Reimagining Public Safety
Reimagining public safety
This is an Emergency
How do we repair what is broken?
Recent spikes in gun violence like in downtown Davenport, stolen vehicles, and the expansion of the Scott County Juvenile Detention facility have citizens re-thinking strategies for public safety.
As Mayor, Athena wants to work with all communities in Davenport to re-define the terms and the means by which
safety is realized in our streets
We can shift narratives around safety through strategic communications with law enforcement and residents in an effort to create new models for safety. Community-led structures within public safety asks citizens to imagine for themselves individually how "safety" is pursued.
Athena is committed to working with local organizers, activists, and law enforcement to provide training, accurate litigation education, and unbiased communications.
Some folks are sleeping on benches in the park.
...A city employee comes by & checks in to see if they need a place to sleep, food water, or healthcare... An hour later, those who want a different place to sleep have one.
You don't realize, but your
brake lights aren't
...A city employee signals for you to pull over & says, "hey, how about I replace those lights for you right here so no one gets hurt?"
An hour later, both lights work & you're at home.
Incidents of gun violence are rising in your neighborhood.
...A trauma informed crisis intervention team works with community activists to disarm & deescalate conflicts.
People doing harm are connected to services that address the underlying problem.
ISN'T THAT PUBLIC SAFETY?
According to the Housing Cluster, we are about 5,000 units short of affordable housing within this area.
Affordable housing is a community issue. Rising housing costs and falling wages are pushing residents further away from stable housing and public safety. Unaffordable housing pushes families away from Davenport, affecting jobs and our local economy.
Residents in Davenport who rent are not making enough money to save to put a down payment on a house. Budgeting We need adequate new homebuyer programs and programs to help homebuyers who are struggling financially, as well as programs to help Davenport residents save for repairs, etc.*Eviction cases in 2016 were filed at the rate of four per minute.
*Housing instability isn't just a result of poverty; it can be the cause of it. housing is foundational for success, and having it makes it possible for people to go to school or work, care for children, care for elders and for themselves.
*Source: "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
We can't keep fixing our streets with Band-Aids
We are a city that drives. It is obvious which roads are well taken care of and which roads are not. Passing the problem on from Mayor to Mayor is apathetic. Our residents work hard and we should too. A vehicle repair can set a family back months. Our roads should never be the source of that expense.
In late June, Athena spoke with a neighbor in Davenport whose street includes a catch basin right in front of his home. The catch basin often floods and gets clogged with sludge and litter. Public Works is called to flush it out often. During flood season, spring, and winter, the catch basin refills and spills back out into the street, causing more water, sludge, and mud to pour out into the street in front of the home. The part of the street in front of the neighbor's home is also a designated handicapped parking space for his wife. This area of the street only belongs to her. Unfortunately, when the spillage from the catch basin has flown into the street and yard, the neighbor's wife cannot get to her vehicle. She walks with a cane and getting in her vehicle in the sludge and mud can cause her to fall. So instead, she walks south past two houses down to the intersection, crosses the street, walks north past two houses, and then crosses the street to her car and gets in on the passenger side so that she can get in safely.
This is unacceptable in 2021. There are solutions. People should always come first. When Athena becomes Mayor, they will.
Infrastructure must include environmental justice
Climate change is real. We must be ahead of the game so we can make up for the lost time. We owe our children a much better world than what we were given.
There is no more room for excuses with downtown flooding. We will change the trajectory of how we deal with our portion of the Mississippi River by partnering with those who have already solved the problem of flooding in their towns and get the job done once and for all.
We will study the effects of the environmental footprints we are leaving and do everything we can to contribute to clean air and water. Only 2% of the world's water that is left is drinkable. We must find sustainable ways to nurture what is left.
Controlled-environment agriculture can exist within the city of Davenport to meet the needs of fresh food products year-round. Urban agriculture is a missed opportunity that Athena will bring to life.
Environmental justice is another issue that Athena is proud to support and push for change throughout the community. Flooding is a very serious issue that has been impacting Davenport residents and businesses for decades and we need to be serious when it comes to permanent solutions. From sustainable drainage to rainwater separation, it is up to those in charge to address this issue head-on and make decisions based on science and what makes the most sense for our community.
