Ernest Agyemang Yeboah penned the phrase, “The great works we see are just ideas until they receive the real energy, which transforms ideas into tangible artifacts. When you conceive an idea, it find its energy.”
“Compassion, commitment, and service-these are the characteristics that define my life’s purpose and work,” Lauren Carter tells UMERADIO on last Saturday’s Weekends with Marsha J and Jesse.
In a follow-up conversation with Lauren Carter, Democrat for Mount Vernon City Council, and the woman on a mission to restore her beloved Mount Vernon to its former glory, she shares her thoughts and insights into the tools that make a city thrive; and her plans on how to restore and reposition Mount Vernon.
“My mission, first and foremost, is to be a servant-leader, to listen to all stakeholders and ensure I am always accessible. It is my goal to help improve the city when I am elected as a member of the city council,”
she tells us.
“I believe quality of life is the very foundation of a good city. We don’t want a mediocre city. We don’t want a second-rate city. We don’t a want a substandard city.”
Lauren is clear that having a mediocre, second-rate, or substandard city will only lead to further decline. Should she be elected, we can look forward to her addressing issues such as littering, dog feces that is not properly disposed of, and superintendents that place trash on the street for sanitation pick-up far too early.
Lauren will press the administration to enforce codes in the areas of littering, speeding, and more. She will advocate for the funding of additional ordinance officer positions to facilitate the quality-of-life initiative. And she will encourage beautification efforts like planting flowers, less obtrusive trees, and community gardens to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the community.
Under her mission of public safety reform, she says,
“It is something that is definitely needed.”
She believes one of the ways to effectuate reform is to correct legislation that was adopted by the city council for the creation and funding of a Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). This independent body will be in place for citizens to lodge complaints against police officers without being required to report grievances to the police department.
“It can be intimidating and cause some people not to follow up,”
Lauren believes police reform should also include enhanced training for police officers to learn better de-escalation tactics. This will be particularly important when interacting with and responding to the homeless and mentally ill populations.
As an urban planner, Lauren knows the importance of having a comprehensive plan to direct future growth and development of any city. She also knows that the plan should be balanced to incorporate the city’s long-range goals for land use, housing, economic development, and recreation.
“As a planner, we also have to review the city's current infrastructure-like sewers and streets-to ensure there is sufficient capacity to handle growth,”
Lauren is uniquely qualified because she has experience of close to two (2) decades working for the city, inclusive of working for the executive branch with former mayors in the planning department. She also has experience of working for the city council, the legislative branch of government, as deputy city clerk.
Lauren Carter speaking with Voters at Food Bazaar
Being a servant-leader and making sure Mount Vernon has the necessary tools to be repositioned and restored are important to Lauren. It is how she will approach the responsibility as a council member.
“This is what motivates me. It is what I am passionate about… it is my purpose… it is my plan.”