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Affordable Housing, Gentrification, & Displacement

PROBLEM: The high price of housing and the real estate "boom" that we are experiencing is having a continued effect on marginalized communities. Our city needs to keep pushing for affordable housing in ALL corners of the city (yes, some east-side neighborhoods will hate I am saying this), but we need to keep fighting for those who are willing to work and are here seeking opportunity. While many celebrated the changes in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), the truth is that only a handful of ADUs were built in our district (and in Salt Lake City as a whole).


  • Grow the Stock of Housing Affordable Units: While the west side is home to naturally occurring affordable houses, many are disappearing, giving way to multiple-unit developments that aren't very affordable.  Our council member needs to be a strong voice to make sure our city doesn't push us out of our own neighborhoods. 

  • Revamp the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Ordinance: The ADU ordinance could be improved by the implementation of a fee waiver, the creation of a low-interest fund for down payments, and encouraging the submission of architectural ADU plans to get the city to pre-approve the design this way to save architectural costs and time.  I’d like to triple our ADUs built in District 2 in just two years (from 7 built in the last two years to 21 new ones).

  • Creating a Community Investment Trust (CIT): "Asset poverty" or ownership is one of the main issues with upper mobility. CITs are an investment tool for low-income neighbors to invest (usually between $10-$100/mo) in commercial property, and the equity is shared between the investors. The property value will naturally increase, creating a long-term benefit for investors.


  • In the last two years, our council made improvements to the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance by liberalizing some of the restrictions that proved to be limiting this gentle density tool. We loosened restrictions on ADUs, giving homeowners the right to build without the approval of the planning commission. This will allow bigger and taller units to be built and incentivize homeowners to build. Our city struggles with the supply of housing units, yet we have the space to accommodate a multitude of small units. We felt the past ordinance didn’t incentivize or help facilitate building ADUs. In just a few months of the recent ordinance being passed, it is obvious that the new ordinance is working. The amount of building permit requests has skyrocketed since the ordinance passed, with property owners/representatives eager to build more properties.

  • I‘ve been a champion of accommodating growth in all parts of the city, as appropriate, with a strong emphasis on mixed-use and mixed-income development. We changed the RMF-30 ordinance that was stalled for years, allowing low-density multi-family residential districts to provide the right environment to allow for a variety of housing types, like two-family or multi-family dwellings, with a maximum height of 30 feet. This allows for some infill density that is appropriate to residential neighborhoods. 

  • An updated ordinance was passed to allow shared housing in some zoning districts. A shared housing unit is similar to a dormitory with shared bathrooms and kitchen but private bedrooms. Our new ordinance won’t allow for both (kitchen and bathroom) to be shared, but one. This type of housing allows for weekly rental, which is, by nature, more transitional. Diversifying housing to all types would allow us to fight the housing crisis we are experiencing. 

  • We updated the off-street parking regulations throughout the city because parking, its cost, and availability affect, sometimes even directly, the cost of housing. 

  • In addition, the Salt Lake City Council also passed a requirement on commercial space on ground floor, building heights ordinance. This ordinance is designed to promote good use of walkable space downtown, promoting engagement for customers and opportunities for businesses. The ordinance expanded the height maximums of downtown buildings, requiring that a percentage of each building be dedicated to a commercial space on the ground floor designated for businesses. The ordinance also requires aesthetic design standards with these buildings, including roof gardens and other landscaping.

  • Throughout my term, I have championed and will continue to fight for a comprehensive Affordable Housing Incentive Ordinance. This ordinance will encourage affordable housing by allowing additional height in some zoning districts, reducing parking requirements, allowing more units, and waiving some planning processes when creating affordable units for rent or sale. This ordinance is key to ensuring mixed-income housing in all parts of the city, not only on the westside.

  • The Salt Lake City council passed a key ordinance to prevent displacement, titled “Thriving in Place.” This ordinance is important because displacement is a threat to more than half of the residents in Salt Lake City, including those who rent and families with children. The “Thriving in Place” ordinance focuses on specific short-term strategies preventing displacement, including developing a tenant relocation assistance program, improving and expanding tenant resources and services, acquiring and rehabilitating unsubsidized housing, utilizing publicly owned property, developing new funding sources and leveraging existing resources, and defining displacement indicators/developing data systems.


