Arik's Bridge TO COMMON GROUND PLAN

Tear Down Economic Barriers

image25

 

 

Too often, access to housing, childcare, and family sustaining jobs has become a burden for American families. As an economic development professional, I work every day to unleash our innovative spirit that brought Duluth back from the brink in the 80s and revitalized Lincoln Park in the past decade. Together, we can build a Duluth ready to confront changes in our economy and support the families who are the future of our community.


ARIK'S PLAN FOR TEARING DOWN ECONOMIC BARRIERS:


HOUSING


+ Establish an affordable housing trust fund to help new affordable housing projects become a reality

+ Open up city codes to allow for smaller structures to be built on smaller lots

+ Explore tax incentive programs to fix-up blighted and tax-forfeited properties to get them back on the market and accelerate construction of smaller multi-family housing projects

+ Support an expansion of renovation programs to enhance our existing housing stock

+ Streamline new housing development in targeted areas to ease the burden on a tight market


Early Success - advocated for the opening of city codes to allow for construction of smaller, more affordable structures 


CHILD CARE


+ Continue leading the way to elevate access to child care as a top priority in Duluth

+ Work with the business community to identify funding and facility opportunities to boost access for the 1,100 kids in Duluth zip codes without a child care spot

+ Partner with nonprofits to offer microloans for home child care facilities to help new start-ups and retain existing businesses

+ Partner with the School District and County to increase capacity for infant care


Early Success - elevated child care as a top issue and worked with partners at the City, Duluth Chamber, First Children’s Finance, and the Northland Foundation to start developing strategies to tackle the issue


FAMILY SUSTAINING JOBS


+ Invest in our growing aviation, manufacturing, and medical industries

+ Launch a startup business incubator in partnership with our colleges and universities to accelerate the creation of more small businesses in Duluth

+ Revitalize the former US Steel Plant site in Morgan Park to create hundreds of new jobs in an industry like wind & solar component manufacturing, aviation, and supporting industries for our port

+ Fund career pipeline programs to help people become trained in higher-paying job opportunities that are in-demand

+ Advocate for federal investment in the 148th Fighter Wing to retain and grow jobs at the base

Invest in Public Safety

image26

  

No matter their backgrounds, all Duluthians want to get home safely and live in a community that welcomes them. All Duluthians deserve to feel safe, respected, and that their voices are heard.


ARIK'S PLAN FOR INVESTING IN PUBLIC SAFETY:


INCREASE CAPACITY


+ Advocate for more funding for training for our public safety professionals

+ Work to increase staffing levels for fire and police

+ Recruit and retain the most talented police and fire professionals by keeping wages competitive with other large cities

+ Advocate for more resources from recently approved state legislation to help address the opioid epidemic


Early Success - raised awareness of recent struggles to recruit and retain high-quality Duluth police officers - DPD officers later negotiated a compensation increase 


INCLUSIVE, HOLISTIC EFFORTS


+ Support innovative community policing efforts and programs like bike patrols and the mental health unit

+ Ensure a strong Citizen Review Board with diverse voices and people of color at the table


Early Success - went on multiple ride alongs with DPD to better understand their work and shared experiences with the public through tools like Facebook Live 



In Arik's Words:


Too often in America, there has been tension between those tasked with keeping us safe and communities who have borne the brunt of past discrimination and marginalization. In Duluth, our police and firefighters have been models of professionalism, and need the resources and training to make sure they can continue to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. I’ll work with our professionals in public safety to ensure city departments are accountable, transparent, and trained to handle difficult situations. As a city councilor, I will seek to re-frame conversations to focus on the core values we all can agree on and build toward collaborative solutions that continue improving relationships and trust. 


Build a Healthy City & Environment

image27

 Duluth’s natural beauty is peerless. We need to make sure all people have access to its many assets no matter where they live so they can lead healthy lives. We also need to protect our environment from the effects of climate change and target development in ways that reduce the impact on our forests, streams, and lake.


ARIK'S PLAN FOR BUILDING A HEALTHY CITY & ENVIRONMENT:


ACTIVE AND HEALTHY COMMUNITY


+ Support for the medical district investments to ensure access to high-quality medical treatment

+ Support more grassroots public art 

+ Ensure financially sustainable recreational amenities like golf, skiing, hiking, running, walking, hockey, and other activities

+ Create a city sports commission to bring more tourism dollars to Duluth and assess opportunities like constructing a cold weather indoor sports dome 

+ Explore creation of a Parks Foundation to help fund long-term investments in our parks across the city

+ Plan for a 21st Century transportation network that utilizes smart city technology and adapts to changing preferences like more walkable options and autonomous electric vehicles

 
Early Success - Voted in favor of raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 to reduce youth smoking


PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT


+ Continue supporting initiatives to meet or beat our 80% carbon reduction goal by 2050 or sooner

+ Boost funding for energy conservation at Comfort Systems

+ Invest in smart and climate-resilient infrastructure to prevent future damage and expenses

+ Improve stormwater infrastructure to prevent runoff into Lake Superior

+ Protect stream health by reducing parking requirements for dense development while creating residential parking zones to protect nearby resident parking access

+ Invest in a modern public transit system that reduces energy consumption and better connects residents to jobs and amenities

+ Work with state and federal partners to develop strategies to address soil erosion on Park Point


Early Success - Voted in favor of establishing the Energy Plan Commission focused on carbon reduction strategies

Get Back to Basics

image28

Duluth has so many unique pockets across its 27 miles. No matter where you live or work in this city, I plan to get out and hear your voice where you are. Only then can we bring our community together behind a common vision. That’s why my campaign is Focused on Duluth.


ARIK'S PLAN FOR GETTING BACK TO BASICS:


STRENGTHEN CITY RESOURCES


+ Expand our tax base to ensure we have the finances to invest in city services and slow property tax growth (and pass-through rent hikes) for residents

+ Continue to build relationships with federal and state legislators to encourage outside investment in Duluth infrastructure and transformative community opportunities 

+ Continue investing in employee wellness programs to help offset rising health insurance costs

+ Ensure competitive wage and benefit packages at the city to recruit & retain top talent to provide high-quality services


Early Success - Advocated face-to-face with state legislators in St. Paul to pass the local sales tax referendum to fix our roads and infrastructure, increases to Local Government Aid to relieve the tax burden for residents to pay for city services, and passage of the Medical District Package to encourage a world-class health care investment in Duluth


TRANSPARENT, RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT


+ Develop tools to improve communications with the public for when roads and infrastructure will be fixed 

+ Develop more clear guidance and transparency for how community-led projects that start at the grassroots can successfully navigate through city hall

+ Speed up permitting to ensure city government can keep up with our creative economy

+ Keep myself to the highest standard of accessibility and continue being a present leader in the community


Early Success - passed a resolution to help accelerate investment in Duluth neighborhoods and reduce red tape


Early Success - completed citywide listening tour to hear the priorities of Duluthians firsthand