Leah Dozeman is a seventh-generation Coloradan, and a lifelong resident of Wheat Ridge. She is the program director for a martial arts studio, and has served as the executive secretary and parade chair for the Carnation Festival.She graduated cum laude from Metro State with a bachelor’s in political science, and has an associates degree in entrepreneurial studies.Contact: email@example.com or 720-301-9598Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/Leah4WheatRidgeWhy do you want to serve on council?Having lived in Wheat Ridge my entire life, I have developed close relationships with neighbors, businesses, and organizations that have shaped who I am. I enjoy giving back to a community that I have gained a lifetime of friendships, experiences, and memories from, which is why I serve in every capacity possible. I have had the opportunity to travel a lot in my life and nothing has ever been so close to my heart as where I call home and raise my two sons. I would be honored to serve as Wheat Ridge’s next District IV City Councilor.Your top three priorities if elected?Supporting small businesses by creating a business friendly environment that encourages improvement and investment. Using our natural assets, history, and businesses to create a destination within Wheat Ridge that generates sales tax and bolsters our economy.Strengthening local schools by forming community and business partnerships to make the learning experience a community experience. Engaging parents and encouraging education that facilitates individual student learning that provides a quality education for all students, therefore attracting young families to the area.Safe neighborhoods that connect neighbors to each other and with local law enforcement to address issues.What should the city’s role be in regards to homelessness?Addressing the influx of people experiencing homelessness is a whole community issue. The city’s role should be to inform the residents and homeless of community organizations that provide meaningful resources to support them (such as mental health counseling, drug and alcohol programs, or housing and food assistance). As a Pennington Elementary parent, where 92 percent of our families are low-income, I appreciate the school’s efforts and partnerships with local organizations to ease some of the struggles the homelessness endure everyday. It is the responsibility of our community to help address this growing concern and seek solutions together. The city can help facilitate that conversation.How would you balance retaining the city’s character, and encouraging redevelopment and growth?Wheat Ridge is nostalgically known as being a “bedroom” community where people choose to live for the large lots, privacy, and quiet serenity, while also being within a short commute of the big city or the Rocky Mountains. We build on our agricultural roots by allowing for urban farming, which is the most natural form of sustainability. We have some room to grow and should allow for development that builds on our heritage by highlighting the qualities of living in a small town with a wonderful, tight knit community, which has great businesses, parks/trails, neighborhoods, and schools!The debate about the width, and parking situation along 38th Avenue seems perennial. How should the city proceed?The individual council members and city as a whole should be conducting grassroots efforts to survey the residents to determine what it is that the majority of the community really wants. I felt that the failure of a permanent narrowing of the street with ballot initiative 2B was an indication that constituents did not wish to move forward with a road diet but this divisive issue needs a resolution, most likely with compromises made by “both sides.” No outside consultants necessary, just neighbors talking with neighbors, and a clear and concise ballot question if the need arises.
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