A fourth generation Coloradan, Rachel Hultin has lived in Wheat Ridge for six years.She worked as a Realtor for 18 years, but more recently has worked with Bicycle Colorado doing community programming and safety initiatives. She studied environmental biology and chemistry at the University of Colorado, including some master’s level coursework.Contact: Rachel@WheatRidgeTogether.org or 720-464-7446Campaign website: www.WheatRidgeTogether.orgWhy do you want to serve on council?The desire to keep Wheat Ridge wonderful has inspired me to step up and represent my District II neighbors on City Council. As a 4th generation Colorado native, I know great places to live, work and play are built over generations on the vision of founding families and through ongoing reinvestment from new residents, businesses and community partners. I’m dedicated to preserve those qualities while welcoming new members of our community, so we don’t risk losing Wheat Ridge’s wonderfulness.Your top three priorities if elected?My top three priorities are: authentic growth, economic development and strong neighborhoods. People want more places to dine and shop but are concerned about affordability and increasing traffic on our congested roads. Development pressures on commercial corridors are impacting the quiet enjoyment of adjacent neighborhoods. Residents want strong neighborhood schools. And the city needs more tax revenue for all this. We can’t stop growth but with community-informed planning and the political will to implement it, we can be clear about priorities, values and desired outcomes to keep Wheat Ridge wonderful and ensure growth adds to our quality of life.What should the city’s role be in regards to homelessness?The entire metropolitan area is experiencing an increase in homelessness and transient population. Because this issue is not contained within our city limits, Wheat Ridge needs to partner with state, regional and local agencies to provide a spectrum of services and interventions. Organization like Family Tree and the Jeffco Action Center depend on local agencies to connect people in need with services. I have extensive experience working across agencies and jurisdictions to collaborate to address complex issues like homelessness and health equity. I care deeply about all residents of Wheat Ridge, especially our most vulnerable neighbors.How would you balance retaining the city’s character, and encouraging redevelopment and growth?Retaining our city’s character why I want to keep Wheat Ridge wonderful today and tomorrow. Almost everyone I’ve chatted with believes their corner of the city is especially special. From the mature trees to the thoughtful neighbors to the unique architecture and mailboxes, we need to protect our neighborhoods. Authentic growth requires clear priorities to prioritize small and local businesses in underutilized areas. Programs to support refreshing long standing businesses from the inside out benefit all of Wheat Ridge. Projects like the Fruitdale School are shining examples of how the city can partner with private investments to create authentic opportunities.The debate about the width, and parking situation along 38th Avenue seems perennial. How should the city proceed?I support a vibrant 38th Avenue main street and don’t believe the corridor success is tied to the number of lanes. This issue has divided our citizens for years so I’m willing to support any plan that creates a safe place for people, promotes economic development and a sense of hometown pride. This can be done with a variety of lane configurations but not without sidewalks. Next steps? I propose we shift our attention to cultivate a vibrant 44th Avenue district where the sidewalks are amazing, the local businesses are authentic and the opportunities are ripe!
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