Michelle Williams

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? 

Local governments have an important role to play to take action now, to shape the future of our development, and to create opportunities for all. Building cities that “work” inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable requires intensive policy coordination and investment choices. The city should hire an urban planner to be part of the economic development team.  This person should have experience with the Urban Neighborhood Initiative Programs which seeks to transform struggling urban neighborhoods into safe, vibrant, cohesive communities.  They work to bring business, government and community organizations together to increase prosperity and improve health, safety and education for current residents and for generation to come.

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?

The Housing Authority of Covington should allow the resident of low income housing to have a voice in their community.  Subsidized housing residents and tenants have important personal perspectives on how subsidized housing policies impact their needs.  I feel that whatever programs are chosen should be education driven.  This would allow residents to better their lives and open up doors of opportunity.  I support the Scholar House program which is a housing and education initiative that enables residents to reach self-sufficiency.

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 would encourage Covington to support a reentry program that would assist ex-offenders with resources in the community.  Government leaders should focus on programs that help newly released felons obtain housing, employment, transportation, education and drug and alcohol counseling.  Without the resources, and the sense of hope it brings to people who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity, felons are much more likely to fall back into the old habits that landed them in prison.  There has to be something in place that would help the organizations that aid in the transition process.

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 promote share lanes in Covington.  I have had a “Share the Road” License Plate for over six years.  The purpose of this plate is to promote safety awareness among cyclist, motorist and pedestrians.  Covington offers many trails for cycling and I would continue to support events that include the Licking River Greenway Trail.  I think cycling is a great way to boost your fitness and health.

Question 5: 

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

I would like to have a solid plan in the upcoming budget for replacement and upgrades on outdated fire and police equipment.  Improving long term community safety is a priority of mine; I think it is important that we all feel safe in our neighborhoods. Covington has to maintain an economic development flow that stays on course with one of the cities many plans.

I would like to encourage beautification through public art; green projects and community clean up.  I feel that community beautification is a key to a neighborhood’s quality of life.I would continue to support enhancing housing through home upgrades and blight elimination programs, which will enhancing the visibility of the community.

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 community leaders we should have an understanding of culture in our community.  It is clear to me that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to understand and appreciate many cultures, establish relationships with people from cultures other that our own, and build strong alliances with different cultural groups.