Smart & Sustainable Development
Aurora and particularly Ward II is growing. Our proximity to I-70, E 470, I-25 and I-225 brings opportunity to bring more people to Aurora. As we develop houses, businesses, roads and open spaces, we need to ensure that it is smart, sustainable and well planned. We need to ensure we recognize the importance of our water supply as we grow. We also need to recognize that as we develop, we are committing the resources necessary to provide fire and public services to growth areas.
Transparency and Open Government
I have a track record of communicating directly with our community about the issues that affect them. I will work to have a government easier to access. I will regularly communicate to residents through digital media, phone calls and monthly town hall meetings throughout Ward II. Important community issues should go before a Committee and have public hearings with public input. Meeting times should be set at more accessible hours, and the city should leverage new technology to broadcast meetings, provide timely minutes, and give adequate notice of important hearings.
Aurora is in an exciting time with light rail coming to Aurora. While we have new opportunities, we also have challenges with traffic, infrastructure and affordable, accessible transportation. In many parts of Ward II, public transportation does not come out toward our community. We need “multi modal” forms of transportation which includes more than one form of getting from point A to point B. We can look beyond driving and taking the bus to looking at light rail, carpooling, biking, taxi/uber/lyft and increasing our walkability scores in communities. I also think that it is vital for public safety to look at addressing traffic and safety with Gun Club Road. We’ve lost three people just this year in collisions. We need to have safe ways to travel throughout Aurora.
A recent analysis by Attom Data Solutions recently listed Arapahoe County as one of the least affordable places to live in the United States. We need to start today to make Aurora a place where young people, working families and seniors can afford to work and live. We can invest in Community Land Trusts, rent-to- own programs, and approve development projects when a portion built is also affordable (for those who make less than 60% of the median income) and low income (for those who make less than 30% of the median income). We can also partner with non-profit foundations and businesses for community impact affordable housing grants. I want to ensure that development in Aurora offers something for all of us.
As a small business owner, I will focus on economic development that is strategic and benefits the city. While our city grows, let’s not neglect our economically challenged neighborhoods. Investing in employee owned cooperatives brings benefits to the community. Promoting businesses to come and stay in Aurora is critical to ensuring that all of us have an opportunity to support our family, buy a home, and create a better future for ourselves and our children.
One in five people have a disability. As our baby boomers age, this number will grow. I’ve worked on disability advocacy issues for over fifteen years. I recognize the importance of accessible sidewalks, doorways, housing and transportation. It goes beyond physical access however. We need to ensure our public meetings are accessible to people with disabilities through sign language interpreters, information in Braille and using technology to stream the information for those who cannot attend.
Ward II and it’s open space gives opportunities to pursue more renewable energy and have a great quality of life through parks, hiking, biking trails and community gardens. According to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Energy Colorado Industry Cluster Profile, Colorado ranks sixth in the nation for its concentration of renewable energy employment with 23,410 employees. Let’s move up to the top two and have Aurora recognized as a leader for renewable energy. We also don’t want what happened at Firestone to happen in Aurora. When it comes to public health and safety in our neighborhoods, let’s follow what is best for our families’ health as well as home values, not make decisions on what the oil and gas industry tells us.
As a mom to three kids who attend Aurora Public Schools, I know first hand the importance of our education within Aurora. It is in the city’s best interest to work together to improve our schools to attract people to live and work here. I will build collaborations for effective partnerships. Working with parents, students, teachers, the superintendent, school board, businesses and community groups can improve our schools and our city’s quality of life.
Nicole Johnston For City Council
189 N. Millbrook St. Aurora CO 80018
Committee to Elect Nicole Johnston