Jordan Huizenga

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? 

There are a number of issues at play here to ensure all residents have access to meaningful employment and to build on economic development in every part of the City. 

In an effort to address these issues I will focus on the following if I'm elected again as a Covington City Commissioner. 

  •  Grow the number of affordable housing units throughout Northern Kentucky and work to de-concentrate subsidized housing in the small number of Covington neighborhoods where it is most concentrated. This will give residents greater choice of where they can live and provide better access to jobs and schools for families. 
  •  Develop and implement a balanced economic development plan that attracts jobs at a variety of pay and skill levels that provides opportunity for all of Covington's residents and attracts new people and companies throughout our City. 
  •  Work with Gateway Community College to continue development of their Urban Campus in Covington so residents and employees can receive affordable and convenient training and education in a variety of rewarding fields.
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?

Covington can work to better integrate residents into our Northern Kentucky community by implementing a balanced housing plan that de-concentrates affordable housing in a more equitable way throughout the entire region. We must work with neighboring communities to affirmatively further fair housing and ensure low income residents have the right to choose, the right to stay, the right to equal treatment and the right to have a say in where they live and what their communities look like. 

I will continue to advocate for a fair and balanced housing approach for our low income residents who need quality affordable housing. This approach will provide greater opportunities for these residents and their children as they have greater choice in where they live. We must ensure that we listen to our residents and that we affirmatively further fair housing through a responsible and sustainable approach to housing and community development throughout 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?

I believe in actively and responsibly removing barriers to full community engagement for most non-violent offenders, especially those who have successfully completed their probation and parole time periods. This means barriers to housing, voting, education and training all must be responsibly eased when appropriate. Without these necessary foundational aspects to community life, previous offenders have a much greater chance of being re-incarcerated and costing the tax payer even more money in remediation. I would much rather promote policies that get individuals with a criminal record back into a positive life where they can pay taxes and improve their community. 

To lower these barriers I would advocate for access to subsidized housing and the re-issuance of voting rights when appropriate to previously convicted offenders.

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 bike a lot around Covington and recognize that we need to improve our biking infrastructure to create greater connections between our various neighborhoods to build on the assets and amenities we have throughout the City. 

I am currently developing and will continue to advocate for a complete streets plan and policy at City Hall that would require greater development of bike lanes and sharrows throughout Covington when the City re-stripes or reconstructs roads in our City. 

I am also advocating for a road diet plan on a number of state routes throughout Covington that would improve the walkability, look and bike safety on streets like Winston Avenue throughout Covington.

Question 5: 

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

Other than a number of initiatives I've mentioned in the previous questions like a housing plan and policy, complete streets and a balanced economic development plan; if I'm lucky enough to be elected by the good people of Covington I want to focus on greater transparency and fiscal responsibility at City Hall. Covington's revenue, expenses, bond rating and debt level continue to be a concern for me and I will work to ensure the City continues to improve our financial position and health. 

I will also continue the growth and development of a customer service mentality at City Hall and throughout the services we provide. As a service provider, municipal government works for the people. I want to ensure this mindset and culture exists throughout our organizational structure and all our various departments that serve and interact with residents. 

If I'm elected to the Covington City Commission I also hope to focus on creating better partnerships with our schools and service providers to be a community that supports families and where all children can be successful. This looks like more recreation opportunities and investments in parks for our kids and better more stable housing and jobs for parents throughout Covington.

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?

I believe Covington is a community where all people are welcome and feel valued. This value is something that this current Commission has adopted in both of our 2015 and 2016 Vision Statements which have guided our work. 

However, this community value should be communicated regularly and defended when needed. I was honored to serve on this Commission that voted unanimously to pass a Diversity Policy for our City and later voting unanimously to uphold Covington's Human Rights Ordinance. I felt compelled to pen an op-ed published in the Cincinnati and Kentucky Enquirers opposing Senate Bill 180 which would nullify this Human Rights Ordinance. 

Values are important and help define a community. I am proud and honored to live, work and invest here in a City with such important values that help define us. I will continue to communicate and champion this value and culture to welcome all peoples and ensure all of our community members feel valued here in our great City.