Candidate Forum Tuesday, October 23rd

The Candidate Forum will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at Crystal City Hall.  The mayor’s forum will start at 7 PM and the section 1 forum will start at 7:45 PM.  Please come to City Hall if you can, or watch the debate online at Channel 12.  Click on Candidate Forums at the top of the page and look for the City of Crystal.

What is a Sustainable Crystal?

As I’ve been out door-knocking I’ve had people ask me about my literature and what I mean by a sustainable Crystal.  I wanted to write more about that here at my website so that those of you who were not home when I stopped by could see an answer if you are thinking this as well.

Sustainability is the careful use of our resources.  It is looking for ways to be energy efficient and fiscally responsible.  The idea is that we want to do as much as possible with as little as possible so that we can keep our future safe and secure.  It also means to maintain the current quality of life that we enjoy or better into the future.

The best example of how I want to see this in action is in bringing solar panels onto Crystal government building.  Many cities throughout the metro (Minneapolis, Edina, Eden Prairie, to name a few) have done this.  They used available government rebates and had no or very little cost to taxpayers to install these.  These cities will see real savings in their operational budget, as they will be able to decrease or eliminate their electricity bills.  Solar panels are also being made by Minnesota companies, so we are directly investing into Minnesota’s economy for long-term economic safety.  This technology is rapidly advancing and shows real promise into the future.

It also applies to keeping things local.  I am an advocate of the local food movement.  There are many growers in our area who need venues to sell their produce.  A Crystal farmers’ market will connect these growers and their locally produced food with the residents of Crystal.  Food options from local sources reduces the need for trucking in as much food from far distances, saving on fuel use and cost.  It also helps keep money in our community.

There are many aspects of the local food movement I am in favor of and will try to bring to Crystal.  One of the most popular ones from the people I’ve been talking to as well as for me personally, is being able to keep backyard chickens for egg production.  This allows for people to produce organic, wholesome eggs in a much more humane setting than that used in corporate agriculture.  It also reduces the fuel usage and cost, as well as provide educational opportunities in our community to see the connection that we have with our food.

There are so many ways that I see this as something we can strive for more within our city.  We can encourage more composting and mulching of leaves on lawns instead of removal, purchasing hybrid or more fuel efficient city vehicles at the time they need replacement, making more city functions electronic to reduce paper usage and cost, and adding native wetland plants back around our creeks, ponds and lakes to filter pollutants from water, provide habitat for wildlife, and beautify our city.  I will always be looking for more ways that we can be doing things differently to really make a difference into the future.  I will always want to hear ideas about this from the people of Crystal about other things we can do and other things that cities around us are already doing.  These things provide a win-win situation for everyone: improving our environment, saving us money, and investing in Minnesota (and Crystal!).

Updates from Communities United Against Police Brutality after Crystal Protest Demanding Justice for the Ramirez Family

On October 2nd, 2012, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) held a protest at the corner of Douglas and 42nd Ave. N. to demand that the City of Crystal conduct an investigation on behalf of the Ramirez family, who 4 years ago, while living in Crystal, had all their belonging stolen by a Metro Gang Strike Force police officer with no warrant to enter their property and no charges brought against anyone in the family.  CUAPB has put out an update of what has happened now since the protest, which can be seen at this link here.

Chickens all around us, and gaining support

There was just an article in the Sun Post about someone in Robbinsdale who will be permitted to have their flock of chickens roam free in their yard around the coop.  Chickens are already legal in Robbinsdale, but it is new to have a flock permitted to roam free in a yard.  They had public hearings and talked to the neighbors.  The city council approved this and the neighbors are obviously supportive.  You can see the article at this link.

The Golden Valley City Council is working on a study on whether or not they will change their codes to allow residents to have chickens.  Here is and article in the Sun Post on that.

Brooklyn Park is currently having a city conversation about backyard chickens.  You can see the article here.   Clearly, this issue is growing in popularity and spreading all over.

So many communities already allow chickens or are currently talking about it.  Crystal needs to join in this conversation and allow backyard chickens for egg production.  As I’ve been out talking to people, I find so much support on this issue (and residents who want to have chickens).  It would really bring the local food movement home and help move the residents of Crystal move towards sustainability in their own lives.

