Winchester City Council
I moved to Winchester with my husband in 2009, and we have made this our home. I love the community, people, energy and desire of so many to “give back.” I’m also driven to serve this beautiful city, and during my time here, I’ve been a writer, volunteer, Master Gardener, donor, mother and homeowner.
My priorities are focusing on affordable housing, expanding educational programs for preschoolers to high schoolers, and improving the quality of life for all residents. Winchester must keep those who live here now in the forefront of every decision.
If I am fortunate to serve, I will work diligently so that all residents can partake in the beauty, economic growth and opportunities that Winchester offers.
Days until election
Winchester has a dearth of affordable housing options in our city limits, and we are constrained in our ability to increase our land mass. We must think creatively in order to develop affordable housing options, so teachers, firefighters, police and middle-income families, seniors and individuals can live, work and thrive here.
The City must start discussions with developers, investors, state legislators and other key players to find ways to focus on this important market. And the City should consider whether tax credits or other incentives can encourage development in this area.
Education is the great leveling field for our children in a world that’s becoming less equal. That’s why it’s critical that the City continue to fund our schools as robustly as possible.
The City should support the pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds who, due to poverty or other family circumstances, face risks for academic failure if there is no intervention. This early intervention program has already shown it can help our most vulnerable children with school readiness. This is the type of innovative program that our tax dollars fund to ensure that all students are prepared to succeed throughout their academic careers.
The Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center also deserves the City’s support and funding. This important initiative will give high school students the opportunity to learn a valuable trade. These valuable skills can translate into good-paying jobs and lifelong careers for students. The Center also indicates to employers that Winchester is serious about workforce training, which can serve to retain businesses and attract new companies to the area.
The Douglas Community Learning Center needs to be renovated and become the headquarters of the Winchester Public Schools. This facility can be a vital investment for the neighborhood and surrounding area, and can serve to highlight the opportunities for further development.
Winchester needs a grocery store or market downtown, because this area is currently a food desert. The downtown lot where the intended convention center was to be located could be a perfect spot for a grocery store/market to serve residents with no transportation, those who live in the area, and those who work there.
Finally, Valley Avenue and Meadow Branch Road are essential traffic corridors for our City, but residents who live near these busy streets battle high-speed traffic each day. Crosswalks on both these busy roads should have lighting and sound mechanisms that can be activated by pedestrians and bikers who want to cross safely. There are too many walkers, bikers, children and seniors who are active and enjoying our City to put lives at risk.
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.
Aristotle 384 – 322 B.C.
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Henry Burton 1840-1930