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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Wilmington City Council At-Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

At-large council members serve four year terms and focus on their specific committee objectives and general constituents concerns.Four at-large seats are available to be filled, but each voter may vote for only three candidates. All City of Wilmington offices are elected at the same time, in the "on-years" when the Delaware governor and U.S. President are up for election.As a reminder, the League of Women Voters is non-partisan, supporting no candidate or party. We do not edit, fact-check or shorten what the candidates submit. Views expressed on the VOTE411 guide are the candidates' own and do not imply agreement or endorsement by the LWV.

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    Ciro Adams

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    Calvin Maurice Brown

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    Maria D Cabrera **

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    Rysheema Dixon **

  • Ronnell Edward Page

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    James Spadola **

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    Loretta Walsh **

Biographical Information

What motivated you to seek or continue in this office?

What are your qualifications for office, and what differentiates you from the other candidate(s)?

What are the most urgent issues facing the City of Wilmington, and how will you address them?

How do you believe that racial inequity can be reduced/eliminated in Delaware?

What steps can be taken for Wilmington City Council to work more efficiently and cohesively in the future?

Wilmington City Council’s actions affect the welfare of city residents. How will you keep the lines of communication open with your constituents?

Last edit date: submitted 10/6/2020
Phone: (302) 652-4783
Website or social media link:
Age 62
Education BA - Accounting Rutgers Univ. - Camden
Work Experience Audit Partner at CPA Firm in Wilmington, DE.
Community Involvement Wilmington City Council Member - At-Large
I ran for City Council to improve Wilmington for everyone. By getting involved, I can make a difference for all the people of Wilmington.
My wife and I reside in Wilmington. My CPA firm is here in Wilmington. I bring a successful business background, significant life experiences, and the ability to work with people to accomplish objectives. I am a conservative Republican who values peoples’ rights and the limits of government not to infringe on those rights.
The lack of a Wilmington School District is the genesis of all problems here in Wilmington. If you want to fix the problems, establish a Wilmington School District.
Government has created the racial inequalities here in Wilmington: a poor education system for the children of Wilmington; and the barriers to jobs, such as a minimum wage, for minimally educated individuals. Establishing a competitive, successful school system to educate the children of Wilmington will eventually eliminate racial inequity.
Wilmington City Council reflects the political differences in our City and elsewhere. Please do not infer passionate discourse as a lack of cohesion. We did accomplish many things on Council. And I am sure your question is not implying that we all should be of like minds.
I am available by phone, email, text, or my website. Any person is able to reach me 24/7.
Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 563-0861
Campaign email:
Website or social media link: http://Facebook
Age 64
Education Be in Theology. Eastern Theology Seminary
Work Experience 25yrs Veterans Hospital. 20yrs Owner 3rd St Barber Shop.
Community Involvement Westside Grows Together. Pastor, NewLife Christian Center.
Additional Information Crossing Guard New Castle County. ( Current)
My primary motivation for this office is to bring some civility the City's social unrest.
I was born and raised in this City. I have spent a lot of time Involved in youth issues. I also have worked with former City Council members; and other public officials. Former Treasurer for WHA board of commissioners.
I believe the social unrest have changed the landscape of the City. I believe the City Administration along with Council should find ways to help renters become homeowners. I believe this would greatly reduce the transient population and help stabilize neighborhoods. It would also give the City a new Tax base.This would allow the City to have more disposable income to assist others in need.
As an African American i deliberately got involved in other cultures. My exposure to other Races, other religious beliefs, this gave me a better personal perspective on how to relate to others different than myself.
We must become Civil. Even in Disagreeing, we must not become so disagreeable that it impedes progress. We must Utilize all means of communication by using Social media, email and cell phone access.
I believe we should incorporate " Office Hours " along with regular means of communication. Social media would also be effective.
Last edit date: updated 9/2/2020
Phone: (302) 559-9489
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Age 56
Education Human Services, Springfield College
Work Experience I work as an Administrator and client manager of a very busy and growing home health care agency, Holistic Home Health Care. I oversee operations, HR support for over a 100 employees. Perform community outreach, client development and support. I have worked in management for an arts organization, The Grand Opera as Director of Education and Community Relations. I was the events coordinator for the City of Wilmington for six years. I worked as a Certified Federal Navigator with the Affordable Care Marketplace, and currently am President of Complete Benefits Insurance Agency. I have owned a cafe and catering business, and worked in communications, the medical and dental field, as well as a youth counselor.
