PROVIDING QUALITY EDUCATION – Almi has decades of hands-on experience in providing education to children in downtown Erie. Through her work as the first Youtheatre Education Director at the Erie Playhouse, she has a unique perspective on how to bring those same educational principles to the downtown region for all children.
A quality education is an essential part of a child’s development. When it comes to education, Almi believes:
- Every child deserves a quality education, no matter where they live or which school they attend.
- Our schools should be more than places to learn. They should be safe places to grow, build lifelong friendships and develop skills to be successful in life.
- While the mayor has no formal role in Erie’s School District, it’s critical that the mayor serve as your child’s #1 advocate. What happens in our city’s schools matters outside the classroom.
JOB TRAINING & CONTINUING EDUCATION – Almi is a candidate with active management; she is the only CEO running. She is an activator who knows what is needed in today’s job market (currently also seeking her Masters in Health Comm).
Healthy cities have plenty of opportunity for residents to learn new skills throughout their lives. Almi believes:
- A community college is critical to the economic strength of our region. It’s time to move a plan forward that provides affordable job training, certificate and degree programs.
- Local universities not only provide jobs and education – they infuse millions of dollars into our economy. Strategic partnerships with these universities can serve and enrich our community without costing taxpayers.
- Job training and continuing education are the key to developing – and keeping – a 21st century workforce that will enrich our local economy.
CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT FOR JOBS AND OPPORTUNITY – Almi knows what it means to provide jobs to the local community. She has, as a non-profit leader, provided numerous jobs and developed the downtown aesthetic.
Erie’s economy can’t be dependent on a handful of big businesses. To develop and maintain a strong, healthy local economy, Almi believes:
- We need to embrace businesses located in the city, small and large, encouraging expansion to increase the tax base and create additional job opportunities.
- Erie can and should be a hub for forward-thinking companies focused on technology and innovation, with city leadership connecting the dots between entrepreneurs, universities, technology incubators and business development resources.
- Innovation leads to jobs across all sectors, reducing “brain drain” and improving the quality of life for everyone in our city and region.
- Arts, culture and innovation go hand in hand. Our vibrant community has all the ingredients for a true renaissance, and strong leadership can make it happen.
FIGHTING CRIME AND VIOLENCE
Reducing crime and violence should be a top priority for Erie’s next mayor. The factors that lead to violence start well before somebody picks up a gun or commits a crime. Almi believes:
- We must ensure that our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to do their jobs,
- We need to address underlying issues like poverty, drug addiction, struggling schools and unemployment.
- Crime takes root when hope is lost. We need to restore hope in our community, so that our kids know they can rise above hardship and have the better future they deserve.
- To tackle crime and violence, Erie’s next mayor needs to actively engage in our community, not sit behind a desk.
MAKING OUR NEIGHBORHOODS SAFE
With many Erie neighborhoods falling on hard times, some neighbors feel they’ve been forgotten. In order to make our neighborhoods safe, Almi believes:
- Every block of our city is important, every resident is important, and every single neighborhood of this city needs the attention and resources its residents deserve.
- Our dedicated city police officers should be present in communities, not just when somebody dials 9-1-1, but every single day, as trusted members of the community.
- A strong neighborhood needs strong neighbors. We need to empower community organizations, neighborhood watch groups and after-school programs so that neighbors have the resources needed to address issues in every neighborhood.
MAKING OUR NEIGHBORHOODS MORE LIVEABLE
Safety isn’t the only challenge our neighborhoods face. To make sure our neighborhoods are conducive to family living, Almi believes:
- We need to address blight and preserve history through zoning enforcement and land banks.
- We must end “food deserts” in the city of Erie! You shouldn’t have to travel outside the city to find healthy, affordable food options.
- Landlords need to be held responsible for safe and proper upkeep of rental properties.
- Home ownership shouldn’t be a distant dream, it should be a reality. Helping people become homeowners fights “brain drain” and enhances neighborhood pride.
CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITY
Some parts of Erie feel cut off, separated by railroad tracks, the Bayfront connector and other development. To connect our city, Almi believes:
- Our city needs to be walkable and bike-able, not just drivable. Pedestrian bridges, bike lanes and streetscaping improvements like those in the Erie Downtown master plan help connect neighborhoods and unite our community.
- Reliable, affordable public transit is critical to the vitality of our city. Public transit should make it easy for city residents to move around the county and bring county residents into the city to work, shop and play. Public transit should be a shared priority, not a point of contention, between city and county government.
- In addition to traditional public transit, we need to explore alternative transit methods like bike-sharing and ride-sharing.
Erie spends a lot of time planning, and not enough time doing. In order to turn plans into action and work together, Almi believes:
- It’s time to put an end to turf wars and power struggles. The people of Erie are more important than any personal agenda and deserve more from their elected officials.
- Erie’s mayor should be our advocate-in-chief, fighting to make sure that we have the resources we need in our city, in our schools, and in our neighborhoods.
- There is no issue in the city that isn’t the mayor’s issue. If it matters to the people of Erie, it should matter to our mayor.
- Erie needs a bold, passionate leader with a proven track record of bringing people together and getting results.