As Mayor, Athena will make it the city's personal responsibility to adapt to climate change, rally the support needed to be part of the flood management solution, and lead the charge in the development and production of forward-thinking, sustainable solutions.
Athena is a well-known advocate for social justice and change and a respected racial justice activist here in Davenport and all over the state of Iowa. In late 2014 when Tamir Rice was killed, Athena began taking action to save the lives of Black children in our area. In 2019, when a white supremacist involved in the Charlottesville attack and the January 6 insurrection came to speak in Bettendorf, Athena took swift action and organized one of the most powerful protests the Quad Cities has ever had. Justice was served and because of her organizing, a promise was made from the hosts of the forum that no such event will ever take place again. They have kept their promise. Action brings change, and Athena is well equipped to face opposition and unapologetically tough on injustice. She is more than qualified to have the difficult discussions our local government needs to have for a more just Davenport.
A city that is inclusive is a city that is intentional with representation and justice for all.
For Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other people of color; for the disabled; for women, for the LGBTQIA community; for the elderly; for the underprivileged.
Voting for Athena means voting for real inclusivity for all. As Mayor, she is ready to
have difficult conversations and bring change to our local government. She won't just talk about it, she will move and do it until it is done.
"An inclusive community includes dissolving racist, transphobic, homophobic, abelist, and classist norms. We are all human, all flawed in our ways, and perhaps most important, none of us are immune to the environment that surrounds us. We are part of the society we are fighting to change, and we cannot absolve ourselves of our role in it."
Athena will work with the City Department Heads and the Council to increase the score of Davenport in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. Under Mike Matson the city’s score has plummeted into the low 80’s, while under Bill Gluba it had consistently been around the 100 mark. Athena will bring the score up over 100, as there are 122 available points.
Athena will push council to and the city to fund local LGBTQ programs as it used to, including providing CDBG funds to organizations that specifically help LGBT youth, elders, homeless people, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Athena will work to attract LGBTQ friendly business to Davenport.
Athena will work to ensure that the city staff at the City of Davenport undergo LGBTQ sensitivity training and education.
Athena will encourage the formation of an LGBTQ recruiting and retention plan for the City of Davenport.
Athena will encourage the formation of LGBTQ resource group for LGBTQ employees willing to join to foster a more caring working environment.
Athena will make sure that the Davenport Police Department records and reports all Hate Crimes to the FBI annually and will push Davenport to pass a hate crimes law to protect not only LGBTQ people, but other protected classes.
Athena will work with council to pass a contractor ordinance ensuring the city is partnering with companies that agree not to discriminate against people based on all protected classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
Athena is not afraid of being a friend of the LGBTQ community and will be present and will listen to the community.
Our Davenport is unique in our city of a city. Small enough to know your neighbors and their neighbors, and large enough to pick up milk at a convenience store in the middle of the night. We are lifetime residents and transplants from worldwide corporations. We are working class and we are suffering from poverty. We are steelworkers and teachers. We are pastors, priests, and parishioners. We are parents with young families, we are single adults beginning the journey of life. We are gay, we are transgender, we are straight. We are Black, we are Asian, we are White, we are Latinx, we are Jewish, we are Islamic, we are Catholic, we are Christian. We are disabled and able-bodied. We are veterans and we are police. We are feminists, anti-racists, and inclusive. We are Davenport.
These identities make up our Davenport. They are not topics of debate. They are us. Leading by inclusivity is what Athena specializes in. She has been leading with inclusive intent all over the midwest for years.
Cities rely on inclusive populations to increase its opportunity for success. Any type of disenfranchisement to any part of our population landscape only stalls progress.
In May, Athena met with a family who lives in Central Davenport. Their streetlight has not worked for almost a year. This family didn't know who to call or who their Alderperson was. All they know is to stay in their house after sunset because it is too dark. And darkness has revealed violence. They love their home and don't want to move. A working streetlight should not be a barrier to quality of life for any family in Davenport. We are ALL Davenport. Every zipcode, race, familial status, and income.
Neighborhood neglect leaves an impression that the people who live there don't matter. For anyone who lives in one of Davenport's decaying neighborhoods, you too are ours. Athena wants to turn the tide. We are ALL worthy of public service. And that is how Athena will run our Davenport.