Sarah's got new ideas and fresh perspective to bring to City Hall. Read the responses she provided for League of Women Voters 2017 City of Orlando - District 5 Voter's Guide.
– Master of Planning in Civic Urbanism, Rollins College
– Bachelors of Science, Integrative Biology, University of Florida
– Minor, Sustainability Studies, University of Florida
My education and passion have focused on building and supporting healthy, vibrant, and engaged communities.
-Working on policies, goals, investments and designs for streets, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
• Affordable Housing Committee, League of Women Voters
• Vice President, Young Democrats of Orange County
• Secretary, Democratic Black Caucus of Orange County
• Board of Directors, The LGBT Center of Central Florida
• Board of Directors, Orlando Bike Coalition
• Advisory Board, Orlando Tech Association
• Advisory Board, New Leaders Council
• Member, Tiger Bay Nonpartisan Political Club
• Co-Organizer, ReThinking the City
• Community Advisory Committee, representing the City of Orlando, MetroPlan Orlando
• Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, City of Orlando
1. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Our residents deserve living wages and the opportunity for economic mobility. I’m focused on attracting jobs with higher wages directly into District 5. I’ll partner with economic development organizations to leverage D5’s assets to actively attract and curate companies for D5’s growth. With Orlando’s commitment to 100% renewable energy, I’ll work to make sure D5 leads the charge with job training and serves as the hub for our energy future.
2. NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND SHARED PROSPERITY
Communities within District 5 and throughout Orlando are challenged by affordable housing, food insecurity, and small business support.
I’ll push for a comprehensive housing strategy that ensures safe, affordable housing options. To address food insecurity, I’ll pursue new grocery store opportunities with partners like Aldi or Whole Foods to provide affordable access to nutritious food. To support small business growth, I’ll expand Orlando’s Main Street program in D5.
As we grow, we need a better transportation network. I’ll push for a regional transportation authority with a dedicated budget for improved service and connectivity.
What are the three top challenges facing the Orlando City Council? Briefly describe how you would address these challenges.
What is your experience working with large budgets, revenue shortfalls, and oversight?
I have experience with large budgets, revenue management, and oversight in business, nonprofit, and government.
As part of the founding team for Juice Bike Share, I co-wrote the business plan and proposal for the pioneering transportation program. Nearly four years after winning a competitive bid, the program is set to expand from 200 bikes to 500 bikes without financial support from the City.
As Executive Director of the SoDo Main Street and Downtown South Neighborhood Improvement District, I managed a combined annual budget of nearly $600,000. Last year, I partnered with local agencies to advance a $4M project in our district with less than $400,000 from our budget.
As the City of Orlando’s representative on MetroPlan’s Community Advisory Committee, I regularly make recommendations on major transportation projects in our region.
As a passionate and engaged resident, I review the City’s budget and regularly attend City Council meetings
1. EDUCATION AND TALENT PIPELINE
D5 has an incredible educational ecosystem with partners like FAMU, Webster University, UCF, Valencia, and OCPS. Under my leadership, D5 will build strong, long-lasting “town & gown” relationships. Together, we’ll pursue strategic collaborations that enrich educational opportunities, support students & educators, ensure public safety, and promote economic opportunity.
2. REGIONAL APPROACH
Orlando’s regional approach has advanced a number of issues from securing SunRail to addressing homelessness. A regional approach is critical to Orlando’s rising cost-of-living. I strongly support regional approaches to housing and transportation. I am especially interested in inclusionary zoning as a policy tool to promote affordable housing, and a regional transportation authority for enhanced transit services.
3. NEIGHBORHOOD PRIDE
Orlando’s rise is founded in our residents’ pride. I will further empower our neighborhood and community leaders with tools & resources like improved grant opportunities and direct channels to City staff for quick resolutions.
What are three things “going right” for Orlando? How will you continue forward progress?
I’m deeply passionate about civic engagement. Elected officials are expected to represent their district and that requires input from constituents. We need engaged residents and business owners for the health of our City and a strong District 5.
ADVISORY BOARD REPRESENTATION:
Of the 25 City of Orlando advisory boards and 166 positions, District 5 represents a disappointing 6%. Orange County residents have 4x the voice. District 5 needs more seats at the table and I’ll be intentional about amplifying D5 voices.
NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERS COUNCIL:
Our neighborhood and community leaders are critical to understanding specific community issues. In addition to attending neighborhood & HOA meetings, my office will form a D5 Neighborhood Leaders Council to help advise me.
ZONING HEARINGS IN IMPACTED NEIGHBORHOODS:
More public meetings need to happen in the public. Major issues in D5, especially significant zoning changes, will be heard in the neighborhoods they are impacting.