Vision for Frederick

This is a list of position papers Katie is writing and reviewing with City of Frederick residents. Position papers are used to tie vision to SMART goals and action plans. If you would like to join a review team on any one of these topics, email Katie at [email protected]. Feedback is always welcomed! 

Writing Stages: 

  1. Ideas for position papers are provided via resident feedback. A list of position papers in draft now are below with links. Position papers are either in queue (waiting to be drafted), in draft, in review, or published with a corresponding version number. 
  2. When a position paper is in queue, we are still gathering our research and meeting with residents and subject matter experts about the topic. This is a great time to send ideas or your thoughts about the topic as well as any helpful articles or additional resources that will help Katie create the best possible position on the topic. 
  3. When a position paper is in draft, Katie is actively writing the paper. Generally each paper requires 10-15 hours to write, depending on the topic, after the research has been conducted. Katie balances writing with outreach to residents and the work she does to work on resident concerns. 
  4. When a paper goes to the review stage, Katie sends the document out to a review team of subject matter experts who provide feedback. This process typically takes 10 days from the time Katie sends out the paper, to the time feedback is collected and the position paper is edited as appropriate.
  5. After the document is reviewed by the review team, edits are incorporated, Katie does one last review prior to publishing the paper. A date and version number are assigned to each paper. Earlier versions are available by emailing Katie at 
  6. Katie uses these position papers to drive her agenda, her overall “to-do” list and they are periodically revised as the subject changes and things get done. When elected, Katie will use this format to report progress to residents. 

Current Papers

  1. The City of Frederick as a Convener (Published)
  2. NACs 1-12: A Report (in draft)
  3. Protecting Communities and Actively Participating in Criminal Justice Reform (in queue)
  4. The City of Frederick: A Disabled-Accessible City (in queue)
  5. LGBTQ+: Allyship Brainstorming and Action Plans (Published)
  6. Dismantling Systems of Oppression (Published)
  7. Latino and Immigration Advocacy (in queue)
  8. Resident Engagement: NACs, Elections, and Resident Input (in review)
  9. Community Design, a Neighborhood-Centered Approach: Historic Preservation, Revitalization, and Public Art (Published)
  10. Land Use, Planning, and Transparency in Government to Empower Residents (in review)
  11. Protecting and Encouraging Art in the City of Frederick (in queue)
  12. Transportation: A Multi-Modal Approach (in queue)
  13. Pedestrian, Cyclist, and Motorist Safety: Vision Zero (Published)
  14. Health Outcomes (in queue)
  15. Environmental Justice (in queue)
  16. Parks and Recreation (in queue)
  17. The Greatest Among Us: Loving Our Senior Residents (Published)
  18. COVID Recovery: An Opportunity for Partnership (in queue)
  19. Veterans Who Call City of Frederick Home (in queue)
  20. Equity Building: Anti-Poverty Measures and Policies Focused On ALICE Families (in queue)
  21. Ending Homelessness (in queue)
  22. Entrepreneurship: Opportunity Zones, Creativity, and Clearing Barriers (in draft)
  23. Ideas for Economic Development (in draft)
  24. Education: Reimagining the City’s Role (Published)
  25. 21st Century Schools In Frederick: Pilot Proposals for Hillcrest and Waverley Elementary Schools (in draft)
  26. Ending Property Vacancy (in draft)
  27. Tax Equity: Advocating Relentlessly for City Residents (in queue)
  28. Sustainability (in draft)
  29. Climate Change Resilience (in queue)


The Livable Frederick Community Vision: Adoption and Action

The creation of The Livable Frederick Master Plan is a long-lasting accomplishment of Frederick County government. Under the leadership of County Executive Jan Gardner, volunteers and staff worked in a multi-year process and in fact, this document is referenced in the City of Frederick’s new 2020 Comprehensive Plan that takes effect October 1, 2021. 

Campaign platforms are often characterized with phrases and a few quick bullets. This is understandable - when I call voters or knock on doors, I have only a few seconds to convey who I am, that I’m running for Alderman, and that there is an election approaching. Yet, it is crucial that I take the time to explain what I believe and why- as well as what I want to do when elected. Throughout the campaign I have heard from residents how much they love our City and their ideas on how we can improve. Their feedback guides me. We also have a host of reports, studies, and planning documents such as the aforementioned master plans that provide us with community-based vision as well as recommendations from talented experts. We now need to act.

