Join Me in Our Revolution, District 3
ENDORSED by OUR REVOLUTION in NORTHWEST OHIO
I promised you I would run again, and here I am, ready to FIGHT for a better city for us all.
I know I am not alone in being sick and tired of being told that "this is the best the City can do" and "everyone else is to blame."
I am here to put my education, skills, and experience in community building and neighborhood organizing, as well as my overall reputation for getting things done, all to work for you.
I know what it means to work with my fellow neighbors to maintain a great neighborhood, and I want to work with every neighborhood, and every neighbor in our District willing to do the same.
To me, this election is about electing a real representative for US, the residents of District 3 in East Toledo and in South Toledo.
Below you will find:
A.) Thank you to our current Councilmember
B.) I am the Best Representative for Us.
C.) I will Work with You.
D.) My Plans:
1. Unite District 3 Toledo, South and East
2. Attend all Community Meetings
3. Work with the Youth
4. Clean, Repair, Restore, and Re-populate District 3
5. Specific Taxes for Our Specific Needs
6. Greener Toledo = more jobs + healthier planet
7. Make sure Our Businesses are Known by All
8. This is a Non-Partisan Office, and I am an independent Democrat
E.) Nobody knows every issue, but I will put in the effort to help
A.) Councilmember Peter Ujvagi, our current Toledo City Councilmember.
First, I will say that I thank Mr. Ujvagi for his service to our city. Whatever your opinion, Mr. Ujvagi has dedicated the past 38 years of his life to serving our city in one capacity or another, and that deserves gratitude. I have only been alive for 24 years, and actively volunteering for 11, so I have admittedly missed a lot of his service. However, I am more concerned with the present and the future than I am with the past. In 2015 I ran against Mr. Ujvagi for our vacant District 3 Council seat, and since then I have paid very close attention for the sake of us all. I feel it is my obligation as a candidate to be as honest with you all as possible, and that is what I will do, every day.
B.) How do you know I am the best representative for us?
In 2017, our current Councilmember, Peter Ujvagi, demonstrated that he is clearly not on Council to represent us. He has even stated that his duty is actually to "represent the City to you," not you to the City.
When Gary Johnson, an East-Toledo businessman, and myself, a District 3 resident, applied for the At-Large vacant seat on City Council and showed up to the meeting to make the pitch of why we should be on Council, Peter Ujvagi didn't take the time to say one word, let alone about either of us. He did not nominate either of us. He definitely did not vote for either of us. Peter Ujvagi followed the direction of the Lucas County Democratic Party, held his tongue, and voted to appoint Kurt Young who is now the Chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party. Toledo voters did not re-elect Mr. Young, but they did elect Mr. Johnson. I went on to run for State Representative against the Lucas County Democratic Party's obviously endorsed candidate, Paula Hicks-Hudson.
While entering my final semester in getting my Master's in the Study of Law, I currently serve as President of the Burroughs Neighborhood Organization, and after attaining my Bachelor's in Law and Social Thought, I also served as Vice-President of The Burroughs Neighborhood Organization. I know what it means to serve an entire group of people, and I aim to serve all of District 3.
C.) How do you know I will work with you?
D.) What do I actually PLAN to do?
1.) First, I plan to organize the South-East Toledo Neighborhood Alliance. For too long the residents of District 3 have been divided by what side of the River they're on, and how they can best get the resources for their side. We are ONE District, and we should act like it. We should meet together regularly to decide how we can best use OUR resources, what we should prioritize, and how we can work together to secure even MORE resources. Not only have I written enough organizational constitutions, but I have plenty of experience running such organizations, and even writing successful grants to receive outside funding.
I want to connect constituents across the District with each other by way of being a Councilmember who is responsive and keeps in touch with his neighbors - something we have not seen much, especially in this District.
2.) I plan to also attend ALL individual Neighborhood and Organization meetings within the District. I want to be accessible. I want to know what my neighbors are thinking, what they're working on, and how I can help. If you invite me, I will come, and I will let each group know when another group schedules something first. Attending these meetings will be nothing new for me, nor a burden. This is what I enjoy doing, and will do so. I believe I could help move things along and connect people to the right person with more efficiency and effectiveness than we've ever seen.
