"Experience without theory is blind, theory without experience is more intellectual play but together experience and theory produce results" - Marsha J
As she continues on the #RoadToCityCouncil, Lauren stopped by the Let's Talk Relationships Podcast where she opened up about family life and civic leadership. As the mother of twins spoke with hosts, DJ KTE and Lady Misty-both of whom are also twins-Lauren discussed her passion to not just restore the city to its former glory, but also to set it on a path for progress.
“It’s not just about my children but it’s about the future of all families and their children. I want a better city for all of our youth.”
she tells us.
Lauren believes that how we approach family life will indelibly influence how we relate to the larger community.
“Motherhood prepares one to be a nurturer, compassionate, patient and how to be a negotiator with problem-solving skills,” Lauren says. “I possess all of these qualities and am more than prepared for the role as a member of the city council.”
She laments, however, that the community of Mount Vernon requires more commitment to stronger, healthier families as she watches family values depreciate.
“An African proverb states, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ And that is true. I think a lot of the ills we face as a community are because we have stepped away from that approach and from that way of life. We need to get back to those values and apply them in every area of our lives”
“A good city is a clean city”, she highlights as she gets her hands dirty on her anti-litter campaign.
“For example, we have a problem with littering in this city. I've been promoting an anti-litter campaign where one of the highlights includes teaming up with community advocates to clean up their neighborhoods. I encourage residents to take personal responsibility because while the Department of Public Works has a role in maintaining city property and city streets, it is our charge not to litter. Members of DPW are not our maids! We must stop littering and begin to dispose of our trash responsibly if we want to be on the side of progress.”
It is important to note that Lauren is not just speaking as a concerned mother, but as someone who has held positions in the Planning Department and the City Clerk’s Office.
“My experience working as a civil servant for the city makes me uniquely qualified from all the candidates that are running, I would say that I have more experience than almost all of the other candidates vying for the position,” Lauren says.
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.
Lauren has the experience, bold ideas, and the skills to help move Mount Vernon in the right direction, but she can’t do it without you - the people. Lauren is a proud graduate of Mount Vernon public schools, Fordham University, and she is currently earning an Executive Master in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California. She is one of the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee’s endorsed candidates. She has been endorsed by the New York State Working Families Party and by former councilman, James Jubilee.
If you have not yet started, now is the time to support her.