Nikylan has the right experience for right now.
Hear more from her in this video as she announces her campaign for Mayor of Maplewood, Missouri.
As Mayor, my primary goal is that every resident of Maplewood knows they belong in our community and every visitor knows they are welcome here. Our community members are an important voice in the progress of our city. Below are some of the goals I would like to use my personal and legal career experience to accomplish as Mayor.
I would work with city council members to create a Charter Commission, which would address outdated or inequitable articles. Councilwoman Crosley has experience working on a charter commission, and I believe it would be beneficial to utilize her knowledge to create a similar commission for Maplewood.
I would also work with council members to have our Charter Commission to adhere to the three questions asked by the Ferguson Commission when reviewing our ordinances:
Live streaming Council
Council meetings have seen a significant increase in participation since COVID-19 has forced Maplewood and so many others to reconsider how we do business. As we create our new normal, I will promise to ensure that this resource continues to be made available to all.
Coffee Talks with Nikylan
I want to hear from community members. Because of this, I would host virtual or socially distant coffee talks once a quarter.- I would work with city council members to create a Charter Commission, which would address outdated or inequitable articles. Councilwoman Crosley has experience working on a charter commission, and I believe it would be beneficial to utilize her knowledge to create a similar commission for Maplewood.
As Dr. King explained, a government’s budget is a moral document. As such, I believe community members should have a say in how their tax dollars should be spent and the process of creating the city’s budget continues to be open to the public. I would like to work with council members to conduct town halls and surveys in advance of the council’s budget discussions with the city manager, so we can learn what our community members need.
Boards and Commissions Process
I want to make permanent the process for Boards and Commissions. Our city has made some important changes to how residents are appointed to a board or commission, and from those changes we now know that many of our neighbors are interested in servicing on a board or commission. As Mayor, I will continue to diversify boards and commissions so that Maplewood is widely represented, and I will continue to sustain community interest in serving so that we always have a pipeline of potential members for a board or commission. I would also suggest former mayors serve on Boards and Commissions as ex officios members, so their knowledge and experience as public servants for our community can be utilized.
Community Engagement - As Mayor, I would commit to working with City councilpersons to host more regular town halls, where residents would have an opportunity to share their concerns and priorities and hold their government accountable.
Community Seminars - Some community members that own homes have questions about how to appeal their property assessments. Other community members that are renters have questions about their responsibilities and rights as a tenant. As Mayor, I would invite experts to our community to present on matters like these, so community members’ questions could be asked and answered.
Internet Access - COVID-19 has shown us how important internet access is, and how isolating it can be to not have it. I would like to explore the potential options to secure Maplewood-wide internet so that everyone who wants to can access the internet and all its resources and connectivity.
Public Playgrounds - I believe all children should have access to playground equipment. As Mayor, I would work with City councilpersons, our City manager, and the Maplewood Department of Public Works to seek grants and allocate funding to have playground equipment for children with disabilities installed at our Maplewood playgrounds.
Our small local businesses are an integral part of our community, and like many of us, they are suffering right now. As mayor, I will seek to work with Maplewood’s St. Louis County Council representative, Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, and the Mid-County Chamber of Commerce to find solutions and opportunities for our local businesses.
Free Grant Writing & Grants Writing Workshops: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our small business community in ways we have never experienced before. While we have seen tremendous resiliency, we also know many of our small businesses are in need of a lifeline. The American Rescue Plan Act will be enacted soon and will provide help through grants and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides forgivable loans. I do not want our small businesses to miss any federal funding that would help their doors remain open.
If elected mayor, I will work with the City Manager, the Department of Community Development, and the City Attorney to create the Maplewood Small Business Hub. The Hub will provide free grant writing services for Maplewood small businesses and provide a series of grant writing workshops offered by JFY Consulting, which will be free to Maplewood small businesses.
Housing affordability for Maplewoodians means residents (homeowners and renters) can afford to stay here, raise their family here, and age in place here without being priced out of their homes because of sky-rocketing property taxes. Our community has gone through an amazing revitalization, and I want to ensure we remain on that path while protecting residents who have made Maplewood what it is today.
Property tax rates are pushing people out of their homes. As Mayor, I would commit to working with County Government and other stakeholders to identify solutions to keep people in their homes and in Maplewood.
Rising rents are also pushing businesses and families out of Maplewood. We need both groups to be able to stay in Maplewood to keep our economic diversity flourishing.
Pedestrian Safety: The intersection at Big Bend and Manchester is not as safe as it should be for pedestrians. Because this intersection is an area under St. Louis County’s jurisdiction, as Mayor, I would work with the City manager, Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, and St. Louis County Department of Transportation to address safety issues for that intersection. Furthermore, many of our sidewalks are uneven, which causes pedestrians to trip and fall. As mayor, I would work with council members, the City manager and other staff to allocate funding to address infrastructure issues throughout Maplewood.
Traffic Calming: I’m increasingly concerned about the speed at which people are driving in Maplewood and how that affects pedestrians, especially our children and our elders. I would like to see closer coordination with our public works and transportation professionals so that we can identify solutions for some of our more dangerous streets.
Street Lights: During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have found walking around Maplewood during the evenings to be relaxing. I have also found that some of our streets in Maplewood are too dark. As Mayor, I would work with the City manager and other staff to aggressively pursue state, federal or other grant funding so that we can strategically place additional lighting throughout our City.