Christi Blair

Political party: 
Question 1: 

Over the past several years many residents have found it difficult to find meaningful employment that is accessible to them. What steps will you take to ensure that residents in our more urban neighborhoods will be able to have the same opportunities as other communities, and to ensure that every part of the city benefits from economic development? 

I believe in town hall meetings. Ask each neighborhood association to gather information to get a whole scope of the problem. Invite residents to a town hall meeting to discuss what barriers they have getting to work from all over Covington. Invite representatives from TANK to hear what we need to get more people to work in a shorter amount of time. The long term solution is being more competitive with other cities that have large businesses. Bring the jobs to the people so they can easily get there without lengthy expensive commutes. The city of Covington should offer the best incentives for manufacturing, distribution and warehouse companies. We also need some more temp services that are located in Covington and have jobs in Covington.

Question 2: 

Covington has provided more affordable housing options than many other communities in northern Kentucky, and yet many of those who are being helped by these programs are concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods and often feel isolated from the larger Covington community. How can the city better integrate all residents into our community, provide greater opportunities to low income residents, and affirmatively further fair housing?

We need to practice true scattered housing and not cluster in one location. Being close to schools, since most parents walk their small children makes the most sense. Everyone likes to be close to grocery stores and bus lines. The biggest cluster I can think of is City Heights which should be torn down and sold to private developers to build high end luxury townhomes to bring more income into the city and help those who are isolated up there without cars move to a more walkable part of town. We need to encourage more landlords with quality rentals near schools and parks to rent to families that have HUD certificates. The current supply does not meet the demand for residents who want a nice safe and clean property in Covington.

Question 3: 

Citizens returning home from incarceration, and even those who have finished their probation and parole, often have trouble returning to their communities. Several cities and states have fostered initiatives aimed at helping these members of our community get back on their feet. Louisville and Cincinnati, for example, have removed questions about previous convictions from hiring applications. What steps do you feel Covington can and should take to help folks re-enter our community?

Covington does not have to resources in our budget to assist everyone's needs. My idea would be a volunteer program open to all to acquire service hours through the City of Covington. The public works department could coordinate through community volunteers to help train and recognize their work, such as planting flowers, painting over graffiti, picking up litter on the sidewalks, anything to help clean up and beautify our city. They could earn certificates of recognition to show as a voucher of good work ethics and helping their community. We are blessed to have so many good  churches and nonprofits in our city that have dedicated themselves to helping others including those re entering society after incarceration. Probation and parole officers work very hard helping their clients and connecting them with resources. Unfortunately the root of the problem is not addressed by simply giving someone a job. The majority of our inmates are locked up because of heroin and other drugs. Drug treatment facilities are desperately needed in Northern Kentucky and until they are built there will be a steady stream of citizens in and out of the penal system.

Question 4: 

Covington is known for being Pedestrian friendly, and having mass transit options. Yet, there are few places in the city that accommodate cyclists with bike lanes or share lanes. What policies do you support to make cycling easier and safer in our city?

I would support policies developed by cycling enthusiasts and experts that are not a burden on the taxpayers. Again this would be an excellent topic for a town hall meeting and social media campaign to gather info from those who know best what is a good plan for all of Covington. Cycling clubs, Red Bike and our own Covington Police bike patrol could give plenty of input in these policies.

Question 5: 

Could you detail some of the things you most want to accomplish in the upcoming term, if elected?

Safety of all citizens in Covington is my number one priority. Restore our fire department so we have plenty of firefighters and new equipment, keep them safe too and not risk one life ever. 

Increase the budget for our police department so they can fight the war on heroin.

Expand our economic development department and have a proper marketing department to work hand in hand to bring businesses to Covington. We need to make money and quit overtaxing the people that are already here. 

Hire a new city manager. Flat revenue for about eight years, complaints from those who live and work for the city, money embezzled, lack of transparency, enough is enough. New blood is needed to bring the city back to life. This is not just my personal thought but the feed back I hear on the street.

Question 6: 

In Covington, we pride ourselves on being a diverse, welcoming community. But many residents are concerned about the increase in activities in northern Kentucky that make many residents feel less than welcomed in our community. What will you do to create a community that is welcoming of all, and that values the lives of all members in our community?

As a Covington commissioner it should be your job to actively engage with all citizens. Listen to the people and hear their stories. Covington is absolutely the friendliest city I've ever known. We truly are the melting pot of Northern Kentucky! We need a big sign that says "WELCOME ALL!". Everyone has a place here and it really is the "it" place to live now. I'm constantly bragging about how much I love it here. As a real estate agent I know location is everything and that's why I live in and love Covington. I encourage you to get out more, get around town, there's always something going on somewhere and volunteer and attend meetings. Its great to get to know such a wide circle of people and that's what makes Covington so special, our differences not our sameness brings us together to form a strong, caring and always interesting community.