Sprawl development strikes at the heart of our environmental, economic, social, and physical well-being. It’s enormously difficult to reduce our energy use when our homes and workplaces are widely dispersed. Walkable neighborhoods, close to shopping and schools, will enhance livability.
But we need a better balance between density and infrastructure. New development must respect existing neighborhoods. And infrastructure –schools, roads, and transit – must be available or created to serve new development.
We can improve the quality of life for residents and for those who do business here. I believe in listening to as many viewpoints as possible, working with individuals and neighborhoods on common problems, and helping people navigate the system to make sure County government works for them. I will work with property owners and neighborhoods affected by development to negotiate problems and help find solutions.
Everyone deserves an affordable, decent home – whether they own or rent.
“Affordable housing” includes all types of housing affordable to households of various income levels. The affordability concept originates with the federal government guideline that individuals or families should not spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing, including mortgage payments, rent, and utilities. In Montgomery County, almost half of the households who rent spend more than that and therefore may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.
Affordable housing is often workforce housing; that is, a home for those who provide essential community services. Teachers, healthcare workers, police, and firefighters should be able to afford to live where they work and participate in the neighborhoods they serve. In addition, employers benefit from an expanded pool of qualified workers living nearby. Workers living close to their jobs are more likely to walk or bike, which reduces traffic congestion and pollution, and parents who live close to their jobs not only save on transportation costs but also have more time to spend with their children.
I support increased affordable housing in all parts of the County. Communities with affordable housing have diverse populations—elderly and young, high-income and low-income, in a full range of occupations and from the spectrum of ethnic and racial groups. This variety contributes to community vitality and enhances the quality of life for every resident. And an array of housing options means residents can remain in the community as they age and as their financial circumstances change.
Support for Our Seniors
Older people may struggle with rising housing costs, health care bills, and diminished savings, and the cost of living in Montgomery County can outpace retirement income. But I believe that after raising their families here, contributing to their neighborhoods, and supporting the local economy, our aging parents, neighbors, and friends deserve the opportunity to stay in Montgomery County and enjoy a safe, secure retirement.
I support the Village Movement to expand opportunity, choice, and care for all older people. Villages are local, volunteer-led groups that support community members who choose to age-in-place. They foster social connections through activities and events and coordinate neighbor-to-neighbor efforts such as help with transportation, groceries, and simple tasks at home. I will work to expand the Village program to make it accessible to communities throughout the County. I also support expanded options for housing that is affordable for low-and moderate-income seniors.
In today’s complex society, seniors may face particular financial challenges. Financial exploitation is devastating to many older people, leaving them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses. Financial scams targeting seniors have become prevalent. We need to encourage greater public awareness of the problem, and of the help that’s available.
My husband and I have lived in Tulip Hill for almost 30 years. We join the thousands of District 1 residents suffering from excessive levels of noise imposed on our community by recent FAA flight path changes at National Airport. I commit to working with neighbors, elected officials, the FAA, and other stakeholders to resolve the disruptive and unhealthy effects of these changes.