As a Sterling Heights resident for twenty years, I’ve spent the early part of my career as a political activist, communications adviser, and small business owner. An avid listener, I know the best ideas for improving our city come from the residents themselves. So I’m going door-to-door to hear what my neighbors have to say.
My father, a disabled veteran, taught me the importance of commitment and public service. I’m a proud University of Michigan alum, and worked hard to earn graduate degrees from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. I know how to get things done and stand up for my community in challenging situations.
That’s why I’m running for re-election to the City Council. It’s time for new leadership, and my vision for Sterling Heights includes a plan to strengthen public safety, deliver better city services, and continue to attract new residents and high tech businesses.
Have an issue that you don't see listed or that you'd like to hear more about? Contact me at (586) 873-8427.
Sterling Heights is well known as one of the safest large cities in America. This reputation is a point of pride among long term residents, and is one of the reasons new families move to our city.
However, due to state revenue sharing cuts, the city council has laid off police officers even as our city population has continued to grow.
I find this situation unacceptable. At it's high point 15 years ago, the Sterling Heights Police Department had 173 sworn officers. Today that number stands at 151.
I believe any new revenue coming into our city should first be redirected to hiring new police. To remain one of the safest cities in America, we need to continue to invest in our most important crime fighting tool: personnel.
These additional resources are necessary to ensure that Sterling Heights remains one of the safest cities in America.
Sterling Heights is a beautiful city because residents are proud of their homes and work to keep them up.
Their efforts should be bolstered by a renewed focus on code enforcement. With a city of our size, there are a few bad actors that don't properly care for their property. And their lack of care harms all of our property values.
So I've made it a priority that the Code Enforcement Department is properly funded and is proactively working to fight blight.
Due to my efforts, we now have 12 inspectors, driving through the neighborhoods, paying attention, and writing citations if necessary, rather than sitting behind their desks waiting for tips.
Together, we all will make Sterling Heights a better place to live and work.
The Sterling Heights Police Officers Association
The Sterling Heights Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 1557, which consists of 84 members protecting the City of Sterling Heights 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
The Sierra Club, the nation's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.
The Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council, an organization representing 35,000 building trades union workers in Southeast Michigan.
The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters & Millwrights, an organization that represents 14,000 carpenters and millwrights across the state of Michigan. Union carpenters help build diverse residential and commercial construction projects, both large and small. Union Millwrights work with precision machinery, installing and maintaining everything from conveyor systems to turbines and generators.
SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 80, an organization representing 1,600 members in the construction trades. In shops they layout, fabricate, and assemble sheet metal products. In the field, they install sheet metal products in buildings and on construction projects.
The Teamsters Joint Council No. 43. an organization of 13 affiliated local unions representing 65,000 workers in diverse industries, including transportation, warehouse, manufacturing, construction, carhaul, freight, bakery, laundry, industrial, package delivery, moving companies, solid waste and recycling, building materials and construction trades, tankhaul, casinos, newspapers, beer and wine distribution, school employees as well as diverse public sector jobs.
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2
Detroit Plumbers Local 98
Ironworkers Local 25
The Macomb County Democratic Party
The Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors, the largest local REALTOR association in the state with over 8,500 members, providing services and support to the real estate profession and the communities they serve.
Sterling Heights Police Chief John Berg, Retired.
The Sierra Club.
The Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, a democratic, voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 1, one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy.
The Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council.
The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters & Millwrights.
SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 80.
The Teamsters Joint Council No. 43.
Operating Engineers Local 324
Painters and Allied Trades Distric Council 1M
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2
Detroit Plumbers Local 98
UniteHere! Local 24
The Macomb County Democratic Party.
The North Macomb Democratic Club.
In a city the size of Sterling Heights, with the industrial facilities that drive our economy, a volunteer fire department doesn't make sense. That's why I am dismayed that several candidates running this year have previously advocated for an all volunteer fire department in Sterling Heights.
People move to Sterling Heights because of our strong public safety record. Anything that harms that, harms our property values as well. A professional, on-call fire department, ready to go at a moment's notice protects our residents as well as our property values.
I promise to advocate against privatization of our police and fire services. I believe our current professional fire department keeps our property values high and residents safe.
The first job of a Councilmember is to listen to resident concerns.
But too often these days, the Council seems intent on squelching the right of residents to be heard by the Council.
This stops with me. I was taught that it is more important to listen, than to speak.
And as a Councilmember, I listen to the concerns of all residents in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.
While I may not always agree with every resident's viewpoint, I'll make sure you have your say. And that your viewpoint will be considered.
Having chosen to make my home here, I know that diversity is one of Sterling Heights’ great strengths. Our city’s openness to residents from around the globe, coupled with our low taxes and excellent city services make Sterling Heights a destination for young families and new citizens alike.
I want to make sure that while attracting new residents, long term residents are still being heard and treated fairly. I will ensure that the concerns of all residents, new or long term, continue to be addressed by city government.
As a councilman, one of my priorities has been to seek solutions to fix our roads as quickly as possible, with the best materials available.
This year, Sterling Heights is spending $23M on road improvements, both on major road projects, and right in our neighborhoods.
It is imperative we continue to fund the 'Safe Streets' millage (originally passed in 2013) to continue to replace and repair our neighborhood roads.
