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Primary Candidate Profile: Odette Ramos, for Council District 14

In 1-2 sentences, explain why you are running for District 14 and what motivated you to seek this position.

I am running for re-election for City Council in District 14 to finish what we started. In the past 4 years, I have seen small but noticeable progress in the work around creating affordable housing, keeping people in their homes, and eliminating vacant housing. There is much more to do. I look forward to continuing the momentum.

In 1-2 sentences, describe how your background and/or previous experience has prepared you to serve as Councilman?

I am the current Councilmember for the 14th District and learn a lot each day about the city, how it works, and the concerns of my constituents. This, and my previous years' experience in the community development and organizing space, has prepared me to continue to serve.

 What are your top 3 priorities or key goals if elected as Councilwoman?

If re-elected, my top 3 priorities are:

Continuing the momentum on eliminating vacant properties through rehab or demolition/deconstruction. This will take an all-hands on deck approach and more tools to help us deploy the funding we will be getting to ensure outcomes for our communities and combat the impact of our racist housing policies of the past. Along with this, we will concentrate on deconstruction as a mechanism to lower costs of building, remove construction materials from our incinerator, and reduce illegal dumping. Creating affordable housing is part of this. I will continue to create ways to ensure that all residents can live in good quality affordable housing. This also includes home repair for residents who are aging in place and assistance for renters. Working to reform tax sale so that residents do not lose their homes because they cannot afford their taxes and liens. Reforming tax sale also means ensuring that vacant homes do not go to the highest bidder, but we can control the outcome of the property. We have made small strides here, but there is more to do.

Constituent service - most of the requests into our office have to do with DPW water/sanitation issues or with traffic calming. We will continue the good work we have started to ensure that all residents have access to city services and that city services are top quality. This also includes making sure that residents who do not speak English can also access city services and we will work on local hiring.

Resources - we have to ensure that we have the resources to be able to pay for basic services and our priorities without raising taxes. Looking at Tax credit and PILOT reform, increase our tax base by rehabbing our vacant properties and having renters become homeowners and attracting new residents are all important strategies to raise revenues.

What do you see as the most pressing issue facing District 14 residents right now?

Infrastructure and traffic calming. Most of the complaints coming to our office is about speeding and dangerous driving, along with complaints about our pipes and water/sewer/stormwater systems not working.

More broadly we still have housing insecurity in our district and across the city, and it is important we make sure residents can age with dignity and vacant properties are rehabbed.

What else would you like voters to know? Feel free to share any other perspectives or details about your background, priorities and vision.

Thank you to my constituents who believed in me 4 years ago and allowed me the opportunity to serve. I would be honored to have another 4 years to continue the work we have started. I look forward to continuing the work around housing and housing stability, water justice, excellent constituent service, and bringing in resources to be able to pay for our priorities as a city.

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