360 Degree livability
Richland can do more. Richland can do better.
There is more to do.
The current mindset of city council that all city government needs to do is keep the lights on is outdated and keeps Richland from embracing the future.
I champion the concept of 360 Degree Livability. Livable wages + access to affordable housing + reliable public transportation + walk-able and bicycle friendly streets = 360 Degree Livability.
I don't know if you've noticed, but the cost of living is going up and walk-ability is going down as Richland continues to grow. Whether you are young and trying to create a stable foundation for your life, or you are retired and trying to enjoy the best quality of life for as long as you can, affordable housing and walk-ability matters.
There is a lot of literature out there supporting the fact that the leading indicator of longevity is stable housing and the ability to live independently for a long as possible. Following this logic you understand why I care so deeply about finding innovative solutions to the lack of housing in Richland in general and affordable housing in particular.
The lack of walk-ability and the lack of affordable housing are problems which are twinned together.
Think about it. If you have to spend over half your wages in rent, how are you able to save up money for a rainy day? Working with my colleagues to create innovative ways to incentivize the creation of affordable housing solutions is a top priority. I know there is a way to find a compromise which works for citizens, the city, and developers. We just have to be willing to come together and find it.
Not everybody can afford a car. Not everybody wants to drive all the time. We live in a unique community. We aren't a small town anymore but we don't seem to have the ridership demand of a large city.
Finding a way to make use of our public transit system more user friendly and attractive is a key part of helping residents trying to get their feet on the ground to thrive. Nobody should be unable to get or keep a job because they are unable to get to and from work in a timely and affordable manner.