My priorities are planned expansion and sensible growth. Expansion to the west with planned and manageable infrastructure development is key to attracting business and industry, which creates a diverse job market and offers the opportunity for more families to earn living wages. We need to work with builders and developers to ensure that we aren’t impeding growth while at the same time, letting them know that we won’t sacrifice public safety for the sake of growing the city. We need to keep expansion plans in line with infrastructure development as well as maintaining the current infrastructure. If we can demonstrate to the public that expansion and infrastructure development won’t become financially burdensome, we will be able to make significant and meaningful changes. This definitely requires us to work diligently to balance the tax funds that the public has entrusted us to spend with the needs of expansion.

Public safety: The community needs to feel safe by all means possible. We need to address the increasing number of inebriates and panhandlers in our community. Exploring all available programs for these members of our community, helping them get off the street and offering assistance where needed is key in improving our city.

Fostering community volunteerism and stewardship: Community involvement in task forces and planning boards is instrumental in fostering civic pride and a sense of stewardship among citizens. Greater involvement will enhance the public’s understanding of city government functions and duties.

I am capable of leading the city to address these issues because of some of my life experiences. I am a small business owner and mother of three hungry boys, and I have had to learn to live within my means. I understand that Billings functions on tax revenue, but like most of the residents in Billings, we need to live within our means. I am neither old nor young and I am female. The council needs to have a balance. I am a young woman of Spanish heritage; that alone sets me apart from my opponents. Unlike a few of my opponents, I am not running on a single issue, I am focused on long-range and managed planning for Billings. And with these ideas and concepts in mind, I feel that I am capable of leading the city to address these priorities.

Nadja Brown is a candidate for Ward 3 in the Sept. 12 Billings Primary Election.