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Melissa Kaprelian, 44, is running against Nicholas Bonczkowski in the spring election on April 6, 2021, for the City of Racine District 5 Alder. To read more about other races, click here.

Where do you live? Racine

How long have you lived there? 20 years

Age? 44

Spouse or partner’s name? NA

If you have children, please include their ages 27,24,19, and 7

What is your current profession? Business Development Liaison

What position are you applying for? City of Racine 5th District Alder

What motivated you to seek out this seat? I was Racine’s 5th District Alderwoman from 2011-2014. I vacated the seat to serve on the Racine County Board. The reason for doing so, was to seek a better understanding of local and county government. With my now more well-rounded understanding, I can better serve this community that I am so deeply committed to.

Why do you think you are a good candidate for the job? As stated in the early question, I have accomplished years of serving for the county and the city, gaining a rich understanding on local government. I have been committed to this community through non-profit work, volunteerism, raising a family, and home ownership.

Name three things you would like to see change with how things are being done. Communication, community accessibility, and deepen the sense of humanity. The city has been adapting and changing to the times within the current means and understandings. Further assistance in broadening awareness in areas of communication with a commitment to enhanced transparency will be for the overall betterment of Racine. Improvement in areas of community accessibility can strengthen our areas where we are vulnerable, ultimately raising our bar of sustainability. Lastly, deepening the sense of humanity in our community. Our policies, resources, and services should not objectify individuals. Leading to build, help, and support each other needs to be modeled.

What resources would you need to have to accomplish that? The great thing about the three points of change that I mentioned in the earlier question, is that they are all achievable in short order. The resources and concepts are in place in neighboring communities and within us, by just prioritizing and committing.

What would success look like and how would you measure that success? There are many facets to look at, but all quantifiable. For instance, for community accessibility, an example, community health (currently monitored by the health department), internet access (recorded more so now because of remote learning/working), parking (e.g. review library metered parking), transportation services (in and out of the city) , etc… All are currently being tracked and measured for various purposes. Communication improvement can be as simple as opening verbal public comments for the Council meetings. There has been a torrent of frustration from the lack of the ability to be heard. Those numbers would go done with a few tweaks to our current practices.

How would you seek buy-in from either the community and/or your colleagues to accomplish those tasks? It takes a dedicated leader, who displays passion and understanding to motivate and encourage others to see the possibility of change and the benefit. Being cognizant of resources and navigation of the system brings forth trust that aides in developing a new understanding for other. I am confident at my abilities to carry out such leadership, as my past will show proof of.

What characteristics do you bring to the table to accomplish those tasks? I currently work where improvements are already in place in those areas. My drive, skill set, and understanding of the system will be able to see these changes through.


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