“Without a comprehensive, bottom up approach to problems, we won’t see effective solutions. With so many concerns facing residents we need to work together, and work hard, to solve them.”
— Laura Nordstrom, Candidate for Alderwoman- Ward 7
Gun Violence and Crime
The City has experienced a marked rise in violence, in the last 2 years there have been multiple murders and violent crimes. In less than 6 months our community has mourned the loss of 2 children to these incidents and supported our youth as their peers were killed. With frequent reports of gun shots, the risk of losing more innocent lives to stray bullets is high.
This is a multi-faceted issue involving cyclical poverty, employment, access to guns, education and more. As Alderwoman, Laura will work toward building an effective coalition with community organizations, leaders, and police to work towards change without over-policing people of color.
Affordable Housing and Rent Control
Housing means stability, and access to safe and reliable housing is a basic need that everyone has a right to. Laura has worked with tenants, landlords and homeowners throughout her career, giving her the knowledge and experience to understand the complexities of housing and affordability. Faced with a dwindling housing stock, inflated rents and rising market prices for homes, leadership must ensure our residents are not forced out.
Laura will focus on helping our seniors age in place and have supported housing if they choose, readdress measures to reduce rents so families and young professionals can work and live here, and protect homeowners from real estate market swings prohibitively impacting their property taxes.
In-Patient Mental Health and Detox Services
Behavioral Health services are vital to Kingston, and are increasingly important as we navigate the Covid-19 crisis and opioid epidemic. We each know a friend or a relative who has struggled in some way with mental health or addiction and for many, access to help is a matter of life and death. As the wife of a man with schizophrenia, Laura knows this struggle first-hand and understands the dynamic components and widespread reach of mental health and addiction crisis.
Right now, if an individual has a mental health break the only options are a small number of beds in Poughkeepsie, or being sent to Valhalla. This means extended waits for beds, followed by a long patient transport, and family and loved ones having to travel nearly 2 hours. We need increased accessibility to services, not reduction and removal. A fighter for our most vulnerable populations, Laura will continue to advocate for the return of behavioral health services and expand the ways in which we approach and support individuals struggling.
Kingston has made tremendous strides the past decade in modernizing to a green community. We have a clear path developing to traverse the city, green infrastructure elements are planned for Dietz Stadium and Broadway is undergoing a major renovation which will further enhance the walkability and environmental scenery.
However we can do more to encourage people to decrease their carbon footprint, and more importantly enact policy that makes it feasible for them to do so. Sustainable, environmentally friendly cities are possible, let’s continue to move Kingston towards becoming one.
Criminal Justice and Police Reform
The Kingston Common Council has accepted the report on proposed measures by the Re-Envision Public Safety Task Force and soon the path forward will be both discussed and enacted. Once elected, Laura will continue supporting measures that will allow for appropriate reform to take place, and listen to the community in the process.
Knowledgeable on the criminal justice system, police reform and immigration, she believes looking towards successful models for reducing recidivism, violence and crime is possible and will allow for growth & change. A community based approach developed with all stakeholders that builds support from the bottom up is what Laura is committed to bring to the table.
Community Building and Investment
Building a sense of community is crucial if we are to come together and address the deeper issues facing the city. Violence and cyclical poverty are not relegated to one area or another. We are in this together, and when people feel invested in the community it changes how they interact with it.
Community investment also includes putting resources towards local projects and entities. Most important, giving local entrepreneurs of all sectors better opportunities to contribute and easing the process of successfully starting and maintaining a business in our city. We need to enhance our local economy and bring good paying jobs back to Kingston.