Following the Forum: A Talk with CD 11 City Council Candidate Tina Hess

Following last night’s CD 11 Livable Streets Candidate forum, I sat down with each of the four candidates for a brief chat about the forum, the state of the campaign, and what they thought of the debate.

Our second interview was with Tina Hess. Hess is a Deputy Chief of the Complex and Special Litigation Division of the Criminal Branch of the City Attorney’s Office. While Hess has worked for the city for years fighting large banks, insurance companies and billboard advertising firms for running over the rights of individuals; she’s also basing her campaign on shaking up a government structure that is too often “the same people talking about the same problems” regardless of the year or the election.

Both in the debate and the interview, Hess was able to bring up her Strategic, Multi-Agency Response Teams (SMART teams) and SMART Government proposals to streamline bureaucracy and make government more accountable. For more on the SMART plan, visit her website issues page, here. While you’re there, note the high placement that transportation, specifically bicycling, investment has in her agenda.

While Hess is not an expert on transportation, one of the hallmarks of a good city official is the ability to learn and adapt. If nothing else, her answer to the first question of the interview shows a candidate willing to explore ideas that are new to her to try and attack the city’s ongoing transportation crisis.