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Mary Richman

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Mary Richman

2nd Ward - Democrat

The needs of Second Ward residents won't be served by a political party's rhetoric, but rather by constructive solutions to practical problems.

The presence of a Republican City Council majority has increased the long-standing City Hall practice of treating students and tenants as second-class citizens.  Everything must be done to change these policies or replace the bureaucrats who make them.

Nine out of ten Second Ward residents are tenants, so housing problems must be a high priority.  I strongly support rent control, and a "Yes" vote on the April ballot proposal will put the city on record in favor of it.  However, rent control is only a partial solution to our housing problems.  We must continue to lobby for whatever state and federal money can be made available for low and moderate income housing.

The Police Department continues to waste its time and our money on the wrong priorities, such as ticketing bicycle riders and dwelling on minor traffic and parking violations.

To date, the City Human Rights Department has been a little more than useless.  Complaints about discrimination against Blacks, women, students and gays are either ignored or talked to death.  We need a Council which will mandate vigorous enforcement of the human rights ordinance which Democrats passed several years ago, and which Republicans are trying to shut their eyes to.

I would like to be able to promise increases in social services programs, but the city's financial crisis and the Republican Council majority make this unlikely. Even the meager present support for child and health care, drug treatment, and other vital programs may be absent from the next budget. I will seek to prevent this possibility. We must also seek alternative sources of funding for these programs, such as state and federal grants, foundations or community fund-raising drives.

--Mary Richman