Why I'm running for City Council

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"As a former Marine Corps Officer, service and giving back are my focus.    

I am passionate about saving Lakewood's green spaces for future generations. 

People and community take precedence over unbridled development. 

Lakewood is a great place to live, join me in the effort to ensure our City is great for everyone!"

Candidate Profile

Paula C. Nystrom
Occupation: Manager of Project Controls – Ulteig Engineering
Best way for voters to contact you: [email protected]
Your website/social media: Paula4Lakewood.org

What about your background and experience would make you an effective mayor or council member?
I believe that I would be an effective council member due to my years of leadership experience in both the military and civilian sector. I strive to learn something new every day and to gain understanding that can help me help others.

As a leader I have developed the ability to engage with others and listen to a range of feedback, both positive and constructive. Incorporating and acting on that feedback every day is essential to making progress and effecting change. 

I am an empathetic person, and my passion is helping others. Understanding the needs of my fellow citizens, ensuring their voices are heard, and working to develop comprehensive solutions to their concerns will be my focus.   

I earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the University of Miami, which enhances my perspective and understanding of complex matters. I also believe it is important to look at the big picture to understand overall implications and impacts of issues and solutions.    

What are three goals you would like to accomplish as a City Council member?
1. More transparency in Government decisions and enhanced communication methods to ensure awareness of those decisions. 

Many citizens of Lakewood feel disenfranchised, and polls reflect the rating of city government performance has steadily declined in the last 12 years. Engaging citizens and incorporating their opinions in policies will go a long way to turning that around. Critical decisions around budgets, planning and other key decisions should be made with the citizens’ voice at the forefront.

2. Future development plans should incorporate the sustainability and affordable housing goals of the city and its citizens. 

Continuing to build high end rental properties does not address the critical need for many people in our community. It also does not provide an opportunity for citizens to purchase a home to build equity and establish home security for the future. 

New developments should be focused on LEED certified building ratings for healthy, efficient, and cost-saving buildings. Xeriscaping, as well as planting and maintaining trees needs to be an integral part of the planning and implementation process. This will improve water conservation, increase absorption of emissions while providing shade and habitat for many at risk birds, bees, and other wildlife. 

3. Ending homelessness in our community.

As a Veteran and a human being, I am very passionate about this topic. Many veterans who have faithfully served our country are now homeless, this needs to change. 

There are many successful programs and new ideas to help people who find themselves in this situation. Creative options have been put forward in public comments at City Council meetings, and those ideas should be explored. 

Homelessness happens for many reasons and educating citizens on the root cause of the problem is critical to increasing empathy for those less fortunate.

What would you like to see for Lakewood in five, 10 and 20 years?
I would like to see the enactment of the City’s stated aspirations via concise actionable plans with targeted goals. Sustainability, economic growth, improving quality of life for everyone, are all objectives that are interconnected. Reported outcomes via Council meetings and media updates are essential for community awareness and engagement. There is a lot of good work being done, we need to make sure the community is aware of it. 

An aggressive plan to improve sustainability, tree canopy and water conservation is imperative to the future of our city and our planet. Projecting out 20 years is not possible unless every one of us is doing our part. The City should use its resources, programs, and policies to drive this effort.   

How would you approach controversial policy issues?
With any issue, I would do the legwork to gain a comprehensive understanding of the problem and the controversy surrounding it.  I would reach out to constituents to listen to and understand their perspectives.  I would use that feedback and knowledge to work with colleagues to come to a consensus with citizens’ concerns at the forefront.      

For those in races with more than one candidate, tell us what distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?
Throughout my military and civilian career, I have led with compassion, empathy and setting the example.  Effective communication and collaboration drives change and success.  I respect the opinions of everyone I work with, even if I don’t agree with them. 

I believe that experience and my desire to make Lakewood a more sustainable and affordable community for all our citizens, makes me the right person for Ward 5 City Council representative.  



Paid for by Paula4Lakewood.org