we need to realize that crime is not simply a police issue. We have to do more as a city to break the cycle of poverty that defines the lives of far too many of our citizens.
I might not have all the answers today, but I am passionate about our city and where we are going. If we work hard, plan carefully and think big, we can move Columbia forward, together. I am ready to get to work with other City Council members, community leaders and other residents to make Columbia the city we all deserve to live in.
Contact Mr. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.