We Need Leaders With Courage
View the original op-ed on the RGJ website here.
Let me tell you a story about the last time our region was struggling to recover from economic hardship. In 2013, during the Great Recession, our County Commission had the opportunity to create badly needed jobs and renovate existing schools. The small, targeted tax increase they considered was supported by both business and labor groups, and by both Democrats and Republicans. This was when construction workers had the highest unemployment of any industry, and we had no money for school repairs. But the incumbent county commissioner for District 1, my opponent in this election, didn’t support it, so it didn’t happen.
We, the voters, eventually fixed this problem ourselves by passing a ballot question in 2016. My opponent’s lack of political spine set us back three years. That’s three more years that students had to spend in classrooms that were literally falling apart. That’s three years without vital construction jobs. She could have shown some leadership and done the right thing, but she didn’t.
Now, in 2020, we again face a steep climb to recovery. We can’t wait three years for solutions. We need leaders who will fight for jobs, for schools, and for our community’s health and well-being. We need leaders who aren’t afraid to make the tough decisions. That’s why I’m running for Washoe County commissioner.
I believe the key to tackling all of our community’s issues is bringing people together, which I’ve been doing my whole career. I’ve worked in the private sector and ran a nonprofit for children with special needs, and I’ve also spent years in public service — most recently at the City of Reno, where I oversaw events, arts and other projects that benefited small businesses and our entire community. During the pandemic, I found creative solutions like closing streets and creating sidewalk extensions for local restaurants to operate. I helped secure special federal funding for local nonprofits, and I also helped critical neighborhood improvement projects continue to move forward, projects that will support small businesses and quality of life.
Recovering from this pandemic will take a lot of work. I won’t be afraid to make the hard decisions to support everyone in our community. I look forward to you holding me accountable to this — that’s why I’ve been leaving cards with my personal contact info at every door in our district.
I have a vision for this community that I grew up in, went to school in, and have worked in for decades. I want to see Washoe County become a regional leader and promote sustainable growth, and for citizens to be supported by an accountable, forward-thinking government that serves us all. You can see much more about these goals and plans to get us there at my website, votealexishill.com. I hope to earn your support, and I look forward to serving you.