Gina Naomi Dennis
City Council District 6
Enhance Public Health
1) Dirty Needles Are Everywhere; Let’s Address The Underlying Issue Of Addiction.
There’s a lot of addiction to opioids, including heroin. Dirty needles are everywhere, in our parks, our school playgrounds, and our alleys, making our children, our families, and our neighbors vulnerable to diseases and other harm. With public input from our 17 neighborhoods and our treatment-service providers, let’s get people sober so that we reduce the need to use needles. When we get people off the drugs, we reduce the presence of dirty needles.
2) Let’s Support People With Disabilities And Let’s Comply With The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Right now, there’s a lot of non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in our District. That means City infrastructure, sidewalks, bus stops, parking spaces, and public spaces are often not in compliance with the ADA. Let’s work with our ADA-disability advisors and our safety specialists to support people with disabilities and get into full compliance with the ADA.
3) There’s A Surge In The Urban Raccoon Population; Let’s Use Best Practices For Management.
There are 2 kinds of raccoons: wild raccoons and urban raccoons. In our District, we have urban raccoons. The urban raccoon population has increased substantially, making it harder to minimize encounters and conflicts with humans and domestic animals. In the last 3 years, the situation has become worse. We are seeking a community-based solution to this problem that carefully balances the interests of those who’ve been traumatized and those who avidly protect all animals. We will convene public input from our 17 neighborhoods and a panel of experts, including our City’s urban biologist, wildlife biologists, and public health specialists. Domestic animals are vulnerable; domestic animal protection is important. People have been bitten and attacked by raccoons, which is a threat of rabies transmission. Treatment is mandatory when someone is bitten. When there is rabies transmission, it’s 100 percent fatal if not treated; National Geographic provides rabies information in the link here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/09/massive-effort-eradicate-raccoon-rabies/. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that raccoon-fertility control, that only impacts raccoon-fertility, can be a solution to control the population of urban raccoons and to control rabies. The electronic link to the NIH article is provided here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5354248/. Fertility control lowers the urban raccoon population to a safe and healthy human-wildlife level. This is not eradication. This is a safety standard so that humans and domestic animals don’t have to consistently encounter harmful circumstances. We need a balanced eco-system and best practices for management.