Community Involvement Maria Cabrera has worked as a volunteer for numerous organization since she was a teenager in her home town of West Chester. She is proud to have been a girl scout and volunteered on many projects, but she especially loved working with seniors and children. Maria is a founding board member of the Hispanic Business Association of Delaware and served as its President. She has also help launch as a founding board member organizations such as Delaware Futures, the Wilmington Urban League, to name a few, and has served on over 30 boards and committees combined. She continues to focus on economic development and empowerment opportunities for people and communities throughout Wilmington, all of Delaware and beyond. Maria currently serves Maria on the Board of Directors for Los Jardines, Interfaith Community Housing Foundation, and Sacred Heart Village II. Maria is a motivational speaker and is asked to present at many functions on issues of cultural competency and outreach.
Additional Information Maria is the "go to" person in DE, when it comes to performing outreach, and culturally competent messaging within the hard to reach communities. Primarily she is called upon to reach the Hispanic community because of her Hispanic Heritage, however, the former council member works with all diverse members of Delaware’s multicultural population. In her role as the Senior Federal Navigator for DE Navigator Agency, Chatman, LLC, she was a key team member performing major outreach into the hard to reach communities. Maria has forged strong and trusting relationships with key business, community and church leaders, as well as the local media. Most importantly Maria has earned the trust and respect of the citizens of Wilmington, as well as develop long lasting relationships.
For the past 30 years, I have actively engaged with leaders and citizens throughout Delaware to make Wilmington a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Whether in the public eye as a (former) city Councilwoman helping create legislature, or as a private citizen working to secure affordable health care for fellow residents, my goal has always been to make Wilmington a city that we can all be proud of. Today, the global pandemic has created an even harsher reality with many families facing economic, emotional, and medical hardship. At this critical junction, I just could not sit on the sidelines. I felt the urgent need and personal responsibility to seek re-election and dynamically engage in order to make Wilmington a city where its residents take pride in equality, public safety, education, job opportunities, entrepreneurship, the arts and entertainment, and cultural diversity. My motivation is working together with people to make Wilmington the city that we all deserve.
I became the first Hispanic woman elected to office in 2012 when I won my seat on City Council in 2012, I am fluent in Spanish, and am certified in cultural competency. I have the experience and am aware of the many challenges facing the city and understand the constraints. I worked on crime prevention initiatives and introduced common sense legislation to combat the nuisance crimes. Wilmington requires strong leadership to work on solutions as high risk communities and businesses face greater hardships during the pandemic. I specialize in equitable health care and insurance for vulnerable populations. As an entrepreneur and business leader, I understand the challenges of running a business. I worked with Mayor Sills, Jr. in the Office of Cultural Affairs and as Dir. of Education & Community Relations for the Grand Opera House. I understand economic development through the arts, and have served on over 30 boards. It takes leadership to drive change—proven and trusted leadership!
The most urgent and top priorities are Equality, Public Safety, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Economic Development. Equality should be the cornerstone of our society, the primary virtue that should define our city, its values, and its operational execution. I will use my office to advocate for action to promote and enforce practices that ensure equal treatment, equal justice, and equal opportunities for ALL citizens of Wilmington. The second is addressing public safety. My efforts will focus on working with state and local leaders to address the public safety and gun violence among our youth. I support increasing after school programs, providing mental health counseling, support, and adequate resources to our youth. Continue to address nuisance crimes in Wilmington’s neighborhoods and work on Neighborhood Stabilization initiatives. These include addressing vacant and dilapidated properties, decreasing disorderly and nuisance behaviors which plague many Wilmington neighborhoods.
Equality should be the foundation of our society and the city of Wilmington. I will focus on specific reforms that will strengthen the relationship, collaboration, and trust between police and residents by improving accountability, establishing police training programs, instituting community led public safety initiatives, and promoting successful re-entry through education and job training. But equality does not stop there. We need to bring forward legislation that gives ALL residents of Wilmington equal access to opportunities. That includes equal employment opportunities by enforcing equal hiring practices in both the public and private sectors; equal opportunities to healthcare by providing affordable options and healthcare solutions to all residents; and equal access to education by strengthening our public school infrastructure. In other words, we need to establish equality at the root of the problem, not just develop corrective measures.