I am running for Alderman because I want to work to create a better City of Frederick. 

I see the big picture and how the day to day actions we take (or don’t take) contribute to our shared community vision. I value the plans, studies, and reports that should guide our decision-making. I want to advocate for our actions to achieve community, health, economic, and environment outcomes for residents now and twenty years from now. No matter what, we can always improve - we have to try! 

To frame my goals and ideas for how we achieve outcomes, the vision within Livable Frederick County provides the platform to spring into action. This vision was created after an extensive public process, including the Livable Frederick Vision Survey that benefitted from a large percentage of City of Frederick respondents. The survey asked for input about desired life in Frederick County in 2040. The resulting vision for 2040 comprises four core components: community, health, economy, and environment.

My position papers that correspond to this vision are noted in footnotes and will be linked at Every paper will include three main points, corresponding research and my perspective from my experiences, a simplified position statement, and related time-oriented action items to accomplish in partnership with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The text below in blue/different font is the Livable Frederick Community Vision (not my language); the footnotes are added to specify my related position papers available or to be made available at or by emailing [email protected]    

Our Community in the year 2040...

Our Livable Frederick is a place and a community that offers the freedom and the equity of opportunity necessary for everyone who lives and works here to prosper and thrive throughout their lives.

We are a diverse community of healthy, self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

We are a connected community. Cooperation and communication exists among the many interest groups in Frederick County. We work collaboratively to ensure that fairness and equity are interwoven in providing for the housing, services, health, safety and livelihood needs of all citizens and groups.

Frederick County is a safe place to live, work, and play. Our law enforcement agencies protect and serve us honorably, fairly, and ethically, and are appreciated by the public. Crime levels are consistently low and people feel safe as they conduct their daily lives. Active living is fostered by easy access to places to be physically active and by a built environment that promotes safe travel by walking, bicycling and non-motorized means of travel.

This is a place where different people from all backgrounds live, work and play together. It is a place where all citizens have a voice and no one is left out. There is no cultural or racial hatred or prejudice – Frederick County is a community of inclusion. Under-represented communities are fully engaged partners.

The people of Frederick are well informed, highly motivated to speak up for themselves and feel comfortable doing so. Interested, engaged citizens collaborate with government and community organizations to make their desires known and to solve problems. All people in Frederick County fully participate in public decision-making.

The county’s many distinct places - rural villages and towns, cities and their suburbs, historic neighborhoods, farms, mountains and rivers – each contribute to the vitality and identity of this community and provide value to our lives. 

Neighborhoods, whether rural or urban, have a unique sense of place and support active living. 

We have a livable built environment where all of its elements, including land use, transportation, housing, energy, and infrastructure, work together to provide sustainable green places for living, working, learning and recreation, with a high quality of life. 

We ensure that our children learn our local history and heritage to give them a sense of pride in our community.

The county has a comprehensive master plan that balances growth and shapes the locations of businesses and homes. As development occurs, the support structures for transportation, parks, water supply, sewage, schools, and public buildings are in place. Planning is a collaborative endeavor with the community, developers and builders combining expertise and experience to meet the needs of the community in a way that results in predictable and profitable growth and makes Frederick truly livable for all.

Frederick County has meaningful and affordable housing choices for everyone - all income levels, all classes, while offering older adults with affordable housing and supportive services. Housing, both rural and urban, is focused toward existing activity centers, towns and villages and is in close proximity to shopping, schools and other town activities. Reuse of existing structures and neighborhoods is emphasized. 

Communities are aesthetically pleasing, with quality housing options including a balance of mixed use and single family units with a focus on green, solar, and sustainable alternative energy features. The environments in which we live, work, learn, play and age are built to support good health and active living.

The arts are critical to our healthy, prosperous society. Access to substantive arts and cultural experiences enriches the quality of life for both residents of and visitors.

