Photos Andy Calvert
Q1: What motivates you as a city commissioner?
What is important to me is seeing our city thrive and progress in a positive way. One of the main motivating factors for my seeking a position on the Rome City Commission is that I felt like the people were disconnected from city government. I feel like one of my primary missions as a city commissioner has been to invite people in, welcome them in to participation in our city government.
I’ve worked hard to do that, from encouraging the city to develop interactive tools like our MyRome app, which lets people report problems the city needs to fix, like potholes or things like that, and through making our meetings more accessible.
MyRome app for Android:
MyRome app for Apple:
Q2: What are your current projects and goals in this role?
This year has added many unexpected twists to our work as neighbors and community leaders, so I have worked to make our city responsive to our neighbors’ needs in these difficult times. I have been a proponent of us trying to make sure people understand the seriousness and difficulties this virus has presented to our community. We wanted to focus on facts and science. My key mission was to educate, provide trustworthy information and give people the details to make educated decisions in their lives.
I still have expansive visions for what our city can do. I’m very excited about redevelopment prospects in the River District and potentially in our city’s main commercial corridors. I am 100 percent in support of Mark Cochran’s enormous idea of creating a river walk and we’re working on ways to make that vision a reality.
Q3: What are you looking forward to in 2021?
In 2021, I’m hoping we can have a bit of a reset. Everything has changed and we want be back to where we were. The silver lining to this dreadful virus has been that people have had a chance to stop and think about what’s really important in life. I’m hopeful that 2021 will turn a corner and be more about togetherness, neighborliness and a sense of community.
What I hope we will see is the vision of the younger adults in our community; they get it. They know that we should be in this together and that it’s a multiracial, multigenerational world that we need to embrace. I want to follow their leadership in that regard. Rome needs to be a welcoming, warm city that thrives and grows with creativity and encourages entrepreneurship moving forward in a positive way.
Closing Thoughts: I talk to so many people from every demographic in our community, and in so many ways, everybody wants the same thing. They want a good life for their family. People want their kids to grow up here, maybe go off to college, but they want those kids to want to come back to Rome to raise their families. In a lot of ways, as a Berry girl, I never saw myself returning to Rome, and it’s the smartest decision I’ve ever made. I want that to be the obvious decision.
Rome is a great place to live. I want to make sure that there are job, economic, and housing opportunities to make Rome an obvious pick for Berry and Shorter students and the doctors who are here getting their training. I want Rome to be the kind of place that’s a magnet for people who want to know their neighbors and want to have that strong sense of community.