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City of Winston-Salem Council Member Northeast Ward

The governing body for the City of Winston-Salem is an eight-member City Council. Voters go to the polls every four years in November to elect the Mayor and Council. The Mayor is elected at large and council members are elected by citizens in each of the eight wards within the city.The City Council is responsible for adopting and providing for all ordinances, rules and regulations as necessary for the general welfare of the city. It approves the city budget and sets property taxes and user fees. The Council appoints the City Manager and City Attorney and approves appointments to City boards and commissions.

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  • Barbara Hanes Burke

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    Paula McCoy

Biographical Information

Identify the most serious issue you see facing the community you will represent.

How will you address this issue once you are in office?"

What life or professional experience has prepared you for this position?

What local measures would you support to contain the spread of COVID-19 or any other major public health crisis?

The Winston-Salem Local Governance Study Commission recommended that the City Council be expanded from eight members to ten. Do you support this idea? Why or why not?

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Contact Phone (336) 645-2067
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Twitter @VOTE4NEW
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Position/philosophy statement When we put community first and are united by a shared sense of service, belonging, and connection to place, we become part of creating positive CHANG
Winston-Salem has a poverty rate that is 20th in the country. As a result, there are serious racial equity gaps in our community today. These gaps are most evident in housing, income and education and other social determinants of health and the greatest disparities lie in the east and northeast areas of the city. We have an affordable housing crisis which has a negative impact on families and communities. Residents need affordable housing and should have access to transportation that helps them access better jobs, good schools and health care. Winston-Salem is racially divided by a highway, with majority white households on the west and majority black households on the east. This divide is more than racial and is evident in home values and household income. Poverty levels are very high on the east (as high as 80%) and very low on the west (as low as 2.8%). The income that adults will earn is based on the neighborhood in which they grow up. Kids on the east will earn lower incomes as adults than kids living on the west. We have an eviction rate that is the third highest among peer cities. There are many residents who are rent burdened and are being evicted because they cannot pay their rent and for other reasons related to complaints about the quality and safety of their housing.
As a city council member, I will work with other council members to seek ways to close the racial equity gap in W-S and reduce the number of people living in poverty in the northeast ward. I will support and introduce policies that will help protect tenants and homeowners, preserve existing housing and produce more affordable housing. I will look at particular areas in the northeastern part of the city where housing costs are going up significantly and work with residents to help come up with solutions and policy recommendations that will ease the housing rent burden and the high eviction rate in W-S. I will help introduce policies and ordinances that provide relief and protect tenant rights. I will support legislation and introduce efforts to analyze the impact that COVID has had on renters and homeowners in the northeast ward and the city as a whole. I will work with owners of multi-family dwellings that receive City subsidies or funding to adopt tenant-friendly policies and practices like an "Eviction Prevention Plan" specifically working with the Housing Authority who has the most evictions in the city and where two public housing communities are in the northeast ward. I will forge partnerships with councilmembers on policies to prevent foreclosures and provide city grants to homeowners to help with home repairs.
I have worked in the community development industry both as a funder and as a practitioner. I have directed five community-based organizations, working with resident leaders that were interested in restoring their neighborhoods, working with children, youth and seniors, utilizing the gifts skills and talents present in their neighborhoods. I have worked on eliminating poverty, focusing on five social determinants of health. I have worked in the housing industry and as a community engagement professional for over two decades. I have been an educator, a coach, and a small business owner. Additionally, as an alumnus of Leadership W-S and Leadership NC, I am aware of the most pressing issues confronting our community.
I would support policies that require personal protective equipment is available and encourage residents to follow CDC guidelines. I would ensure that low resource neighborhoods have access to the most current information available about the risk and spread of COVID. I would support the placement of COVID testing in areas that are high risk with a rapid response.
I support this idea because currently the eight City Council members represent the racial divide that is evident in our city. These extra seats would represent at-large members of the council which would help bring balance and equity.