Homelessness, Housing, & Mental Health

PROBLEM: While the city currently invests unprecedented funds in affordable housing, it is still below what is needed. Many can't afford to pay their rent or mortgage and end up on our streets, struggling with substance abuse, mental health, and trauma.  Some live inside their cars, some behind bushes, and some in our park benches. I believe that most of us ache when thinking about this. IT IS A TRAGEDY! The reality is that we are failing... not only to those on our streets but also to our neighbors who experience homelessness on their front porches. I know we can do better.


  • Increase and extend the funding for the "Downtown Ambassador" program to connect many with the resources we need.  So far, the program is set to end in just a few months.

  • Build a tiny home community (with a low bar of entrance) — our city has a record of relocating unsheltered people from one corner of our district to the other. While the goal is for no one to live in the streets, it is important to understand that some won’t ever join a shelter and continually refuse treatment. Salt Lake City needs a model similar to other successful cities to tackle this problem holistically. 

  • Homelessness as a regional issue. SLC can't bear the brunt of this issue alone. Many other municipalities enforce the no-camping ordinance, meaning many unsheltered people end up in our city. We need our County to take a more involved role in tracking homeless/unsheltered incidents in other jurisdictions and to bring those municipalities to the table so we can all pitch resources. 

  • About the "Other Side Village." It is true that we need more beds, and the Other Side Academy has shown a level of success that many other programs would want.  It is also important to note that many on the westside feel like the West has done its part, and we need the East to do more. I am very carefully following this program, and I have suggested some changes to it: 

    1. Create a board composed of neighbors and business owners. This board can get people involved in making this a success, it can solve immediate concerns by neighbors and the community can take part in shaping this project.

    2. Request transparency about available land in all districts. It is ALSO important to note that many of the frustrations in our district aren't towards the Village but towards a city that sometimes has just one officer assigned to respond to the westside. Too many are tired of promises. We need our city to solve our underlying issues. I understand why many have doubts about the project. We must use this opportunity to work on these real day-to-day issues affecting many of our families.


  • During my time on the council, I have increased funding for the Downtown Ambassador program year after year. Our council has also expanded its geographic area to include North Temple. Because of this, ambassadors are submitting requests for work on the SLC Mobile app and assisting with garbage collection.

  • During my term, the council funded the first pilot program for a sanctioned camping site in the state. This wasn’t easy, but this project initiated a new strategy to house our unsheltered neighbors while ensuring safety and security for all our residents. As a council member, I believe homelessness can and must be addressed. Read more about my efforts to solve homelessness here.

  • Testified on Sandy City Council 

  • Testified on Jackson City Council -WY

  • North Temple and District 2 should be considered gateways to our city, and as such, they should be pampered, cared for, and protected so those visiting can feel what this city is all about. 

  • To increase security in the presence of Police officers, the council allocated funding towards a North Temple Police Substation. It is now located and partially open on the block between 800 W and 900 W on North Temple. The Police Department is committed to moving the Bike Squadron to this location to make sure the adequate presence in the area is visible. 

  • We also increased the use of cameras as a tool for our police officers. I have personally advocated for increased funding for this, and we now have 36 new police cameras in use in key areas of concern. 

  • To address this issue, the Salt Lake City Council has negotiated with the Village community benefits and listened to the neighbors about their concerns. The council had to work with the operator to ensure the safe conditions of the tenants and the community. We also had to rezone the land to allow for this use and work on some infrastructure to accommodate this use. To ensure this project is successful, the council created it in phases — Phase 1 would allow for 54 deed-restricted tiny homes, with at least three of the units being ADA-compliant, six tiny homes for on-site staff who provide 24-hour coverage, 25 tiny homes to be used as nightly rentals, a Community Center to house on-site supportive services for residents,  a “social enterprise” building for income-generating projects such as the thrift store, and a small grocery store offering fresh foods to the tenants and the community.

Crime, Safety, & Policing

PROBLEM: Crime, as tracked by our city, is more than double in our district than in eastside districts. The westside feels forgotten, and this must change!



