RESPONSE TO COVID-19
- Johnson County will receive $29 million in American Rescue Plan funds. Most of this money should go to those who have been hurt the most, as the past year has revealed only greater income inequality. Lower-income workers, small businesses, and non-profits overlooked in previous programs should be helped first. And because it is one-time money, it should be used to create the most help as soon as possible.
- Increase the county contribution to Affordable Housing programs
- Rent and utility vouchers
- Increase food bank supplies
- Add to existing and create new affordable child care services
- Direct cash payments to workers excluded from other government support programs
- Increase mental health and substance abuse treatment access
- Increase tele-health and affordable broadband, especially in rural areas and small towns
RESPONSE TO BLACK LIVES MATTER
- Johnson County needs a more comprehensive response to issues raised by Black Lives Matter, Iowa Freedom Riders and overall racial justice. Without abolishing policing as we know it in America, "Black Lives Matter" is an empty slogan. We don't need more reform. We need a rethink. Violent crime certainly needs an adequate response, but the vast majority of police tactics can be reduced while improving our county.
- Review County Sheriff service and contact policies
- Continue reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact that leads to disproportionate arrest and incarceration
- Reduce traffic stops, capture license plate, and ticket
- Establish Sheriff Review Board
- Lessen enforcement of some low-level offenses
- Continue jail diversion programs
EXPAND MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES
- Opening the Guide Link center is a good start as a third temporary option for law enforcement beyond the emergency room or jail. But the need remains great and the County should continue to expand available beds for emergency mental health and substance abuse crises. I will be a strong advocate to resolve the unnecessary ongoing dispute between the state and counties for funding.
EXPAND COUNTY CLEAN ENERGY PROGRESS
- Johnson County has made significant advancement in its own clean energy production and lending help to others in their wind and solar energy production, such as the two Solarize Johnson County programs. The climate crisis is so comprehensive that the county and other governments need to increase their leadership.
- Continue to construct all new buildings with solar or wind production, and at a LEED Platinum standard
- Review the County Zoning Ordinance to better accommodate both residential and utility solar and wind installations
- Expand Local Foods activities to reduce carbon emissions and promote soil health
- Continue to search for creatively expanding County Sustainability plans for all county residents
- Look at County Residential Zoning Ordinance to include ways to reduce carbon emissions and continue to improve storm water management
CONTINUE SUPPORT FOR LOCAL FOODS PROGRAMS
- Johnson County has built a thriving Local Foods policy and program support. You can count on me to continue that support and seek new ways to expand it. Local Foods are good for the economy and the environment. Non-profit groups have helped to see that some of this food gets to county residents with the greatest need.
- Improve County Historic Poor Farm plans for starting farmers
LAND USE POLICIES TO PRESERVE FARM LAND
- The 2019 Ordinance updates made important strides toward directing rural residential development closer to our cities and towns and away from farm land. Sensitive areas were better protected. The climate crisis, Johnson County's population growth, and Iowa's changing economy will continue to put pressure on these accomplishments.
- Seek economic development that is sensitive to land use, reducing carbon emissions, and pays a Living Wage
- Land Use policies that encourages growth around cities/towns, preserves farm land and rural areas
- Development needs to account for carbon emissions and seek to reduce them
- Revisit ways that citizens can start farming on lots less than 40 acres without contributing to urban sprawl