I will be a strong advocate for backyard chickens!

Parking on City Streets

As I’ve been out talking to people in Crystal, the issue of parking overnight on city streets has come up over and over.  Many people have expressed that they would like to be able to park overnight in front of their homes, especially during the summer. Many people have told me how they have received a ticket for accidentally leaving their car out front.  Others have told me how they had to go through a very long process to get a variance to park on the street overnight.

I think at a minimum we should make it easier for residents to get a variance to keep a car on the street overnight.  A simple phone call to the police office should be all it takes.  If a family member is staying overnight (which happened to me when I was pregnant and a new mom), when friends stay late and decide to stay over, when family or friends are visiting from out of town, or for a number of other reasons, it should just be an easy thing to get an ok and not be ticketed.

We want to keep our city looking nice and not have 10 cars parked on the street next door to us permanently.  We also need to maintain street access for garbage trucks and snow plows in the winter.  But besides these things, it should be easier to be able to leave a car overnight on the street without having to pay a fine when no one was harmed and no operation was prevented.

I believe a city conversation should be held on the usefulness of no overnight parking laws, how much support there is to ease these, and in what ways.

Demonstration at 42nd and Douglas to demand city investigate police misconduct in Ramirez case

It was unlike anything I’ve seen in Crystal.  A protest on the corner of 42nd and Douglas.  See Sun Post story here.  It looked like something you’d see in Minneapolis, but I’ve never seen it here before.  Communities United Against Police Brutality organized the protest in defense of the Ramirez family, who 4 years ago while living in Crystal, had all of their possessions confiscated from them by a police officer of the Metro Gang Strike Force who came in without a warrant, and the family had no charges that were ever brought against them.  For some background about the misconduct with the Metro Gang Strike Force, see this Star Tribune Article.

The demonstrators all went to the City Council meeting at City Hall afterwards to speak in the open forum.  Here is a link to the council meeting to hear what was said by the people standing up for the Ramirez family and the council member.  You can click on Open Forum from the agenda list on the right hand side, or scroll the video to 32:15 to go directly to the Open Forum segment.

I can’t believe that this could even happen here.  How could I not stand up with them to demand an investigation with the city, who had been refusing to meet with them.  I don’t want this kind of thing to happen here.  And if it does (which it did – although it wasn’t a Crystal police officer), I want to know that the city will take this seriously and find out the details and work to make sure this kind of thing can never happen again.

Our police force in Crystal is wonderful and necessary.  But police misconduct needs to be brought to light and reprimanded when it does happen, to keep it from escalating.   Minneapolis has a history of escalating police misconduct and brutality, and it has not been kept in check.  I don’t want Crystal to head in that same direction.  The police are accountable to the citizens.  I’m glad for all they do, and I want to always remain proud of the brave men and women who serve our city.

Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Council Member, Ward 2, wrote in Sun Post why you should vote for me.

This week the Sun Post printed a letter to the editor from Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Council Member, Ward 2.  He wrote to the editor why Crystal should consider voting for me in the election.  I appreciate Cam’s letter and all the support I’ve been getting with my campaign.  Thank you all!  Here is a link to his letter.  I hope that you already are convinced why you should vote for me.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me with anything!

Fundraiser Event this Thursday Evening

The Campaign Fund to Elect Laura Libby is hosting a fundraiser for my campaign this Thursday, October 4th from 7 PM to 9 PM.  It will be held in the old Nordic American Building in Minneapolis at 4200 Cedar Ave. S.  Appetizers, snacks, and beverages will be offered to all who attend.  Please come if you support my campaign, whether you can donate anything or not!  It should be a wonderful evening of socializing with others who are politically-minded and share in similar values.  I hope to see you there!

Endorsed by John Budziszewski, Crystal City Council, Section 2

I am so pleased to announce that I am officially endorsed by current Crystal City Council member, Section 2, John Budziszewski!  John supports my vision for the city and we have found that we would be able to work together well to get things done for the citizens of Crystal.

I would be a strong asset to the residents of Section 1 in Crystal.  I am able to connect well with others, communicate and collaborate, and this will be helpful working to accomplish things on the City Council.  Please give me this chance and I will work hard for all of you!