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Letter: Voters should choose Heggins, Black for council

A city council that could reflect the makeup of our community, but to be frank, this is also about more than the makeup of our community. This is also about whose interests and everyday lives are compassionately and thoughtfully represented in those city council seats.

Historically, this has not been the case. This has nothing to do with past individual intentions of the occupants of city council seats. Here is the reality: most of the people that have occupied Salisbury City Council were not born nor have had to live in the daily struggle and strivings of people of color. This is a fact, not an opinion. Check the history.

That is why I am asking everyone I know to vote Al Heggins and Gemale Black for Salisbury City Council.

Heggins, a tireless advocate for the entire community, has neither shunned nor ignored the reality of the margins of our community. Too many times, black leaders are told a choice. You are expected to either represent the interests of affluent white people or the interests of people of color. Heggins has done a faithful and discerning navigating on this continuum. She truly has been the people’s mayor. With Heggins, we get a thoughtful and deeply compassionate human being able to navigate the several different worlds that inhabit Salisbury.

The gift of Gemale Black is his origin story, age and his community leadership of the local Salisbury-Rowan and state NAACP. Gemale, the youngest candidate running for a city council seat, represents the aspirations and passion of the engaged Millennial generation.

His rootedness in the Salisbury community for his entire life in addition to his level of commitment to the issues and reality of his community make him a true empathetic gift to our community.

— Anthony Smith

Salisbury

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