Supporting Local Businesses
Marquette has the opportunity to possibly create hundreds of new jobs with the use of “Opportunity Zones”. The Northern side of Marquette has been designated as an “Opportunity Zone” which essentially provides an opportunity for investors to receive significant federal tax incentives to create new business in Northern Marquette.
Local Business Priority Ordinance
Implementing the local business Priority ordinance would give priory status to local and regional (Upper Peninsula) businesses and developers that want to purchase and develop city owned land. This would strengthen local ownership, jobs, and keeping money local.
Entrepreneur and Local Business Dashboard
Creating a dashboard on the city website that provides, information, links, and contacts for all of the local business and economic development groups in the Marquette area.
The need for public transportation in Marquette is becoming more and more needed. I believe we can take a shared governance approach with Marquette County to work on expanding and increasing the accessibility for public transit in an affordable way. This can help connect members of our community that may not have the access to self-transportation and connect these residences with, local businesses, the hospital, and NMU.
Rebuilding the Working Class
Community Benefits Agreement
Community Benefits Agreements primarily help protect low-income and working class families. Local economic development projects are more often than only possible due to tax incentives, but unfortunately they often have no guarantee for direct benefit for the community. Marquette using CBA’s would create a dialogue between developers and community organizations that can resolve issues in a projects plan or incorporate community priorities such as affordable/working class housing, hiring locally, higher wages, creating green zones, community zones, etc. The possible benefits for allowing the public more of a voice in these processes are limitless and the agreements are flexible enough to allow each CBA to be tailored to the communities needs
Increasing Housing Affordability
Progress Already Made/ Working with Developers
As a member of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, we amended our priority policy to add affordable and workforce housing into our priority policy for which now may be included in future housing redevelopments that utilizes Brownfield tax incentives. This signals to developers that if they work with us on delivering more diverse housing prices in Marquette than we are willing to prioritize their project.
Our current zoning code prevents or discourages middling housing development which is a large part of the gap residence are experiencing while still maintaining the character of single-family neighborhoods. We can do this by creating new residential zoning code to allow things like triplexes or fourplexes in medium-density areas while still preventing large apartment buildings in these neighborhoods. Additionally, if we zone more residential neighborhoods as medium-density, than we can allow duplexes alongside single-family homes. Another great idea is to ease coverage limits in multi-family, in Marquette apartment buildings can only cover up to 20% of the lot they are on, where in most other Upper Peninsula communities, this number is closer to 35-40% of the lot, this would increase the amount of space on a lot for the building which will increase the overall amount of rentals that could be built on that lot.
Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
An Inclusionary Zoning ordinance would require developers of large scale residential or mixed-use developments to incorporate a certain percentage of their housing units to be affordable for low and median-income residence.
Investing in Long-Term Sustainable Infrastructure
We need to prioritize maintaining and updating our infrastructure, but we need to do this in a way that minimizes future maintenance cost on residence and maximizes the lifespan and efficiency of the infrastructure. Residence simply cannot afford the 10-20% rate increases we’ve seen over the past few years, not mention that the current city plan is to continue increases of 10-25% per year for the next 3 years for sewer and storm-water, and 7 more years for water. The average annual utility rate increase in other municipalities across the nation is 5-6% which is what our rate increases would be if past generations of city leaders had been responsible and gradually raised utility rates a little bit each year to account for future maintenance costs. These rate increases need to be stretched out over a longer period of time so residence can adjust to them more easily and the city must explore investment opportunities in a more sustainable way.
Lake Shore Preservation
I fully support not only protecting our beautiful shoreline, trails, and parks, but also making sure they stay accessible and enjoyable for all residence. In addition to this, I am supportive of finding ways to help prevent shoreline erosion, which is critical to protecting our lake water. Underneath the old Cliffs-Dow site there are large pockets of wood tar and chemicals from when the plant was active, if the shoreline continues to degrade, one of these pockets could become exposed enough that it would leach out into Lake Superior.