2022 Norman City Council Candidate, Ward 4
Make your vote count on February 8, 2022!
Ward 4 Is My Home
What I Believe
In cities around the country—including Norman—something has gone terribly wrong. Elected officials are ignoring the wishes and needs of their citizens. They go into office with an agenda and a goal, and use the power of office to attain it. They forget that we do not live in a top-down form of government: we live in a bottom-up form of government. The power rests in the citizens….those who voted for them and those who did not. It is the citizens’ desires that matter. Public officials are not rulers…they are servants.
What this means to me is that complete transparency in government is essential. It means making sure that citizens are given all the available information, good and bad, on important issues. Then those issues are put to a vote of the people and—most importantly—our elected officials must respect that vote. As a ward representative, it means putting the needs of the people in your ward first, and the needs of the entire city second. It means always remembering that we are a community. We are neighbors, co-workers and friends. The needs of those who are silent are just as important as those who are vocal. A representative must always keep those silent needs in mind. They must be willing to find compromises that, to the best of their ability, meet everyone’s needs.
The Homeless Problem
One example of elected officials ignoring the needs and the desires of their citizens is happening right here in Norman. Our mayor Breea Clark, current Ward 4 council member Lee Hall, and many of the other city councilors are in favor of, and are working to, open up city-run homeless shelters in Ward 4 on Porter Avenue. I care a great deal about the homeless and my first instinct is always to reach out and help others. However, ask yourself these questions:
Is homelessness solely a Ward 4 issue?
Norman citizens voted down funding homeless shelters in 2020. Given this, is it respecting the will of the people to forge ahead with building homeless shelters?
Photo Courtesy Teresa Borum
Tarahumara’s, one of the beloved Mexican restaurants in our ward, just renovated and created an outdoor dining area. Our city officials want to open up a homeless facility and shelter right next door to them. Is this caring about the needs of our business owners?
Our city officials want to open up another facility for the homeless right next door to the new Senior Center. Is this caring about the needs of our seniors?
Our City officials also want to open up homeless shelters in close proximity to our children. Is this keeping our children safe?
Photo Courtesy Teresa Borum
Will an ever-increasing number of transients coming to Norman be good for the city? We have to find solutions that balance the needs of our homeless with the needs of all of our citizens. We need someone who will not allow the people of Ward 4 to bear the entire weight of caring for the homeless. We need someone who will take into account and see to the needs of all the citizens in Ward 4.
The only agenda I have is making sure everyone in Ward 4 is represented. My only special interest is you. If you let me I WILL give the people of Ward 4 their voice back.
As a beginning, I have started two petitions.
Given the large impact and ever-increasing expense, the first petition is to demand that the citizens of Norman be allowed to vote on whether or not we have city-run shelters. Here’s a sample of the petition:
The second petition requires that any shelters be placed no closer than a half a mile to schools, daycares or parks to protect our children.
I will be walking the neighborhood streets meeting people and inviting them to sign.
If I’ve missed you, I’ve set up meeting dates at Norman Public Library Central. I would love to meet and discuss issues with you. Please come if you would like to sign the petitions.
Any donations of time or money to protect our children and neighborhood would be most welcome.