1. What is the most important issue affecting District 2 in particular? How would you fix it?

The two most important issues facing Newark are Economics — specifically inflation of the US Dollar — and Climate Change.

If climate analysts are correct, climate change will add to economic pain, causing the federal government to create even more money in an attempt to stop it, exacerbating inflation, destroying the dollar’s value. This leads to more economic pain, and the cycle continues. The only way to escape the now-vicious cycle, is to go local: Newark must begin now to face its economic challenges through 1. Savings, for which I have proposed an inflation-hedged savings Fund, invested into Newark’s future; 2. Greater community-unity and outreach: bringing together residents and fostering projects which serve both economic-sustainability and community-togetherness, such as vegetable gardening; 3. Set aside a portion in the Fund for Disaster Relief, because the next COVID-level disaster is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Some of the future issues America could face are: prolonged economic stagflation, rolling blackouts, food shortages, and civil unrest. My Savings Fund would offer us protection, an insurance against uncertainty.

2. How should the city spend the $18 million it is receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act? Please be specific.

Before I had to withdraw in March for health reasons, I proposed an Inflation-Hedged Fund for COVID Relief, General Savings, and Disaster-Preparedness referenced in my preceding answer. Recently, Newark has received an additional $18 million to put to uses the Council sees fit, and I can see how the money should be geared toward alleviating residents’ financial suffering associated with COVID-19 and its fallout. Newarkers/Newark businesses who are facing unique-challenges associated with the fallout from COVID should be able to apply for up to $10,000 in relief; designated from a certain chunk of the fund for that purpose. Another chunk should go toward inflation-resistant savings, like bonds/metal. Another chunk to preparation for future disasters. The rest to: programs in Newark Police fighting violence, harassment, stalking of women; community outreach programs; a small amount to fostering art projects to beautify the City. Environmental Sustainability should permeate the use of all the funds.

3. As council prepares to re-examine the zoning code for the downtown district, what changes, if any, do you believe are necessary?

This is one of the most important questions for me, as I have seen opinions from both sides: one side wanting to create a whole new community, diverse and populous. Another, desiring not to have Newark turned into a sea of concrete and steel. I see a path by which these two sides can be reconciled: new buildings will alleviate housing shortages and allow rents to come down, making it easier on Newark’s poorest; at the same time, these new buildings should be beautiful and should blend seamlessly into Newark’s green landscape, with ample green space and plant-life included.

4. What specific steps can the city take to strengthen its working relationship with UD?

Violence against women must be dealt with, period. The University of Delaware has failed our community in that area. I went on-record in February 2021 in an interview with the UD Review, highlighting what an immediate and pressing issue it was for our community to crackdown on what I called “criminal fraternities.” I stressed, something must be done immediately. Now we see that criminality brought to full harvest. If we had nipped it in the bud long ago, again, I just wonder if all this senseless violence, pain, and suffering might have been avoided. UD should assist the City in its initiatives on violence against women, and heed its direction on the issue. Newark Council must lead the way on this issue.

5. What qualities or skills make you uniquely qualified to serve on council?

I have a good ear to listen and discern, open to hear residents’ concerns and help them, anytime I can.

6. Name one specific piece of legislation you would like to see council pass within the first three months of your term.

I would like to see an Inflation-Hedged Fund for Covid Relief, General Savings, and Disaster-Preparedness codified into law, immediately. It will alleviate Newarkers’ suffering, and will prepare us for any future hurdles.

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