Running forWard 12 Alderman
This is my first campaign and attempt at a political office.
Current jobI have worked at Waypoint since 2006, focused on youth, young adults and families. In 2008 I began my career in homeless youth and young adult services and this has been my focus ever since.
I have worked in social services for 20 years focused on youth, young adults and families. I began my career in residential facilities working with youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. I began at Waypoint (previously Child and Family Services) in Manchester in 2006 working as a home-based family therapist. This allowed me to spend time in the homes of Manchester families who were struggling and needed non-judgmental support services and someone to just care. I have dedicated my professional life to ending homelessness for youth and young adults in Manchester and NH.
BA in Psychology from Gordon College, Wenham, MA
MA in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health from Union Institute and University - Vermont College, Brattleboro, VT
Best way to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are you running?
Manchester is my home and this community matters to me. We are currently at a crossroads in Manchester and we need collaborative, transparent, and diverse community leaders to ensure that we evolve in the most beneficial direction. As Brene Brown says, “a leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential”. I see our potential, I have the courage, and I want to be part of developing that here in Manchester.
What uniquely qualifies you to be an Alderman?
I have invested my personal and professional life to the community of Manchester. My partner and I go on Friday night date night downtown to get the street corn at BluAqua. I have brought many of my family and friends to shows at the Palace Theater. I have participated in the Chambers Manchester Leadership Program. I love the Currier art museum and have contributed to two exhibits there over the years and painted a blue tree. I have walked the Cedar Swamp many, many times. I believe that laps around Dorr’s Pond justifies ice cream at the Puritan. I buy many gifts I give from Pop of Color. I have played trivia at HopKnot. I walked to Café La Rein everyday when Alex first graduated from college and opened that Café. I have done hours of homeless outreach in the woods to engage with young adults who needed assistance. I have sat in the living room of a Manchester family’s apartment when Child Protection has become involved in their lives and the family is trying to break the cycle of generational abuse and neglect and do something different. I have mourned the loss of Manchester residents that I have known who have died of an overdose. I have brought many, many young adults to the Safe Station. I have partnered with the PD, Health Department, the Community Planning and Development Department City Welfare, the Mayor’s Office, the Fire Department, the School District, and many non-profit partners throughout my career. I love Manchester – the beauty, the hardships, the potential, and the struggle. I believe that all of these experiences make the perfect candidate for the position of Alderman.
What do you see as the main function of an Alderman?
Listen to community members, experience the city especially your own Ward, educate yourself about the choices that are before you and be brave leaders making hard decisions with courage, transparency, and tenacity.
What do you see as the key solution to reducing homelessness in the city?
Develop an array of housing options because there is not a one size fits all model. Provide low-barrier, easily accessible, and immediate access to mental health care and substance use treatment. On-going, non-judgmental, supportive services that help someone learn how to live housed.
Do you feel that Manchester needs more affordable housing as defined by US HUD and NHHFA (costing no more than 30% of occupants' monthly income)? If so, how would you achieve this? If not, why not?
Yes. We need to invest some of the American Rescue Plan dollars into this as planned. We also need to look at other opportunities to bring federal dollars in the city and create public, non-profit, and private partnerships to meet this need.
What are your thoughts on public safety in the city?
Overall the Manchester Police Department does a pretty good job especially with the additions of the ACERT team and the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team and we need to continue to look at ways that we can reform our public safety in order to better meet the needs of our community.
Please provide one or more examples of a person, organization, or business that exemplifies the spirit of Manchester
The Rex Theatre, Anna Thomas, Currier Art Museum, Waypoint.
How would you describe the city's current infrastructure and business climate?
Struggling with so, so much potential for growth and opportunity.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Manchester School District? What is the top need for improvement or change?
We need to invest more resources because we have a very diverse school district with students that have diverse needs and we have to be able to respond to that in order to give every student the opportunity for success.
Do you support the budgetary autonomy of the Manchester School District's governing body? (currently known as the Board of School Committee, but proposed to be renamed as the Manchester School Board). If so, why (or why not?)
Yes, they need to be able to have their own level of control. We have a responsible to make sure that they have the information and knowledge they need to do so.
What is the greatest strength of your ward and what needs improvement? For at-large candidates, what is the greatest strength of the city as a whole and what is in need of improvement?
Ward 12 has deep roots and a deep history which is such a strength. We also have a lot of high-density apartment complexes with transient residents which we need to get to invest in our community and to make Manchester their home.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you for putting this together.