Polly listens to and works with ALL Longmont residents, businesses, and public officials to preserve and improve JOBS, HOUSING, EDUCATION, and PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE & SERVICES.
She also stands for:
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
We need to actively recruit more quality, sustainable, forward-thinking businesses. We need more jobs; better, living wage jobs with paths to careers. We need to stop wooing and offering tax breaks to large, wealthy, multinational chains, who offer little but part-time, minimum wage jobs with no benefits. When an employee exchanges the days and years of their life for a paycheck that will not even put a basic roof over their head, adequate food for their children, or enough money for the fuel or a bus ticket to get to work, that is immoral. Furthermore, these employees cannot afford to contribute much in terms of our city tax base and even require some city help which further strains our community services. In effect, we are subsidizing these companies twice. Longmont’s fine small businesses cannot possibly compete with these goliaths on price. A dominance of large businesses will undermine the diversity of our business community. We should support programs to bring people to Longmont’s charming downtown and its unique business community.
We also need a strategy for connecting the unemployed with businesses that need employees. There are good, hard-working people in Longmont who have been trying to get a job, but are so discouraged that they have given up. Most employers refuse to hire anyone who has been out of work for more than a few months. We need a mentor or liaison who will follow up and find out why someone was not hired, so people can get some feedback and return to work. A stronger partnership with Workforce Boulder County would help.
Quality education for ALL is critical to our community’s future. Education is an economic driver for good jobs and makes our community one that both individuals and businesses WANT to invest in.
Although the St. Vrain Valley School District is not under the control of the City of Longmont, we should do all we can do be supportive of its needs. We need to collaborate with the school system to maximize our resources and help prepare our children for the 21st century. Access for both the public school system and Front Range Community College to Longmont’s fiber optic system is a benefit to all.
Keeping Front Range Community College in Longmont is essential. FRCC has outgrown the space they are in. Let’s help FRCC find a good, centrally-located permanent space near an RTD line!
Supporting adult education and English as a Second Language (ESL) is also essential to our community’s well-being. Adult education is often the only affordable path to better opportunities and a better life for those who dropped out, those who are only high school graduates, or to those who are new to America. When my father emigrated to this country, he was a dairy foreman all day; his only access to English, citizenship, and chemical engineering classes was through night school. This is still the basic situation for many. Let’s support paths to people building better lives.
PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE & SERVICES
Without higher quality jobs and quality education for ALL, we cannot maintain our tax base to protect the fine public infrastructure and services that make Longmont the place we choose to live. Individuals and businesses will not come here; individuals and businesses will not stay.
I supported the ballot referendum for the development of our city-owned fiber optics and have worked hard to support its rollout. This has been a boon to recruiting high-quality, innovative, and sustainable businesses, as well as producing faster and cheaper service to residents of Longmont and to our schools. It is a wonderful addition to our public infrastructure.
Our sound infrastructure and good social services helped us to survive the floods and thrive since. During the floods, our water plant never stopped producing clean water. Our sewage plant and lines kept working. Our streets were kept clean and blockaded for safety, when needed. Our trash and recycling were still picked up. Our electricity had fewer and briefer shortages than most other towns in the region. Our forestry department stayed on top of the damage. Our police and fire-rescue people worked long and heroically, as did city staff at the Senior Center, Roosevelt Park, and the other shelters. They provided critical social services. These public goods are what our tax money provides: the invisible things we take for granted, but without which our community slowly falls apart. We must always look for greater efficiencies, but we cannot make drastic cuts to funding of our public infrastructure and services.