What I am advocating for

I am advocating that we invest in resilient infrastructure and our vibrant community to make Columbia one of the best places to live in the nation. It takes an authentic leader to guide the discussion and make the decisions we need to make today. My experience makes me the best candidate to be your advocate.

Below are the key issues I see Columbia needing to tackle now.

Barbara advocating to downtown business owners, Jill & Sanford Speake.

Creating Housing for All

I am advocating for:

  • A 24/7 shelter that provides basic daily needs and wrap-around services to lift people up and out of homelessness. Luckily, we have a good model in Welcome Home where homeless veterans get their basic needs met and their dignity restored. 
  • Intentional infill development to provide middle housing for our workforce that is accessible to a variety of transportation modes.
  • Streamlining the permitting process so that home builders can build the neighborhoods our community needs while maintaining community character.
  • Serving the housing needs for people across the income spectrum – teachers, law enforcement officers, new graduates starting out in the workforce, people retiring and downsizing – so that everyone can find their home in Columbia.

Supporting a healthy economy

I am advocating for:

  • Showcasing Columbia as an attractive place for existing businesses to remain and grow.
  • Recruitment of businesses in medical technology so we can capitalize on the University of Missouri’s research reactor and NextGen Precision Health .
  • Passage of the Use Tax, or Wayfair Fix, because local businesses have to charge you a tax but online retailers do not. That’s not fair. The Use Tax provides an even-playing field for our local brick and mortar stores. Sales tax revenue is important to our economy and efforts to encourage spending locally must continue. 
  • Creation of housing for our workforce because the lack of affordable housing impacts employers’ ability to attract and retain employees.

Investing in our infrastructure

I am advocating for:

  • Repairing our roads, sidewalks and trails so people can arrive at their destination safely.
  • Efficient, reliable and safe recycling and trash pickup because the current system isn’t working as well as it could.
  • A resilient electrical grid for clean & reliable energy.
  • Much needed preventative maintenance on our sewer and stormwater system so that the older areas of Columbia are just as well-cared for as new neighborhoods.
  • A reliable water distribution system so that clean, drinking water is available when you need it.

Celebrating what makes Columbia special

I am advocating for:

  • Leveraging our current cultural events and festivals to make Columbia a destination for visitors from around the world.
  • Collaboration between schools and our arts community to demonstrate the developmental and educational benefits that the arts produce for engaged youth.
  • Increasing the number of sporting and entertainment events that happen in our community-owned and loved parks and recreation facilities.

Returning civility and collaboration to City Hall

I am advocating for:

  • Respect and professionalism in our City Council members because they need to work with one another to move our City forward.
  • Providing the pay, training, and resources needed by the City’s professional staff so that they can reach the goals adopted by our City.
  • Holding the City Manager accountable for meeting Council’s goals.
  • Collaborating and communicating effectively with our residents to rebuild trust in government.
  • Planning for Columbia’s future of being one of the best places to live in the nation.

Supporting safe neighborhoods and good policing practices

I am advocating for:

  • Crisis Intervention Team training for all police officers to give more tools to do their job safely and effectively. This will keep people with mental illness out of jail and in treatment, on the road to recovery. 
  • Providing crisis intervention training for downtown businesses and community groups so that more people know how to help our neighbors in need.
  • Creation of a Behavioral Crisis Center that partners experts in mental health with those in need of support and return police officers back to maintaining public safety. This center could also partner with FACE, a center designed for our community’s children. 
  • Adequate staffing and training for the Columbia Police Department so that our officers can have realistic work hours and the ability to build relationships in our diverse neighborhoods.
  • Implementation of Mayor’s Task Force on Community Violence recommendations
  • Community violence intervention programs that identify those who are at the highest risk and work to reduce violence through targeted interventions.

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