Unify Lafayette- Growing up in Lafayette, I have noticed both an economic and social divide in our community. The rich history and diverse culture that our city is built on is something we should celebrate. To better unify our city, I want to create ‘Unity Day’. Similar to that of the Peach Fest or Oatmeal Festival, on this special day, Public Road will host several booths that will represent our various cultures. It will include ways for the people of Lafayette to get more involved through exposure of the multiple boards and commissions that Lafayette is home to such as the Historic Preservation Board. Valuing diversity is critical to driving innovation and change and it is important that we are unified in celebrating what our city is made up of.
Affordable Housing- As someone who has lived in Lafayette for over 20 years, I have witnessed the exponential growth of our city and the impact it has had on our real estate. While we prosper from the monetary gains of appreciated real estate, Lafayette should remain affordable for those who have established a life in Lafayette and for future generations. I am committed to refurbishing our under valued assets to creating a mix of commercial and residential housing within the city’s center. I want to encourage developers to make their buildings economically sustainable. Overall, I want to create cheaper transportation, build community gardens and partner with local Non-profits (such as Sister Carmen) to make the overall cost of living more affordable for everyone.
Youth Involvement- As a millennial who attended all Lafayette school’s (Sanchez Elementary, Angevine Middle and Centaurs High) I was fortunate enough to be involved in many community programs such as the Lafayette Youth Advisory Committee. However, I also witnessed how easy it can be to disengage. As a result, I want to:
Create courses where young people can learn essential life skills such as: personal finance, interviews and child care.
Create an internship program with the city
Create a youth center where students are provided with a safe, fun and relatable environment
Support Small Businesses- With influx of corporate chain restaurants and other major retailers, it is unfortunately difficult for small businesses to self sustain and thrive. As a son of small business owners, I have directly experienced the economic impact and hardship that comes when there is a lack of financial and social support for Lafayette’s mom & pop shops. As a result, I am committed to creating incentives when small businesses accrue a bench mark number of sales revenue. I want to increase foot traffic on Public Rd. to increase exposure for these shops as well as support them socially.
Protect Our Land, Water and Air- There is no place in Lafayette for oil and gas drilling. While City Council is limited in its authority to directly govern these policies, I refuse to be bound by these restrictions. We must do all that we can to collaborate with our state government to prevent harmful energy sources from touching our schools and homes. I want to focus the conversation around renewable practices where the return on investment allows for sustainability and long term prosperity. We need to educate and create policies that advocate for reducing our carbon footprint and empower local citizens to voice their concerns and push for what they believe in. Most importantly, City Council and the citizens it represents, need to be on the same page in order to fully view measurable results.
Smart Growth- While growth is inevitable, past City Councils have done a great job in preparing for this growth by capping our annual growth to 3% (about 200 homes). However, I believe that cap is too high as Lafayette’s current growth rate is about half that. We need to prioritize affordable and senior housing for residential growth. I hope to work closely with the Lafayette Open Space Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission to ensure that we account for needed commercial growth while preserving and protecting our open space and historical buildings. Growing up here, I thrived off Lafayette’s open fields and the beauty that makes up our colorful state, I want to ensure that current and future citizens are also provided this privilege.