The transportation systems of today have made automotive gridlock a thing of the past. We now have a varied, balanced, and complete multimodal approach composed of driving, transit, walking, and biking. It has taken on a new form; one that is not limited to those who can drive or can afford a car, but that is open and easily accessible to every person and supports active living. All residents have easy access to the private and public sector amenities and services. There are many well-maintained parks connecting Frederick City and Frederick County that cater to the different needs of citizens. Regional connectivity now flows in both directions, providing the inflow of workers and consumers that support Frederick’s strengthened role as a regional hub of jobs and goods.

Our Health in the year 2040...

Frederick County has it all: beauty, prosperity, convenience, sustainability, and safety. It continues to offer a small town feel with 21st century, urban opportunity. We are a model for other communities.

All people in Frederick County fully participate in public decision-making and underrepresented communities are fully engaged partners.

We understand that our community is more productive, resilient, and successful when the physical and mental health of all of our residents is optimal. There is availability and access to high quality and affordable physical, mental, and dental health care and to prescription medication for all in need. Our community has access to state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics that attract top health professionals with a variety of specialties, especially geriatric and behavioral health specialists. Medical professionals choose to live and work here because our people take responsibility for maximizing their health and fitness for their whole lifetime. 

Public health needs are recognized and all people have equal access to the opportunities necessary to be healthy and have a good quality of life. Healthy eating is made possible by access to healthy, affordable food. Active living is fostered by easy access to places to be physically active and by a built environment that promotes safe travel by walking and bicycling. There is access for everyone to affordable health care and health insurance, safe neighborhoods, a healthy natural environment that reflects the practice of environmental justice, and efficient public transit.

Healthy lifestyles and healthy responses to adverse life events are promoted from an early age. Environmental hazards, including toxins, pollutants and ambient environmental stress, have been identified, mitigated, or eliminated.

Our children and youth have quality opportunities and experiences for their healthy development. They have many options for quality outreach programs, activities and entertainment that are open and available to them all. 

We foster healthy food retail environments that encourage the purchase and consumption of fruits, vegetables, water, and other nutritious products in our schools and our communities.

Our County has ample, modern, universally designed recreation facilities and parks for our residents. Our libraries serve as platforms to maintain and grow cultural curiosity and tolerance.

In unprecedented numbers, we are living longer with a level of energy and good health. The value of this emerging elder sector of our community is recognized as a positive resource. There is great value to communities in elders retelling their stories and their roles in history. New roles and applications are being created for and by elders that match their abilities and interests with the needs of businesses, communities and entrepreneurs, both as volunteers and for pay.

Better, systemic innovations have emerged to make the last years comfortable and dignified. 

Accessible and suitable affordable housing, existing, new, and rehabilitated, accommodates a variety of needs and allows elders to stay in their homes and age in place. 

Frederick County is a community that takes care of our people, especially those who are experiencing crisis. Our comprehensive social services system provides a safety net for anyone in need - vulnerable children, seniors, adults, and people with disabilities – and helps them regain stability and recovery. Services are coordinated and accessible with a client-centric focus.

Poverty impacts health and we have minimized poverty by learning new and better ways of providing support to those who experience it. We recognize that it is important for all residents to gain personal and financial security and the increased dignity and confidence that it brings. 

Barriers that have led to poverty have been corrected or improved. Further, as a community, we have learned to better recognize and minimize precursors of poverty in order to prevent it in the first place. 

Homelessness in our communities is rare and brief, and the number of children born into poverty is decreasing with each generation. People take pride in being community assets and are able to contribute positively to their communities and to society.

Our Economy in the year 2040...

Frederick County continues to be a great place to live, work and raise a family. It is a place where creativity meets innovation, where educated workers find employment opportunities in world-class bioscience and advanced technology sectors, and where manufacturing and agriculture traditions blend our rich heritage with our cultural amenities. 

Our quality of life assets make Frederick County a very desirable place for business and industries to grow and thrive. Businesses provide worthwhile goods and services, while valuing and compensating their workers. Full time work provides sufficient compensation and benefits to cover the cost of living here. The county maintains a business-ready climate, adapting to changing economic conditions and maximizing opportunities, by using data-driven strategies to diversify our existing enterprises and be an incubator and accelerator for new ones.

