Address: 641 N.W. 20th St.
Occupation: Owner/President, Tammy J. Ward LLC, which provides consulting services in advocacy, governmental affairs and community outreach to a variety of clients representing seniors and veterans.
Education: Business Education Associate Degree, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Political party: Democrat
Organization endorsements: Lincoln Firefighters Association, Lincoln Central Labor Union
Ward has 30 years of experience working in the U.S. Senate, Lincoln Mayor’s Office, Nebraska Governor’s Office, Legislature and Department of Economic Development. She's been a member of the Downtown Rotary Club No. 14 and a past president of the South Salt Creek Community organization. She said her No. 1 priority will be to support policies that continue Lincoln’s strong economy, unprecedented job growth and low unemployment.
Why are you running and what do you want to accomplish in office?
My No. 1 priority will be to support policies that continue Lincoln’s strong economy, unprecedented job growth and low unemployment. We must emphasize policies that attract and retain young professionals and promote safe and attractive neighborhoods. A growing community means maintaining and, in some cases, increasing public safety and infrastructure. I pledge to listen, learn, and work with other members of the City Council and the next mayor to help create and maintain a tone of cooperation on behalf of all Lincolnites.
Are there any special needs in your district that are different from issues in the rest of the city?
Our northwest District 4 is one of the most diversely unique in the city, and I’m proud to have lived here for the past almost 30 years. From the Highlands and Fallbrook, to Arnold Heights and Air Park, from Belmont to the North Bottoms and South Salt Creek, to Clinton and Hartley to the University of Nebraska, downtown and the Haymarket, Everett to West A, and all of the other great neighborhoods who make northwest District 4 unique.
Every candidate includes public safety and streets as their top priorities. In lean financial times how would you budget for parks, libraries and other city services?
It is important to me to cultivate a can-do attitude and to remain good stewards of taxpayer dollars. I will take an in-depth look at the city’s priorities and weigh what is fiscally possible to continue to support our great parks, libraries and other important city services.
Should voters approve a quarter-cent hike in the city sales tax with proceeds earmarked for streets? Why or why not?
I will vote yes, for these reasons: We are a growing city, the longer we wait the more expensive it becomes to repair streets. Newer streets mean fewer potholes, which will reduce money spent on expensive car repairs. Improving our streets means first responders getting to emergencies faster and safer, saving lives and money. The measure will provide four times as many residential street improvements each year. Out-of-town visitors will pay their fair share for use of our streets.
Ensuring that everyone has access to decent housing that they can afford has become a national topic. What is your definition of affordable housing? What should the city do to encourage or provide for more affordable housing?
All Lincolnites should have safe and attractive neighborhoods and for those who desire to, the opportunity to achieve their dreams of homeownership. To keep Lincoln a city where people want to live and work, we must also find solutions to our serious affordable housing problem. I will work with NeighborWorks, the Lincoln Housing Authority, South of Downtown Community Development Organization and other organizations to provide adequate, clean, safe housing for all of our citizens.
With the rise in home values, the city and other local governments could bring in more revenue by not reducing the property tax rate. The additional tax revenue coming from the increase in appraised value has been called a windfall. How should the city respond?
I believe it will be important to take an in-depth look at the entire budget for the city in order to determine top priorities. I believe we should also identify areas where funding may have been reduced or eliminated and determine if it is appropriate or possible to revisit those budget needs for reconsideration.
In 2012 the City Council passed an ordinance protecting people from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations. A referendum petition stopped the ordinance from going into effect. The council has not rescinded the ordinance nor put the issue on the ballot. If the state does not pass discrimination protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity this session, should the City Council put the proposed fairness ordinance on the ballot for a citywide vote? Why or why not?
I support equality for the LGBTQ community and all Lincoln residents. Prejudice and discrimination against anyone is always wrong. It makes our whole community less than what we can be. I will support policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. I’m hopeful our Legislature will take action on this issue. Should that not happen, I would support efforts to place the question on a future city ballot.
Some Lincoln residents, including members of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, believe the City Council should pass a safe gun storage ordinance. Do you think the city should require gun owners to lock up guns in their homes?
I support efforts to make our community safer and protect our children from the misuse of firearms. I am an advocate for safe and secure storage of firearms. I favor efforts to educate and encourage gun owners to secure all guns in homes and vehicles and model responsible behavior. However, before I could support a proposed ordinance, I want to hear recommendations from the 17-member task force that has been asked to study this important issue.
The city has banned cardboard from the city landfill and required local haulers to provide curbside recycling service. Should the city go further, by banning other recyclable products (paper, plastic) from the landfill? What changes, if any, would you propose for the recycling program?
I supported the city’s ban. I’ve long been a proponent of recycling and support continued efforts to educate and encourage recycling of other materials. I also support our local haulers, the hardworking local companies who keep Lincoln the cleanest city in America. Regarding additional recycling, those decisions will be based on global economics. China has cut back on recycling making some materials worthless. Many cities have absorbed the losses, fearing that passing on the cost to residents would discourage recycling.
What role should the city take in planning and paying for bike paths (on streets or wider sidewalks) and bike trails (separate paths for bikes and walkers)?
I believe the city should continue to take an active role in the continued planning for bike paths and trails. I support the current and collaborative efforts between the city and biking trails and paths advocacy organizations to financially support our trails system through public and private efforts.
Winter weather has created an abundance of potholes. Do you think the city does enough to address the problem? Is there anything it should change?
Lincoln has experienced one of the most extreme winters in history. Although all of us complain about the snow and street conditions, the fact remains we are unable to control the weather. I am thankful for the dedicated men and women who work long hours to keep our streets cleared so we can safely travel to work, school, medical appointments and worship services. We’re a growing city, the longer we wait the more expensive it becomes to repair streets.