As the President of the Rapid City Common Council, part of my job is to uphold the mission, vision, and values of this city.

We all want to see Rapid City as a vibrant community where all citizens can prosper and enjoy our quality of life. Our mission is simple – to serve Rapid City with integrity and excellence. And our values are sevenfold:

  • A Balanced Pattern of Growth
  • A Vibrant, Livable Community
  • A Safe, Healthy, Inclusive, and Skilled Community
  • Efficient Transportation and Infrastructure Systems
  • Economic Stability and Growth
  • Outstanding Recreational and Cultural Opportunities
  • Responsive, Accessible, and Effective Governance

As any city government will attest, there are unmistakable challenges involved with the mediation, creation and implementation of solutions to various citizens’ needs and desires. There are differences of opinion, lines drawn in the sand between opposing ideologies, with respectful words and ideas exchanged. We cannot easily accommodate every need or understand every single situation that our citizens, business owners, family members, and passionate community members experience. And yet, there is an underlying ingredient of integrity that we are meant to uphold.

It is in this vein, and with our vision, mission, values and my oath in mind, that I am able to easily affirm that Black Lives Matter, Indigenous Lives Matter, and human beings are worthy of community, compassion and value. I matter. You matter.

Together, in community, we desire to create a space where life is valued. That value is communicated through our compassionate educators and social workers, a vibrant arts and non-profit community, and the only accredited Police Department in the State of South Dakota. When we say that lives matter, in Rapid City, we don’t just use words – we are solidly dedicated to the pursuit of proving exactly that – with interest in empathy, justice, and collaboration.

I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and courage of the people seeking to hold our systems to accountability. I understand that many have shown up in support and encouragement of the good men and women who serve in the Rapid City Police Department. I believe that together, with transparency and commitment to continued pursuit of justice, vision, and mission, we can achieve a more perfect City, right here.

Thank you for caring about Rapid City. I am grateful for your letters and your passion. I hear your voices and am receptive to your proposals for actions, steps and solutions. We are working together to collaborate the many ideas that have been presented. We encourage patience and grace as we take the time to address concerns, experiences, and listen to voices that deserve to be heard.

No elected official is perfect. Leadership is often honed under fire while eyes are on you. I don’t pretend to get it right every time; but I do continue to commit to listening, leading, and learning alongside this incredible Rapid City community I’ve been given the chance to live in and serve.