City Council: Criminal justice reform behind Jordan’s drive for seat in Ward 6

Kristen Jordan, a candidate in the Missoula City Council’s race in Ward 6, details her goals if elected in November. Her challenger, Tom Taylor, didn’t attend this week’s forum.

Changes taking place in Ward 6 and achieving data-driven outcomes lie behind Kristen Jordan’s run for Missoula City Council.

Jordan, a political newcomer, brings experience as a team builder and data analyst to her campaign. While her opponent Tom Taylor didn’t attend this week’s forum hosted by the Downtown Missoula Partnership, Jordan used the opportunity to detail her plans for the seat if elected.

“We’re seeing a lot of changes in Ward 6, and I’d like to ensure the voices of the residents are represented,” said Jordan. “I want to be accessible as a representative. I want to hear from constituents and ensure their issues are raised at the city level.”

Jordan described local government in cities and counties as “laboratories of democracy.” It’s there where voters have the greatest say and hand in moving their community forward.

As a data policy analyst, she said she’d use her experience using data to make decisions.

“I played a key role in getting the mobile crisis teams operational,” she said. “It was the result of conversations with key stakeholders, strategic planning, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, and the outcome is a mapping project that lives at the intersection of mental health and different points along the criminal justice spectrum.”

Criminal justice reform and efficient spending are also motivating factors to Jordan’s campaign. She said she looks to strike a balance between ensuring public safety and reducing harm to those who are involved in the criminal justice system.

“I’m also very concerned about affordable housing, and I’m very interested in working to find long-term solutions for low-income earners and the missing middle while working within the constraints placed upon local jurisdictions by the most recent legislative session.”

As a single mother, Jordan said she values open space, and she supports the elements of the Downtown Master Plan. However, she also sees room for improvement.

“When talking to constituents, they want a downtown for everyone,” said Jordan. “I’ve also heard from architects and developers that the building codes intended to maintain aesthetics are too expensive. These are ideas I’d like to explore if elected, but I like the big ideas captured in the plan.”