Neighbors often express their concern about crime and violence when I am knocking doors in the district. As a licensed clinical social worker, I have experience working with trauma and understand that interrupting cycles of trauma that create destructive or violent behavior is essential to turning this tide. Addressing the underlying causes of crime and violence means providing consistent funding for violence prevention efforts, consistent funding for diversion programs and consistent funding for mental healthcare services, which over time can truly make a difference in people’s lives. We need to reduce gun violence by removing assault weapons and illegal guns from our streets. I will work to cosponsor legislation designed to enforce responsible gun ownership practices. We can make a real difference in gun violence by increasing the length of time of restrictions for people who violate our red-flag laws, especially in cases of gender based violence. I’ll work to increase and improve alternative models of crisis intervention, like mental health teams responding to mental health crises to de-escalate conflict. This model directs police to focus on solving and fighting crime. We must reform our prison system to de-emphasize our current model of punitive jailing and run tested re-entry programs that reduce recidivism and improve economic outlooks of people in our community. I won’t participate in calls to increase a surveillance state, re-harden police responses or engage in more mandatory minimum sentencing laws - these are all ideas motivated by fear that impact crime rates far less than anti-recidivism programs and healthy local economies. We all contribute to keeping our communities safe when we have communities that we value, love, and belong to - we need to make sure that our fear doesn’t lead us into temporary relief and a hardening of systemic problems into further suffering and chaos.