An auto manufacturer once ran ads that were considered gutsy because they said, “If you can find a better car, buy it!” I always thought that statement was more logical than gutsy, because if everything else were equal — price, color, options – why wouldn’t you buy the best car?
That kind of thinking applies in elections, too. Two of us are running to represent the 1st District on the Duluth City Council, and you should certainly vote for the one you think is best.
Everything is not equal in our case, though.
As I’ve knocked on doors the past few months, by far the biggest concern residents have is for the safety of their families. There have been too many break-ins or worse in the 1st District, and many of our neighbors say they’ve never felt so unsafe in their own homes.
When I mentioned this at the recent candidate forum hosted by the News Tribune and Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, my opponent dismissed those concerns and said statistics show crime is down. I suppose statistics can say many things, but they aren’t making families feel any safer.
If elected, I’ll advocate for more police on the streets, and I will always support properly protecting them. When the police department asked for permission to purchase protective gear last year, many Duluthians were stunned by the high-minded and dangerous positions taken by some city councilors in disputing the need. That kind of overstep has become a too-frequent occurrence on the City Council, and it’s something I’ll work to reverse.
We also shouldn’t be putting up roadblocks and increasing taxes that undermine the small businesses that employ so many Duluthians. The latest is the consideration of a nickel charge for a grocery bag and fining companies hundreds of dollars if they don’t comply. Is this really where we should be spending our energy?
I will also work to remind my council colleagues that we’re there to focus on Duluth and on Duluthians. That’s our job! We should not be passing resolutions about activities half a world away or condemning private businesses in other cities and states. A term that comes from fishing, something my husband and I love to do, applies here as well: Watch your own bobber.
We moved to the 1st District 18 years ago and raised five wonderful kids here. Four of them are now out of the house and have moved away. Like most parents, we hope they can find good jobs to return here. I’ll work to provide a better environment for businesses to operate and create jobs, hopefully helping to bring everyone’s kids back who want to return.
My campaign theme is “Families First. And Second” because, really, what’s more important than that? We can make Duluth the safest, most-affordable, and opportunity-filled place for all families, but it requires changing how the City Council approaches things.
I’d be honored to help make those changes, and I’d appreciate your vote on Nov. 5.
Becky Hall is a candidate to represent eastern Duluth’s District 1 on the Duluth City Council. She wrote this at the request of the News Tribune Opinion page. Election Day is Nov. 5.