Big vision fuels mayoral run
In those crucial moments, I did not know if I would survive. I was eventually rescued. That was my “ah-ha” moment.
Beyond my family and the military, I asked, “What am I doing to give back?” If my life had ended that day, had I made a difference? Since then, I have chosen to live a life with purpose and meaning by giving back to my community.
Yes, I am the volunteer president of the Children’s Museum of Cheyenne board, and we are going to ask the citizens if they would like to invest in Laramie County’s children and our future through a quarter-cent, temporary, four-year sales tax.
This will be combined with the $3 million of private money already raised to help fund the Children’s Museum and a community performing arts space, fill “the hole” and revitalize our downtown. Our downtown is struggling. Destinations like this have been shown to help revitalize downtowns in communities across the country.
I am also executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. There is synergy between the efforts of CMC and the DDA. Both are dedicated to safety, fixing blight and offering a downtown destination.
Through my experiences as a small business owner, the military and CMC, I recognized weaknesses in the DDA organization. I knew I could help strengthen the organization by stabilizing internal policy, securing future funding, and establishing and then implementing strategic plans to move the downtown forward. In this last year, these items have been achieved, and we continue to move forward.
If elected your mayor, I will oversee the board of directors that governs the DDA. I will no longer be the executive director. I will also resign my position as president of the Children’s Museum. We have committed board members already assuming greater leadership roles to ensure the museum effort will continue.
My experiences have also helped me recognize weaknesses within city government that I know I can help strengthen. These areas include economic development, the budget, organization, and the health, wellness and safety of our community.
I have many ideas to move our community forward. Twelve of these ideas are outlined in my action plan on my website (www.surdamfor
mayor.com). I am actively implementing some of these ideas now because as a private citizen I want to make a positive difference in our community every day.
I have a big vision for our community: to create a positive place for families, residents and visitors. I outline what this looks like in my action plan.
I am a proponent for and support many community endeavors with zeal and personal investment: the military and military relations; health and wellness, to include accessible health care, a community culture of health and emergency responders; our workforce; private development; affordable housing; amenities; and small business owners. I want success in all of these areas and additional areas.
I want our community to adopt a culture of moving forward, a “we can” mentality and achieving what seems impossible. I will continue to focus on areas that I feel are vital to our future.
My personal agenda is giving back to my country and community at the highest level. I have talents and a desire to share these with you, my beloved community. I am committed to bettering the lives of all who call Cheyenne home.
Amy Surdam is a candidate for Cheyenne mayor. This op-ed is her rebuttal to the WTE’s recommendation editorial published Sunday, July 17.