BRYAN LINDSTROM: What a teacher’s voice brings to Aurora’s City Council

This election season, many voters have identified education as a top priority. I am the only city council candidate who has the classroom experience, the educational background, and the relationships with the school districts to actually make the impact our city deserves.

My name is Bryan Lindstrom. I am a social studies teacher in Aurora Public Schools and am running for city council, Ward 6, which represents Southeast Aurora. I am running for city council because I’ve seen first-hand how challenges like housing insecurity impact our kids and their families–and how those challenges are on the rise.

As teachers, we see our former students and many of our colleagues still living with their parents or have their elderly parents living with them. The rising cost of living is keeping our young people from going off on their own and it is pricing our elderly neighbors who are on fixed incomes out of their homes.

As teachers, we see how hunger, poor sleep, and stress make learning harder. We see the ways innovative lesson plans can help–but also, how they can be a limited tool.  We cannot meet our students’ needs when parents are working two or three jobs just to get by, or when they are one illness away from bankruptcy or homelessness. We need to tackle our problems from the root.

As teachers, we see how gun violence and the rise in suicide are impacting our students, their families, and our educators. We sit in our classrooms with our students while they are in lockdown several times a year. We see the terror in some and the numbness in others. Suicide is now the leading cause of death for 10-14 year olds, so most of us have also experienced suicide or the threat of suicide from our students. We know firsthand how important it is to create common sense solutions to these rising issues.

As your city councilmember, I will work with you to tackle those problems–from our skyrocketing cost of living, to the challenges of securing funds for home and business ownership, as well as our rising neighborhood and school needs.

We can reduce gun theft and teen suicide by requiring our gun owners to be responsible by having gun locking mechanisms like trigger locks, gun locks, or quick safes. This will allow our gun owners to access them when they need or want them but ensure their children or thieves cannot.

We can rein in the cost of living by advancing city-driven development instead of letting developers run the show, and use community land trusts to improve affordability for our first time homebuyers and those on fixed incomes.

We can establish a municipal bank that will make it easier for Aurorans to secure small business and first-time home loans, and build community partnerships to help them stay successful. This model has a proven track record in places like North Dakota to allow lower interest rates to borrowers while being a revenue stream. When the recession hit in 2008 and all other states were struggling, North Dakota saw growth because they were able to insulate their community and continue to operate as normal.

We can launch public enterprises to increase our city’s revenue without raising our taxes, to fund our roads and city services without burdening our residents. And I will use the partnerships I’ve built with our school districts, school board, and teachers to make community schools — a model proven to improve kids’ health, nutrition, and learning outcomes — a reality for our city.

We all care about education, our teachers, and our students, but I am the only candidate this election season who has earned the endorsements of the Aurora Education Association, the Cherry Creek Education Association, and the Colorado Education Association.

I am the first Aurora municipal candidate ever to receive these endorsements, and I am so proud to have the support of our educators, who work courageously daily to create communities that thrive. Educators know how much everything that happens outside the classroom impacts what happens in the classroom, and that is why they are supporting me in the race. They know how hard I will work to tackle these and other important issues.

I’m Bryan Lindstrom. I’m proud to be a teacher, and I hope to earn your vote this Nov. 5f.

Bryan Lindstrom is a candidate for Aurora City Council Ward 6.