I've been a minister, community leader, and public servant for over 25 years; I've led churches, non-profits, and a chaplaincy department. My public service includes the public housing authority board. I founded Lift Greater Dayton & the Interfaith Forum. My values were formed in my family, church, schools, community and the time I spent in my grandfather’s garage. He came from nothing and worked his way to become a toolmaker and then a foreman at NCR. I learned about family, community, faith, and the value of hard work. One lesson that I learned from my grandfather, is especially significant for me. If they needed a part at NCR, they made it; if they didn’t have the tool to make it; they made the tool. We have some difficult obstacles before us, and not all the tools we need to overcome them exist. I have the perseverance, the vision, skills and the faith in the inventive legacy of Dayton to make, with a broad coalition, the tools we need.
The top issues are that a majority of residents do not feel safe in our city; we lack a vision for our residential neighborhoods; the social fabric in many of our neighborhoods is so frayed that we do not have the deep relationships that create community; and, with few exceptions, parents and the community have little confidence in our public schools, both DPS and charters. The opioid crisis, a lack of jobs, and stagnant pay for our workers that keeps them in poverty are additional issues. As commissioner, I will be the champion for our residential neighborhoods. I will also look at advancing the Gem City Market and other local, new economic initiatives that augment traditional economic development. Additionally, I would be an advocate for our children and youth. Beyond a vision, we need a clear plan so that we bring focus, set priorities, and recruit resources to address these issues. I would be persistent so that we turn vision into implementation.