The Wilmington City Council should put aside any personal differences and work together with our residents, independent of political affiliation, to establish viable solutions to our many problems. Resources are limited and should be spent effectively. So the key word here is “efficiency.” I will advocate for audits to ensure 0% percent waste throughout the various city departments. Furthermore, I will push for a creation of a city database of critical skills to guarantee that city employees utilize their full potential, while also serving key city priorities and goals. As a former city councilmember, I am already experienced and aware of the weaknesses and deficiencies facing Wilmington. Furthermore, we need to collaborate with Delaware government agencies and lawmakers, colleges, and universities across the state to find efficient solutions. It should be a team effort that Wilmington should lead, but we can’t do it alone.
There is an old saying, “Before you speak, listen!” As City Council representatives, we should always remind ourselves that we are there to serve the people of Wilmington: understand their concerns, comprehend their problems in depth, proactively inquire about their personal and professional worries, and then work arduously to resolve their pressing needs. One key characteristic that differentiates me from other candidates is that I have always remained very involved, engaged, and visible in the Wilmington community. Whether serving in office and the Democratic party, or overseeing community relations at the Grand Opera House, or organizing festivals, music concerts and art exhibitions, I have always had a good feel for the pulse of the city and its problems. While the current pandemic has restricted physical contact, I plan to keep the lines of communication constantly open using video conferencing technology (e.g., Zoom, Skype), social media, and frequent online constituent forums.
Last edit date: submitted 8/12/2020
Phone: (302) 419-4938
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Education See attached resume and bio
Work Experience See attached resume and bio
Community Involvement See attached resume and bio
I am committed to Wilmington and I’m inspired to run by my love for this city, my passion for this city to be a place where everybody thrives. City council is the voice of the people. When city council works together, good things can happen. The Eden Park renovation is just one example. By linking the Eden Park renovation to the Banning Stadium project, we were able to benefit multiple communities. Our city has seen many challenges over the course of the 107th session of City Council, it is time to restore trust/results in our government from the public and deliver on our commitment. We have a lot of work to do but I believe that if we all work together in service, we will get things accomplished for all of our neighborhoods. We need Leadership that matches Action and Action that meets your community where they are as well as uplift them. We are at an urgent point and we have to set the path for the future generations in Wilmington.
City Council Member 2017-2020 Chair, Community Development & Urban Planning Committee, Member of Health, Aging and Disabilities, and Cable, Video & Telecommunications Co-created our first ever Healthy Communities Subcommittee My Key Involvement in passing legislation for Vacant Properties, Hair Discrimination, allowing Students to register to vote at their Schools, Revitalization of Eden Park, Sexual Consent Health Education added into curriculums for public schools, Healthy Beverages offered in Restaurants, 76ers Fieldhouse, Real Estate and Housing Federal Funding Allocations, Citywide Comprehensive Plan Working tirelessly on housing, local hire/workforce development, license and inspection, planning, technical board land bank activities, economic development growth/entrepreneurship, supporting/connecting non-profits through Council along with $12,000 in grant funding, awarding $18,000 in scholarship funding to college students across the City. Additional information available.
COVID pandemic, housing, career opportunities, public works such as water bills and parking and homeless population. I have been working on the pandemic with our Health, Aging and Disabilities Committee with Christiana Care Health System, promoted COVID testing sites and masks distribution and providing computers to Warner Elementary School. I am the Community Development and Urban Planning which focuses on housing, co-sponsored the vacant properties policy developed with our Healthy Communities Subcommittee members and continuously working with residents on their water bills and staying in their homes. I have co-sponsored policy regarding local hire of residents in the city and increasing the minimum wage to $15. I've worked on the parking issues that hampered the businesses downtown. The homeless population has increased year after year in the city. We need to work with our state agencies to ensure housing, jobs and safe spaces for our most vulnerable population.
I believe we first have to recognize that racial inequality exists in Delaware and take action to reduce and eliminate it. Racial inequality did not happen overnight and it will take time to deal with it effectively and efficiency. I want to see substantial change that is for the long haul and not short term fixes or bandaids. Every sector needs to be looked into regarding racial disparities like environment, healthcare, social services, education, labor, etc. to make change across the state of Delaware.
One step is to have respect for each other and the assets we all bring to the table. Second would be open honest conversations in a caucus forum so that we focus on getting things done for the city on the floor. Allowing all voices to be heard and giving each council member the authority to work in their districts without interference. Staff should be working with all council members and feel comfortable speaking to all Council Members. We must take internal steps to make sure our Council is operating at its highest level and can get things done effectively for all neighborhoods.
You are exactly correct our actions as City Council Members reflects what our City looks like. I have and will continue to have open communication with my constituents, I am available by email, phone and welcome our residents to speak at our meetings. We are elected by the people and my decisions are always from a place of community.