3.) I plan to spend significant amounts of time with the Youth in our District. I believe the more we invest in our youth, the more motivated they will be, the less violence and delinquency we will have, and the more they will want to stay in our area, where they might feel welcome, and respected. I have organized and facilitated a summer youth leadership program, I have served as President of the Toledo Early College chapter of Youth-to-Youth, and I have visited schools to speak with students several times. This is again nothing new for me, and something I find to not only be worth my time, but something I believe yields positive outcomes for all.
4.) I plan on doing a lot of cleaning, restoration, and repairs in our District. It is disgusting to me how our city has been left to rot over time. I believe a lot of our problems of blight can be solved by a leader rolling up their sleeves and working with other leaders in the community to clean up our District. Trash picked up, a coat of paint slapped on, a few nails hammered in, a few patches of grass being cut. It's not hard. I plan to work with Code Enforcement, Parks, and Inspections to complete the easy tasks in a sort of "Habitat for Humanity" manner. A few hours here and there, maybe per month, maybe per week, depending on the season. With better conditions, it is likely that we will have less crime, and less vacancies. We can do this.
5.) I plan to make sure our taxes go where they should. How often do we have to complain about the streets before they get fixed? A few years ago, the city tried asking us to raise our taxes, just so they could spend them however they wanted. We said "No."
If we proposed (very minimal) tax increases, (or replacements for current tax rates), with specific purposes, I believe they would have more support. For example a ".05% income tax increase for road repairs only." For a person making $30,000 this tax would be $15 per year - the cost of two meals for one person at a fast food restaurant. Multiply that by 100,000 residents, less than half of our population, and that's a MINIMUM of an extra $1.5 MILLION per year to help fix our roads. There may be more taxpayers, and higher wages, so keep in mind that is just a minimum.
People ARE willing to pay a little bit more when they know where it's going, and when they believe it's going where it's supposed to go. Roads, parks, police. Just imagine.
6.) I plan to do a lot more to make Toledo more energy efficient and Green. Our city's response to the health of Lake Erie was both late and lacking. It seems no one wants to fight for our most valuable asset - our water, included in the planet as a whole. I believe the health of our planet is an urgent matter, and I would very much enjoy looking into legal enforcement of environmental protections.
I would like to promote and invest in more energy efficiency, both to power our city and to create more jobs. To say that we can't have both jobs and a clean environment is ridiculous.
7.) I plan to help our businesses become better known. This would ideally include listing every business in the District, or even in the city, by product or service, and including each business on an interactive map. There could also be a link to each of the businesses' websites or Facebooks. Each business could have a blurb about why to shop there. This could even include ground work, where I, and others, visit each location to show customers what to expect. This could boost our local economy. Employers and small businesses would more likely be able to stay in Toledo, which means jobs and tax revenue could also stay in Toledo
8.) I plan to retain my independent ability to work with other Councilmembers. The Lucas County Democratic Party has a hold on many Democratic elected officials in this city, but they will have no such hold on me. I am not interested in their vision of the Party, and I believe some of their practices have helped lead to a lot of the problems we face all over the U.S. and all over Toledo. I believe in the ideals of the Democratic Party, and I will help where I can, but I will never be subject to its system as it currently exists. I aim to not only be a Nonpartisan member of Toledo City Council, but I also aim to show the Democratic Party how their messages and goals could be promoted and achieved through much better means, and much better people.
We just witnessed the Lucas County Democratic Party endorse a candidate (Theresa Gadus) whom they said was unqualified as recently as this February, after their "one qualified candidate," Peter Ujvagi, dropped out mere months after being endorsed. This is just the tip of the iceberg of why I have had it with the Party system. I am a Democrat, but I am independent of the Party system because I know that many of my fellow "every-day-Democrats" have much bigger concerns that Party Politics.
E.) I do not know everything, and neither does any other candidate.
That's why we're candidates, to get into office and see what we can really do.
If I do not know something, I will be honest about it, then go research it, and try to help.
I am young, but I know beyond a doubt that I can do better than many of the elected officials we see in office. That is why I run. Power for power's sake seems to be why many of our politicians are in office, but I find that pointless. I run to have that "power" because I know I can do the most good with it, especially after we've seen its mismanagement in action. I run to serve. If the people choose not to elect me, that's perfectly okay with me. I can only be me, and I can only serve if the people want it. I serve my country and my community by being honest and attempting to shift politics in a direction that will help our Democracy. I volunteer, I run for office, and I offer my help wherever it may be useful. I live where I live, I run where I live, to serve however I can.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. I have no problem communicating with you, and staying in touch. We're neighbors, and we should be able to act like it.