Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Why did you decide to run for President of Youngstown City Council in 2013?

I have lived in Youngstown for more than 20 years and have witnessed an ever-widening gap in effective communication between citizens and our local government. I am frustrated with the lack of listening and lack of communication between those in power and those who elected their leaders. I've attended numerous Council meetings where elected officials sat slouched in their chairs or distracted on their cell phones rather than attentively listening to the person standing at the podium, addressing an issue of concern. This lack of engagement extends even to the way many departments in city hall respond to phone calls and inquiries from citizens. If you call, you get a dull hello. There's a lack of courtesy, genuine interest and deep listening. The government that we elect to serve us must pay more attention to what citizens are saying and what citizens need.  Also, citizens must remain active and engaged in order to help bridge this communication gap.

What will be your priorities if you get elected?

The first thing I will do is visit every department in city hall, introduce myself and find out how we can work together better. We need to increase the spirit of cooperation in Youngstown. Once we have that, we can find ways to save money and make progress. Without cooperation, respect and kindness, which are really the cornerstones of any society, you really can't move forward as a community. We need to examine how we relate with one another and improve on that.

How do you envision Youngstown a few years from now?

I envision better communication between departments at city hall, better communication between elected officials and citizens, and greater communication among all the citizens of Youngstown. I believe it is possible for us all to get along and to treat each other with respect and kindness, no matter our differences.

What do the people of Youngstown need to know most about you?

I'm a mother and teacher, and have been active in the community since I moved to Youngstown. I care deeply about many issues affecting our city and have worked on major projects with many different groups. I raised two daughters here and taught geology at YSU for seven years while also being actively engaged in the community in roles such as volunteer, board member, community activist and leader. I love Youngstown and want this community to thrive!

Some local groups and organizations with which I have worked:

       Dorothy Day House
       First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown       
       Frackfree Mahoning Valley (co-founder)

       Friends of the Library
       Friends of Mill Creek Park
       Grey to Green Festival (co-founder)
       Grow Youngstown
       Lake-to-River Food Cooperative
       LOOP (Loved Ones of Prisoners)
       Northside Farmers Market
       Occupy Youngstown
       Treez Please (co-president)
       Valley Coalition for Peace and Justice