Race: Orem City Council

Email: nichellejensen@gmail.com

Websitehttps://nichellejensen4orem.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/nichellejensen4orem

Age: 36 

Occupation: Creative Director/Event Planner

What are the biggest issues facing your city and how do you plan to address them?

1. Sustainability and environmental stewardship: I’d like to address by first implementing the already approved active transportation plan. I think addressing this will have the greatest effect on our rising traffic levels. I want to go after FTA grants for subsidized rideshare pilot programs for transit connections, generate plans for better bike lanes and pedestrian bridges, and implement more traffic calming spots to accompany heavily biked routes. I want to fast track the already approved State Street Master Plan for a more walkable and bikeable downtown by reallocating other funds that may no longer be serving us. I want to create more bikeable and walkable arteries such as Center Street and 800 North. Increasing Orem's walkability not only decreases our environmental footprint, but it increases it's appeal as a desirable location to live and in turn increases property values. 2. Affordable housing and high-density housing: We need more nuanced answers. They might be site-specific, but we need them in order to build a better city. I’m in favor of incremental and moderate increases to density in the places that are not already sufficiently dense, broad sweeping mixed zoning. Every new high density development needs an accompanying transportation and parking plan, mitigation of impact, and ideally multi-use tenants to reduce commuting as much as possible. 3. Unity in Orem: My vision for Orem is one of unity. While we have Orem families with Orem pioneer pedigrees, we also have transplants, immigrants, refugees, homeless, young professionals, students, and so many other groups of people. I’d like to move away from the idea that we are a homogenous community and focus on celebrating our unity as a diverse community. I look forward to listening to all voices, hearing out all sides, and empathetically making decisions for all Orem residents.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I'm a relatively young woman and working mother of young children so I think my perspective is missing representation in the Orem City Council. I frequent our library, our parks, our splash pads, our hiking and biking trails, and I have an elementary age child in our neighborhood schools. My stage in life represents a large chunk of the population of Orem and I'm motivated to represent our voices. Also, my dad is from Mexico and my mom is hispanic so that I'm the darkest candidate sets me apart:)

I'm not an Orem native, and I think that helps me to think outside the box when it comes to solutions for the city. I have lived in Orem for 3 years with my husband and young children and I have grown to love this city.

What relevant experience do you have for this position?

My events background has given me such great experience listening to people when they're frustrated. I've executed countless events ranging from 3,000 to 10 attendees and while the objective is always that every attendee has a good experience with the event, many don't. And in that case, the objective is to hear out and empathize with each person's individual negative experience. That completely transfers to the City Council member and resident relationship. My objective as a member of City Council would be that Orem residents have a good experience with the city, and when they don't, my objective is to hear them out in empathy. Also, my experience as the first event planner at University Place gave way to my love for this city. In that role I created many of the community events that are now ongoing staples at University Place and I was able to deep dive into so many community partnerships and relationships right out of the gate. I learned so much SO QUICKLY about Orem by being a part of and creating those events for the community and I got to spend countless hours with Orem residents talking to them one on one about their hopes and frustrations.

What previous elected positions have you held?

None!

Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you?

I would love people to know that I am full of kindness and empathy and I operate from love and wanting to lift up the community. I care deeply about every individual in our city and want to hear from all sides before making the best decision I can make from love. I am seriously passionate about unity and solutions and I hope to prove that to my city.