When I was first elected to the Gastonia City Council in 2015, I had several areas I wished to work on and quickly went to work.
I soon learned that sometimes the wheels of change move slowly, but over the past several years I have been proud of the progress made.
In five years there have been some huge accomplishments that I am extremely proud of. The building of Fuse has to be at the top of the list as it has become a catalyst for all kinds of wonderful business and residential growth. It has also transformed the western part of the city making it a destination once again.
I am also proud of the work I did in the early days of the opioid crisis, acting as an organizer and advocate for the cause. Great strides have been made and although we are still fighting this challenge, the groundwork I helped to lay has been instrumental in becoming a model for other counties across the state.
Additionally, I found myself extremely excited to have been a part of making our council more diverse and seeking real ways to make all people feel welcome here.
We are all in this together no matter what we look like, how we worship, who we love or what our ZIP Code is. The list continues with my enthusiastic support for adding bicycle trails, expanding our greenways and renovating our parks and recreation centers.
We have also begun to add more public art as well as plans to encourage more educational and cultural venues to open within our city limits.. I am extremely proud that our city government has become more transparent and open to the public with a citizen’s academy, which I helped to promote.
I have also hosted numerous town halls and education events to keep our residents informed and engaged on a host of topics from small business opportunities, mental health issues, homelessness and other current topics.
And finally, I am so honored to be a part of a team that rose to the occasion and assisted our community during the height of the pandemic.
We worked with other agencies and partners to provide utility assistance, free transportation, mask giveaways and food drives for those in need. It was a privilege to advocate for PPE in the early days of the virus as well as assist our homeless community with a needed day center where they were able to take a shower, get information on the virus, get their clothes washed and get additional clothing and hygiene products.
With all the good, there is still much more to be done and that is why I have decided to seek another term on the Gastonia City Council.
We must continue to seek ways to build up all residents and assist those who desire a better future for themselves and their families. We must make sure our police officers get a much needed raise and continue to receive the services and tools they need to keep themselves safe and our communities safe.
We must look for greater opportunities with higher education partnerships and economic development and we must make the maintenance and repair of our aging infrastructure a top priority.
In short it is all about “community” and this community has a bright future. I hope in the past five years I have earned your trust and your vote.
If not I look forward to campaigning over the next couple months to do so. As I hear from you, we will work together to look for ways to make us a healthier, stronger and more unified city.
I truly believe that is what community is all about. See you on the campaign trail!