Our small businesses bring innovation to the community and help stimulate our economic growth by providing employment opportunities and attracting the talent to invent new products or implement new solutions for existing ideas. Our larger businesses also often benefit from our small businesses through local outsourcing and synergy.

Frederick County is a desirable place to work and everyone who needs and wants to work in Frederick County can find meaningful employment opportunities and sustain a high quality of life. Our economy is shaped and sustained by the talent and enterprise of our residents.

Frederick County’s schools set benchmarks for learning, discovery, and innovation and are designed to provide a pipeline of future workers in Frederick County. The quality of the first years of life has a profound influence on whether a person will thrive as an adult. The county has a strong role in preparing children for their future development. Schools are diverse environments that respect and enable teachers, enhance children’s lives, and provide adequate space and small class sizes with a focus on quality learning. Students have access to a wide range of high-quality educational programming, from birth through adulthood. County schools attract and retain highly qualified teachers with competitive salaries. Schools support active living and are a hub for community activities with easy access for sports, the arts and meeting space. 

Colleges, apprentice programs, and other educational institutions are graduating students to be innovative and entrepreneurial to prepare them for the kinds of employment opportunities found in Frederick County and beyond. Ample opportunities exist for employees to retrain or refresh job skills to adapt to changing employment needs. Businesses locate in the county because of the quality of our workforce.

Frederick County maintains its strong agricultural history, as Maryland’s largest agricultural County, with the most number of farms and farmland acres. Agriculture is important to our economy and quality of life, and we have ensured our agricultural future with more than 150,000 acres of farmland in permanent preservation. We continue to have profitable diversified farms that have benefited from changes in soil science, public eating habits and market opportunities. Many of the agricultural products consumed by county residents are locally grown.

The county seat, the City of Frederick, is a historic jewel with a downtown that is economically, culturally, and socially vibrant. Downtown is home to dozens of thriving restaurants and stores. Carroll Creek Park is a mixed-use attractive center for cultural affairs, dining, shopping, and recreation for citizens and tourists. Our towns and village centers retain their uniqueness and are centers of economic and cultural activities. New construction blends in with the old. Frederick’s historic architecture, public art, rural heritage, natural amenities, and quaint uniqueness are preserved.

The vibrant and expanding arts community in Frederick County plays a vital role in supporting a creative diverse population that fosters the development and integration of new ideas, while maintaining a strong connection to our heritage and history. The arts are a key driving sector of Frederick's economic success.

Our Environment in the year 2040...

We live in a county, a place, of great physical richness and beauty. We are fulfilling our stewardship by making Frederick County an environmentally sustainable place with clean air, clean water, healthy soil, protected farmland and open space.

Our county has maintained the commitment to respond to our ongoing climate change crisis in a manner that reflects the magnitude of the threat to our community and our share of the responsibility for the problem. We have been resolute and innovative in our efforts to reduce our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, to sequester carbon, and to be adaptive and resilient in the face of the changes and challenges associated with our changing climate.

We support flexible and efficient electric grids by enabling the integration of growing deployments of distributed energy resources powered by renewable energy resources. These improve the reliability and resiliency of the county’s electrical grid.

We are shepherds of our county and leave to successive generations healthy soil that sustains our agricultural bounty, clean air and water, lessons from our rich heritage, and the fruits of our planning together for an intentional future.

We have ensured that the contributions of natural resources to human well-being are explicitly recognized and valued. We are committed to preserving and improving their health and being in harmony with nature, and our county is greenhouse gas negative. 

We continue to protect and enhance Catoctin Mountain, the Monocacy River, and all of Frederick County’s watersheds for residents and visitors alike. Our county supports efforts in Maryland and the region to foster clean air and water resources. We support reduced carbon, heavy metal, and other toxic emissions into air, soil, and water through a variety of energy, transportation, building, agricultural, and active living initiatives.

Frederick County has it all: beauty, prosperity, convenience, sustainability, and safety. It continues to offer a small town feel with 21st century, urban opportunity. We are a model for counties nationwide.