Huntsville is rapidly growing, and we need to make sure our infrastructure matches this growth. We need to make intentional investments to maintain the roads, public parking, sidewalks, bike lanes, greenways, and flood mitigation infrastructure we already use.
We also need to plan for the future, and we need to expand our road capacity, increase our flood mitigation abilities, and create a public parking system that is easy to use and works for everyone.
Our utility infrastructure also needs regular maintenance and investment, so every person living and working in Huntsville has access to a high-quality product.
Our public safety division must grow along with Huntsville, too.
When you call 9-1-1, you expect help to come quickly. Huntsville's first responders answer calls for help 24/7, and we owe them the training and equipment necessary to support the people of Huntsville.
Huntsville's first responders also need the right equipment to support our community. Mark knows the life-saving equipment used by our police officers and firefighters must be well-maintained and regularly replaced to protect first responders and the people of Huntsville.
Some Huntsville Police Department officers have crisis intervention training, which helps first responders better support people experiencing mental or behavioral health crises. All Huntsville public safety employees should have the opportunity to take crisis intervention training.
The Huntsville community looks out for its people. Existing public, private, and non-profit programs help our neighbors who may be experiencing homelessness, struggling with addiction, or experiencing mental or behavioral health challenges.
First Stop and His Way are incredibly successful, and we should reinforce programs like these so they can continue to help citizens in need. These programs can help people long before first responders are needed and help reduce the workload of our overloaded first responders.
Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic continues to hurt our community, and first responders respond and support during emergencies. Huntsville's police and fire departments need specific equipment to protect themselves and help others on their most difficult days. We must make sure our first responders have the equipment they need.
We need to continue to support our friends and neighbors by meeting them where they are and helping them prepare for tomorrow.
Huntsville businesses cannot grow without a strong, local workforce. As a small business owner, Mark understands how difficult it can be to hire employees.
Our local workforce needs to grow at the same rate companies are moving to Huntsville. Businesses cannot sustain growth without people, and we need to meet this need.
Our local trade schools, community colleges, and universities also play an important role in educating our workforce and attracting great companies to Huntsville. Partnerships between schools and local businesses help students learn and provide businesses with a skilled workforce.
Our schools are educating the next generation of local and national leaders. Students need the best facilities and teachers in the state of Alabama.
Huntsville has built beautiful new schools around the city, but many of our students still attend class in older buildings. We should offer every student a state-of-the-art learning experience.
Our teachers spend hundreds of hours every year teaching our children. We need to attract the best teachers available to the Huntsville City School System by giving them the tools they need to teach our children according to the standards set by our local school board and the state of Alabama.
We care about our students and the future of Huntsville. Now is the time to show how much we care by investing in our schools.