Becky Norton, nature lover and avid hiker, started working on the Red Wing City Council in August 2018 and advocates for diversity. She believes that when we listen to others, we can grow as people.
We spoke with her about what inspired her to join the council, the thing she likes most about her job, what she does in her free time and more.
What inspired you to work on the council?
I saw an opportunity where my leadership skills and experience could be of value to move us along in the economics and the environment. While campaigning I learn so much more about the complex systems of city government and knew my ability to listen and study a problem and look for solutions could be of value to the community.
What do you hope to accomplish for the Red Wing community?
I hope to honor our history, strengthen our economy, create policies that are more sustainable and just, build on our arts, culture, and outdoor recreation.
What is one particular topic/issue that you advocate for?
So many things are all connected: environment, economics, equity, housing, health, education, access to resources. They all need our attention. With that said I’ll raise one issue right now that directly impacts the others and is very timely. Diversity. No one of us knows as much as all of us--when we listen and are open to others and we can reflect and grow even more. We can be more sustainable, more efficient, more welcoming, more attractive to tourists, stronger in businesses, solve problems faster and all with great results.
What is one thing you like most about your job?
I thoroughly enjoy studying issues, gathering input and information, looking for opportunities to affect change and growth. I believe I have creative problem solving skills and an ability to look for compromises when there are opportunities for compromises or to phase in or step in changes.
What do you find difficult about your job?
There’s never enough time or resources to do all the things I want to do or city staff want to do. We have to constantly re-evaluate where we are and what we have capacity to do now and what’s most important, what has the highest rate of return on investment, what’s urgent, what are the low hanging fruit and are they worth it. We probably feel that way in our own lives, trying to prioritize our home resources both in time and money.
What do you do outside of your job?
I’m a full-time 8-12 grade science teacher and a part-time single parent to one amazing young man. I spend what time I have leftover on house/yard projects or with nature: gardening and cooking, hiking, paddling, making greener choices in any way I can.