Hello Reno! First and foremost, thank you so much for the enthusiastic support you have given me this past week since I announced my candidacy for Reno Mayor 2018. I had no idea that the Reno Mayor 2018 campaign would get so much attention and so quickly. The response that I am hearing is very positive, and I am starting out very optimistic.
My first steps in running for Mayor of Reno in the 2018 is meeting with influential leaders in our community. These meetings have begun. I need to know what challenges everyone is dealing with. Whether it is a new business challenged with finding an affordable office to rent, fundraising shortfalls for a non-profit, or even just an existing business struggling with finding enough parking for the customers, I want to know your struggles and do research. As a marketer, I know and value research. Research is how I build marketing plans. This is exactly how I want to work for the citizens of Reno as your Mayor: research to find problems, problems addressed by a plan, plans designed with measurable goals, action, accountability and reporting.
Today, I want to share three big ideas that I have. As I am meeting with people, I am asking for community feedback to validate or eliminate these ideas.
IDEA #1: So what is happening down at City Hall today? Do you know? I don't. The people who I am talking to don't. I even watch all the City Council Meetings and read the minutes. I attended the State of the City and also didn't hear a vision or plan. Well, idea #1 is to have a Mayor who holds regular press conferences and briefings. At minimum, once a month. The Mayor needs to be accessible and vocal. The mayor needs to communicate a clear vision and report on progress.
IDEA #2: Remember when we as a city used to build great things? We built a train trench, a baseball stadium, we improved downtown sidewalks, built new convention centers, made a City Plaza, etc.. I think that Reno always needs to have a big forward-thinking project in the works. Plan now, save and budget, and implement when its time.
It has been talked about before, but I would like to reignite an interest in a Reno Light Rail system that connects UNR to Plumb Lane via Virginia Street. Free to ride. 10-15 minutes round trip. In my experience, I would model it after the one in downtown Denver. This would help connect the city's commercial areas, it would be easier for tourists to get around, it would help with parking issues for businesses in Midtown and Downtown, it would help students of UNR get around, and would help workers commute. The rail would stop every one to two blocks. Additionally, downtown on Virginia Street (from 2nd to 5th Street) could become a walking mall. Vehicles could pass East to West, and the reverse, but would take Center or Sierra for North to South. Light Rails are also inexpensive compared to other options. There are a lot of logistics here that engineers and transit experts could work out, but I think this is an idea we should at least seriously explore.
IDEA #3: One of the few things that is working well for Reno today is the arts, events and culture. These things are great for residents and for tourists. I want to double the city's budget for arts, events and culture. And to be specific, not just art. Events are included in this. The big events that fill hotel rooms. I want to see more events spread out all around town, from down south by Galena, to the Northwest by Somerset. Double the city's budget, increase the staff, and make a push for new events, arts, films, and celebrations of culture and diversity.