What organization(s) are you involved with in Kingston and what is your role?
I am the Sponsorship Director and Program Assistant for O+ and I’m a board trustee and Chair of the Community Engagement Committee at the Kingston Library. I also work as a bartender at Snappers and as the business manager at Chronogram.
Where do you go in Kingston to recharge?
The zoo at Forsyth Park.
What is the biggest challenge facing Kingston?
Oversaturation of do-gooders who haven’t yet found a way to work together. To me, that is worse than the people that are forcing the do-gooders to exists. There are always going to be evil people. But good people get turned off from doing good if they feel like they aren’t getting anything done.
What is the most woke thing Kingston could do?
Where is your favorite place to go in Kingston for a bite or a beer?
For a beer, I go to Snappers. It’s got this wonderful bit of old Kingston mixing with new, nobody cares what your political affiliation is. It’s the last bastion of honesty in Kingston. No one is trying to be cool sitting at the bar at 3pm at Snappers on a Wednesday. For a bite it’s Duo. There is nothing in my life those croissants can’t solve.
Why is the work you are doing important?
A lot of people misconstrue healthcare in America. We fight over who has it and why. We don't think about how very, very small changes could affect thousands of people. A lot of people thought the ACA was going to render O+ unnecessary, but it still left thousands of people under- and sometimes uninsured. Freelancers have income that fluctuates and that can qualify or disqualify them all within a 30-day period. At O+, we do work year-round to make sure people know they have options.
If you could change one single thing in Kingston, what would it be?
Better public forums to connect people with organizations and services that might not know exist. People don’t know you can get $4 acupuncture on a Tuesday at the LGBTQ Center. And it’s not for lack of trying by the organizations, it just leads back to the oversaturation. It would be nice if the city would be more involved in spreading this information.
What do you love about living in Kingston?
Living in Kingston reminds me that change can be good. When I grew up here, Uptown especially was a complete ghost town. When I moved back a few years ago, I was really bummed out and depressed about it. So it’s nice to see people move here from city or wherever and put down roots and enrich the community rather than leach from it.