  • ​I will work to keep westside officers patrolling in the west, proactively train them to understand our diverse community and focus their efforts on crime prevention and community patrolling. Our families have the right to feel secure and protected; we must ensure our officers are trained, equipped, and embraced by our community. However, this all starts with building trust. Many of our officers can't afford to live in our city. We need a funding mechanism to assist our first responders with down payments so they can also be part of our community. I will commit my time and energy to reduce violent and property crime by 30% in two years.


  • Crime is down to 10-year record low numbers, but there is still lots to do in terms of increasing funding, improving training, and building trust between law enforcement and our community.


Roads, Potholes, Lights, & Parks

PROBLEM: There are distinct differences between the east and west side parks, lights, and roads. It is the responsibility of the city council member to raise their voice and bring actual solutions to these issues. This is not happening. We need a strong voice in our council, a voice that advocates for the westside. We need someone who understands our day-to-day issues. Why do we have to bring about the same issues year after year? It is time to get on what is important to improve our quality of life.


  • Prioritize street lights, roads, cleaning, and maintenance of public space so the westside does not feel neglected. I keep hearing from neighbors that speed in neighborhoods is out of control. To make sure our city focuses its resources on the westside, I will request a regular report of ongoing and one-time tax expenditures by district so we can compare where the city’s priorities are. Our city should also start listening to our concerns. If neighbors ask for traffic-calming measures, we should start listening and making it happen. If the neighbors are asking for more lighting or better roads, we should start by listening and getting things solved.

  • Speeding, traffic calming, stop signs, speed limits: So many of you have told me about the issues of speeding in residential neighborhoods and near schools and parks. I have my own experience with that. Over several years, I contacted our city to add a traffic-calming speed bump and a stop sign by my house (I live in a school zone), and the response from the city was, "We can't do that because it is not needed, it would impede traffic flow." THAT IS THE POINT! That sincerely infuriated me. The city doesn't listen to us when we know what happens in our streets better. I learned that other cities have a process to petition for stop signs, elevated crosswalks, speedbumps, and other traffic calming measures. We need to create a system to petition (any neighbor could download the petition form and gather the signatures to request it). Right now, we have nothing. In my first few months, I will create this petition process and canvass the neighborhoods (not only when seeking votes) to know which areas are the most dangerous.


  • To improve our city parks, and in particular our District two parks, we discussed the possibility of issuing an Open Space Bond that would need the voters of SLC to approve the extra funding. In 2022, the council picked the projects, and the objective for the funds, and approved the Bond to be placed on the 2022 ballot. This bond was approved by Salt Lake City Voters, and it will do the following for District 2: 

    • Add nine million dollars in improvements to the Jordan River. 

    • Five million dollars to complete the Folsom Trail, including landscaping, and infrastructure needs.

    • 27 million dollars to create the new, first in decades, regional park in Glendale.  

    • Improve one or two parks (as funding is available), for Madsen Park, and the Peace Labyrinth in District Two. 

  • My commitment to advocate for more funding in District Two parks doesn’t stop with public funding. I’ve worked hard to engage the Private community to help us fund deferred maintenance in our parks. In 2022, the council had to remove a lot of red tape to allow private companies to donate labor and, or materials to our city. The council acted and passed the changes needed in the ordinance, and we received our first generous donation from Home Depot to help us finish 20-year-old deferred maintenance in Jackson Park in District 2. The donation from Home Depot included adding the wood for the pergolas that had been missing for decades and painting all metal structures. They donated the labor, expertise and equipment. Community volunteers and Home Depot associates worked together for a week to get it all done. Home Depot has since, helped us freshen up the Japan section of the Peace Gardens ahead of the visit for our sister City Matsumoto in 2023, and they also helped us in Poplar Grove park to re-do the Horse Shoe game that was abandoned for almost a decade. Home Depot has shown a commitment to our community that is exemplary to all other private community members.

  • Our roads are suffering, the salt, the weather, the construction, the plows and the constant use is affecting the quality of our roads. The council allocated additional funds for new surface treatment that would allow to extend the usable live of our roads. Slurry Seal is now being tested in many parts of the city as a new treatment.

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