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Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 746-2584
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Age 37
Education I received a BA in Political Science from the University of Delaware, and an MBA from Wilmington University. I was a fellow in the 2018 class of Leadership Delaware, an intensively awesome leadership development program featuring community leaders, and government, and business leaders from throughout the state of Delaware offering insights on leadership and life.
Work Experience I am the Executive Director for Read Aloud Delaware, a statewide nonprofit focused on fighting childhood illiteracy. Previously, I began my career in the finance industry in early 2007 after graduating from the University of Delaware. Shortly after getting hired as an underwriter I worked my way into a management role at the company where I managed a team of underwriters responsible for loaning out millions of dollars. In October 2008, I join the Newark, DE Police Department. While employed as a police officer, I created several award-winning community outreach initiatives, most notably the #HugACop video which won Technically Delaware’s Best Social Media Venture, and was replicated across the country by multiple police departments.
Community Involvement I am the President of the Delaware Avenue Community Association, a member of the 8th District Neighborhood Planning Council, an executive committee member of REACH Riverside, and appointed to the board of the Wilmington Housing Authority (not to be confused with the Wilmington Housing Partnership) by Mayor Purzycki and have been re-elected 2 times by my fellow board members to serve as chair of the $30 million housing agency. I am on the board of the 1504 N Broom St condo association, am the longest buddy pair in Delaware for Best Buddies, and mentor a student at Bayard Middle School.
Additional Information I am an Iraq war combat veteran, and an active guitarist around the City, frequently playing songs from the 90s, Tom Petty, Beyonce and many more at restaurants throughout Wilmington as part of Skinner and Spadola.
Running for City Council is the natural extension of the work I’ve been doing in Wilmington for years. As President of my local civic association and as chair of the board for the Wilmington Housing Authority, I have been helping neighbors and residents resolve quality of life issues for some time. When people don’t know who to call, they call me. I greatly enjoy advocating for people, and helping them navigate City, or even state government as needed. In addition, City Council is sorely in need of pragmatic and reasonable people who are more interested in policy than just pontificating.
My qualifications are the educational, professional and civic experience I’ve outlined above. What differentiates me from my challengers is my pragmatic approach to problem-solving, and my extensive work in, quite literally, every neighborhood in the City. Additionally, I am the only at-large candidate with municipal law enforcement experience with an extensive track record in community policing and building relationships between the police and the community. Also, I am the only candidate who has been on both sides of the union negotiating table as a former union secretary/treasurer, and chair for WHA. I would like to use my experience to help mend the relationship between the fire union and the Mayor’s office, and work to successfully implement body cameras with the police union.
It’s two-fold: public safety, and the long-term effect COVID-19 will have on our youth from an educational perspective which leads to life outcomes. In terms of public safety, I am the only at-large candidate with municipal law enforcement experience who understands the importance of the police building relationships with the community to solve crime, and has actually walked that walk. In terms of the latter, access to the internet and technology is necessary to overcome online educational barriers. There are a lot of great organizations like NerdItNow and WhyFly who are working to bridge the digital divide, and we need to support them in their efforts.
People in all areas of the City need to have access to education and employment opportunities. Right now, COVID-19 and the related shutdown are disproportionately hurting people in certain zip codes. We need to make sure folks in all areas of the City are able to access the internet and have the technology to do so to keep pace in this online learning environment.
Council needs to focus on doing what’s best for the City, and not protecting one’s ego or prideful personalities. A large part of this rests with the voters in electing the right people. Running for a seat that will be held by a Republican, I encourage voters to look into all of the Republican candidates and pick the candidate that has the best demeanor, and proven track record, to get the job done.
I am very easy to find and reach via my cell phone at 302.746.2584 and email In addition, I will continue to send out information via my email newsletter and social media. Thank you for making it this far!
Last edit date: published 8/3/2020
Phone: (302) 893-8521
Education Cardinal O’Hara Delaware County Community College University of Delaware
Work Experience Delaware Council on Crime and Justice, Agency Rep; New Castle County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy, retired
Community Involvement St. Patrick’s Day Society; Sacred Heart Village II; Others too numerous to cite. Available on request
This year, Wilmington City Council could very well see an influx of new faces – many of whom, despite their enthusiasm, have never served in government. The upside of these changes is that they offer us all an opportunity to get away from the rancor and strife that has unfortunately characterized Council in recent years. However, without a stabilizing force, the new Council could become like a ship without a rudder.

