Newport is a beautiful place to live and visit - I will provide experienced leadership to protect the exceptional quality of life that flows from its streets. I have a passion for the city and care deeply about its historic character. I take joy in the people and places that attract our visitors. The 2nd Ward is the geographic center of Newport, the beating heart of town, and an enviable place to live. I want to expand and improve upon this treasure of assets, this place that is unique. Our quality of life is inextricable from the quality of place.
The streets of Newport, with human scale, age and character, continue to attract visitors. The physical space of the city drives economic development, equity, resiliency and even education. Newport must actively steward the vital character of the city. The waterfront is re-developing quickly and the building code, which prioritizes flood safety, is creating a landscape of buildings on stilts. Waterproof activities such as parking, are occupying first floors as ground levels become increasingly inactive. There will be consequences for commerce and revenue, not least of all quality of life, if this continues unabated. Newport's historic fabric is eroding as oversight focuses on details more than streets and places. Dark houses and short-term rentals exacerbate this loss. I will strive to reverse these trends to protect and enhance our exceptional quality of life.
Newport's economy is diverse, prospering through key sectors such as defense, healthcare, education and tourism. To thrive, we cannot rely on this alone. Building on state economic goals, we should support the blue economy. Recent hotel development has prompted the people of Newport to question its benefits. Meanwhile Newport 's tourism industry is under strain from the pandemic. Tourism should be supported, but not at the cost of diminished access to the waterfront, negative impacts on quality of life and economic vulnerability. The City should encourage the growth of sectors that provide livable incomes, enhanced quality of life and a resilient tax base. Lastly, as a small business owner and remote worker, I recognize the contribution that we make to the local economy and understand our challenges as well.
Newport's breathtaking natural landscapes and great architectural heritage are unique and iconic. Resiliency strategies should build on this strength; the beauty of the city should be leveraged for climate change action. The challenge of sea level rise should be exploited to create infrastructure that functions as beautification, recreation and urban development. Newport should build infrastructure that is forward-looking, confronts critical problems, creates new icons for the built environment, and is ultimately supported by outside investment.
As your representative on the City Council, I will work to ensure that the costs and benefits of City policy are shared by all. The death of innocent black lives at the hands of those committed to our protection, has brought racial inequality into sharp focus. Vulnerability to police violence, as well as unequal health outcomes and diminished accumulation of wealth starts at birth. If we want real and lasting change, we must examine how our own actions contribute to racism and take active measures to eradicate injustice. In Newport, inequality takes particular shape with little green space, inadequate access to the water, and few safe ways to walk to the grocery store. Physical improvements to all parts of the city can provide greater equity.
Communities with the highest quality of life invest in education. Every dollar invested in our schools adds value to the economy and improves our community. I support the school bond. Additionally, I support helping to put the schools on a more secure footing and developing programs to address the particular issues that face our students. As a former faculty member at the University of Rhode Island, and a teacher with more than 20 years experience, I'll still be supporting education after the schools are built. Newport must promote the education of the future stewards of our prosperity and cultural heritage.