Board of Supervisors candidate responses
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Beatrice KirtleyJerrod Smith
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1. In three sentences or less, why are you running?I want to address the significant affordable housing issue in the county that affects a wide variety of citizens, including our growing senior population. I want to work on solutions for our transportation issues. I strongly support continued improvements to teacher compensation and investment in our school system.I am running to provide a voice for groups in the region that have not typically had a voice in local government. As a native of Albemarle County and an African-American, I am running for Board of Supervisors so that I can give back to the community of phenomenal people in this region that raised me through good times and bad. I believe local government sits at the intersection of economic, environmental, and social issues and I am running to make sure that the decisions made by representatives accurately reflect the vision the people of this region want and need.
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What would be your first priority on the Board of Supervisors if elected?Work on identifying all possible resources available, from public to private opportunities that the County can use to address affordable housing issues - which affects 25% of the County population.My priority would be to examine the business climate of Albemarle County to make sure that we are competitive on a state, and local level. I want to conduct a comprehensive examination on what local government can immediately do to encourage the growth entrepreneurs and aid the growth of small businesses in the region. I believe that we can build a robust, stable, and diversified local economy through the economic dreams of our citizens.
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Other than that, what do you see as the three most important issues facing the Board of Supervisors?Transportation needs, planning for climate resilience, ensuring we continue to foster and grow strong relationships with our community partners because many issues are regional issues involving the City, UVA and other stakeholders.The top 3 most important issues facing the County are: The growing income inequality in the region and the societal issues that stem from increasing inequality. Access to broadband internet in our rural areas. Committing ourselves to an environmental standard that places Albemarle County as the trendsetter, not just for our immediate area, but both nationally and globally.
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Have you accepted any money from a corporation or a corporate PAC, or will you in the future?NoNo, I have not accepted money from corporations or corporate PAC’s. If the right fit presents itself (Not Dominion) I would accept money from corporations or corporate PAC’s in the future.
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What experience do you have in organizing in supporting local communities?Locally, I have been involved for over 7 years in organizing the Hospice of the Piedmont annual 5K Race - getting donations and prizes for the myriad winners, pre race preparations, being in charge of the logistics the day of the race for several hundred runners/walkers. I have also been a CASA volunteer for 5 years - serving children in Charlottesville, Albemarle and Louisa. As a member of 100+ Women Who Care, we raise money for local non profits. While serving on the Board of Directors for the South Coast Air Quality Management District in southern California, we dealt with reducing the detrimental effects of smog and pollution by working with the many industries to promote pollution reducing strategies. Whilel President of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments we supported the formation of the Alameda Corridor East rail system, significantly relieving congestion along a major arterial along the Long Beach Freeway and elsewhere. I served as a Director on the local Duarte Community Education Foundation as well as the Citrus Community College Foundation supporting quality education for all students. For many years I was a member (and President) of California Contract Cities Association - which represented localities banding together to ensure our constituents the best services and cost savings for municipal services.I have been an active member of the Albemarle County Democratic Party and served as Co-Chair of the Rivanna District.
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UVA recently announced it would be paying every employee at least $15 per hour starting in January 2020. Do you support raising the minimum wage for county workers to $15/hour?YesYes. I believe that we should do our best to pay a living wage to County workers.
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Should the County divest from fossil fuels?YesYes, they should divest from fossil fuels. The future of this region and the world depends on our commitment to alternative forms of energy. Divesting from fossil fuels is a process, but it’s a process that must occur sooner than later.
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State legislators have a huge impact on what the County can do, from what minimum wage we can enact, to gun laws, to statues. Have you been involved in any state-level campaigns in the last two election cycles? If so, list what campaign(s) and what role(s) you played?Yes. Leslie Cockburn - Campaign volunteerI have been supporting candidates through the Albemarle County Democratic Party by both aiding their efforts in Rivanna and on election day with material at the polls.
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Affordable housing is a crisis in Albemarle. What is one concrete solution you see to start alleviating the problem?I favor the formation of an affordable housing fund governed by policies that allow the county to buy affordable housing when it becomes available in order to keep and increase existing affordable housing stock. I would also want to see property tax reimbursements for affordable housing projects to make them more attractive to build. Developers should sign performance agreements that keep the units affordable for 30 years in exchange for the property tax reimbursements.Affordable housing is complicated, and no single solution can completely alleviate the problem. I would love to see a multi-pronged approach to affordable housing that includes an examination of our zoning policies to make sure that our zoning standards reflect this area and are more inclusionary than exclusionary.
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