With my many years of service to Wilmington, I bring the leadership it takes to help Council chart a better course for tomorrow. We have a great opportunity right now: Let’s not allow it to go to waste.
I bring more experience than any other person running for a position on Council, and that matters, for reasons expressed above in relation of the future stability of Council. I’ve served on Council when minor disagreements didn’t prevent us from doing our job. And I have the time-tested experience to help steer our newer members to be their best.

Experience also matters in terms of tackling the issues facing Wilmington today. Some of these challenges are new -- but in some ways they parallel challenges we faced in the past and managed to overcome. Wisdom is being able to see the best path forward from the spectrum of possible solutions. And that kind of wisdom comes mainly from experience.
Housing is a important issue in that we need to be able to penalize landlords who are choosing to operate like slumlords. We need to have a clear avenue as to how we address vacant properties in poor condition and help turn renters into home owners. We can make progress on both of those fronts if we can build consensus in Council based on facts of the matter.

Education is also an important issue at the moment: How can we get more funds from the State to address the education gap between our wealthy populations and our economically challenged communities?

Like a lot of cities in this country, Wilmington continues to struggle with crime. Education is one of the primary methods of combatting crime upstream -- it's a preventative means to battling a long-standing problem. Train a person to perform in the professional world and earn a honest salary, and the less likely they will fall into the trap of criminal activity.
I do belief that racial inequality can be reduced. We need to address our history and see where we've come from to better understand where we can go. Developing a Truth and Reconciliation commission could go a long way in terms of mending bridges between Blacks and White in the First State. Similar commissions have made outstanding progress in Canada and, more recently, in U.S. states like North Carolina and Maine.
Council people need to do the jobs they were elected to do. We have too many people on Council who don't work for the betterment of the city. They don't know how to perform the essentials of the job -- like how to create a bill. Look at the facts. Look at who is doing the real work. Right now we have a too many grandstanders -- who are willing to stop progress for selfish, look-at-me opportunities -- and not enough team players, who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work together to make Wilmington the best city it can be.

Hopefully that can change with these elections. Hopefully voters will be able to finally see who's pushing the city forward and who's standing in the way.
My constituents know I'm just a phone call away. I take great pride in my responsiveness to our residents, and I've earned the reputation of returning phone calls promptly and following through. That's one of the reasons I've served City as long as I have. I get the job done.