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Letter: Heggins sees beyond criticism, resistance

Salisbury needs Al Heggins.

All members of and candidates for City Council want the best for the city and bring their individual interests and strengths to that body, but Al is unique.

This is not because she is the first woman of color to serve as mayor, although she will always be part of Salisbury’s history by virtue of this distinction. In this city of deep and numerous divisions, Al is a coalition builder. As the primary organizer of the Stop the Violence movement in 2017, she mobilized a large group of citizens from every part of our community to participate in a series of meetings to address problems and projected solutions for Salisbury and beyond. This is when I first came to recognize her strength in listening to the voices of the community and facilitating rather than directing actions to be taken. This approach has led to her success in building partnerships and representing Salisbury nationally and internationally in a spectacular fashion.

Who can argue that the attention our opportunity zones are getting in Washington, D.C. is not a very good return on whatever it cost for Al to travel to these meetings? Her meetings with mayors across the country have brought new ideas and contacts that increase our options for new approaches to old and emerging issues.

I greatly admire Al’s ability to see beyond the resistance and criticism that she receives from some corners of the community and always respond with grace and reason.

We are fortunate to have Al Heggins as a representative and promoter of the city.  She is tireless in working for all people and has raised the consciousness of many people of our responsibilities to help with these efforts. She reminds us that healing past divisions and building a bright future is everybody’s job.

— Nan Lund

Salisbury

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