Racine County Eye asked candidates to fill out a questionnaire so that our readers could learn more about them. These are Natalia Taft’s answers.
Natalia Taft, PhD
What position are you seeking?
Alderwoman, 13th District, City of Racine
How long have you lived in Racine?
Over 10 years
Associate Professor of Biology
If you have served as an elected official before, what positions did you hold and how long did you hold them? If you haven’t held an elected position, what civic or church organizations have you been part of?
I serve as Alder of the 13th District of the City of Racine, Chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee and Wastewater Commission.
The police budget represents a large portion of the city’s budget and the police union has been without a contract for over two years. Since then, the police department is down more than 30 police officers and many are leaving mid-career because of the potential loss of benefits. How would you correct that issue?
As Chair of Finance and Personnel, I have voted for 12% raises and additional benefits for public safety workers, including retention bonuses and homeowner incentives. We are working toward a swift resolution of the bargaining process.
What motivated you to seek office?
My mother-in-law’s legacy of service, and my church community — who inspire us all to work together
If elected, name three priorities you would want to focus on during your term.
Continuing our comprehensive public safety plan including supporting public safety workers, community-based violence reduction, and investing in youth. Policies promoting long-term fiscal and environmental sustainability. Encouraging new development and expanding housing options.
Public safety, reducing violence and addressing mental health issues have been three dominant concerns in Racine. How would you improve the situation? (250 words or less)
We launched the Violent Crime Reduction Initiative, which shares information and resources in an unprecedented way among municipalities and RUSD. We invested in technology and data to analyze crime patterns, as well as illegal guns and vehicles. We’ve approved over $500,000 in community-based violence reduction programs for youth. We invested federal funds to cover the cost of mental health services for RUSD students, and hope to continue mental health services in our new community clinic.
Why should people elect Natalia Taft?
I have been part of critical initiatives to help improve access to education, employment, affordable housing, and home improvement. I support local businesses, our historic levels of new development, a new community health clinic, environmental sustainability, and LGBT+ and reproductive rights.
Racine County 2023 Elections Guide
To learn more about the upcoming election, read the Racine County Election Guide: Spring 2023.
Natalia Taft’s answers have not been modified in any way.
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