One of my goals as a Councilman is something I have long advocated for: sidewalk connecting our city neighborhoods and business districts.
As a long term resident who likes to get outside, I have often been troubled that large parts of Sterling Heights, especially major thoroughfares do not have sidewalk. This forces residents to walk in the street and for drivers to be vigilant.
This problem really crystallized for me as a I watched a disabled Sterling Heights resident use her motorized wheelchair in the right hand driving lane on Schoenherr Road south of Clinton River Road. There was no sidewalk on either side of the street there.
This was clearly a huge safety hazard and also a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
I petitioned the Council that sidewalk needed to be installed on Schoenherr and the first section was installed last year. However, there are many streets like Schoenherr in Sterling Heights.
If we truly want Sterling Heights to be a city of the future, we need to enable residents to travel around our city unencumbered. Sidewalk should be installed where possible, so our entire city is linked and walkable.
Creating a downtown focal point in Sterling Heights has been one of my goals since I returned to our city following graduate school.
New residents increasingly want to live in walkable communities that have small shops and diverse entertainment opportunities.
I believe the potential redevelopment of Lakeside Mall would be the perfect place to create this new downtown. By turning the mall inside-out, and leaving the large department stores in place, we can create a walkable downtown district that could become the focal point for festivals and community activities.
This district would encourage new residents to live in Sterling Heights, while giving continuing residents a point of pride and place to program that is distinctively Sterling Heights.
As a long time booster of Macomb County, I know that encouraging young families to move to Sterling Heights is the key to our city’s future.
These new residents reinvigorate our tax base and help counteract the effects of the structural deficit forced on cities by reduced state revenue sharing payments.
Attracting young families and new businesses is the key to allowing Sterling Heights to continue to provide excellent city services at one of the lowest tax rates in Macomb County.
One of my top priorities is to further establish Sterling Heights as the go-to place for high tech manufacturing in the United States.
I will advocate for further defense businesses to locate here and will help create an economic environment where job creators and entrepreneurs will flourish.
If you have the next great idea in manufacturing, I want to help you make it right here in Sterling Heights.
For years, Sterling Heights has given lip service to our designation as a 'Tree City."
The City Council must do more to protect and improve our Tree Canopy in the city.
That's why on Council, I have proposed a 'Street Tree' reforestation program to help plant new trees in our cities to replace the ones that have been lost to emerald ash borer and dutch elm disease.
I believe the city should devote $500,000 a year to planting new trees in neighborhoods. This is a drop in the bucket of our annual city budget of $252M, but would improve our city's image and property values, and our tree canopy.
As an environmental steward in Macomb County, I have long been an advocate of reducing energy consumption while also supporting Michigan’s nascent green energy sector. I believe green energy is essential to the future of Michigan’s economy, and I support investing money in our green energy sector to protect Michigan’s environment while also creating jobs. Additionally, I support tax incentives to encourage smart green energy strategies, including the construction of windmills and solar power.
I believe government should lead by example in the renewable energy arena. Government projects, including new buildings, should include energy efficient lighting, reduced water toilets, and wetland restoration.
Michigan should be a nationwide leader in renewable energy creation, especially when it comes to wind power and solar energy. The state legislature should enact legislation that would increase Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency by a set percentage every year for the next ten years. This would help drive Michigan’s green economy while protecting the environment.
2019 Update: The law was recently amended giving some local control back to cities to allow them to ban fireworks on more days a year. I proposed the ordinance (which passed) to scale back fireworks in Sterling Heights as much as the law allowed.
I fully support a repeal of the Fireworks Law so that Sterling Heights can be a peaceful and wonderful place to live year round.
One of the issues that comes up most frequently while talking to my neighbors in the summertime is the fact that fireworks are being misused and ruining their summer peace and quiet.
These fireworks are frequently being used outside of legal hours, and on days not designated for their use. I frequently hear stories of frightened dogs, upset veterans, trash falling from the sky, and fire hazards
Not to mention all the people that aren't getting a good night's sleep because they are being awoken in the middle of the night.
Something has to be done, and as a councilmember I will make sure we have the toughest laws possible against the illegal use of fireworks. And I'll work with our state representatives on a repeal of the current law.
Curbside recycling is currently available in Sterling Heights if homeowners opt-in and pay $57 a year for the service.
This is unacceptable. And it shouldn't be necessary.
In 2016, the City Council renegotiated Sterling Height's solid waste contract with Rizzo Services (now GFL). GFL offered weekly recycling to every home in the city for an additional $10 per year, per home.
The Council shortsightedly refused this deal, and instead forces residents to opt-in for recycling, which costs more, and requires a paperwork hassle.
In this day and age, Sterling Heights should both be protecting the environment and making life easier for residents.
In the future, I'll work to make recycling available to every Sterling Heights resident, aligning Sterling Heights with other communities that we currently compete with for residents.
As someone who lives in the southern section of Sterling Heights, I am always dismayed that we have few real park opportunities south of Dodge Park.
In my plan, the city would continue to utilize the Filmore Elementary School as a southern recreation center and park for the residents in the 14-15 mile area of the city. This would allow people to walk/run and picnic without having to travel to Dodge Park or the northern parts of our city.
With a population of 132,000, Sterling Heights could use some of the new recreation money to build new parks, so no resident is ever far from a recreation opportunity.
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