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Letter: Be on right side of history, elect Heggins

Historic Salisbury has an opportunity to be on the right side of history when so much is at stake for its citizens by re-electing Mayor Al Heggins.

The late leadership expert Professor Joseph Host published “Leadership for the Twenty-first Century” in 1991. His classic tome describes 21st century leadership as “being inclusive, collaborative and of service, to individuals, the social good and ecological sustainability.” Locally and around the world, historic inequities are tearing apart the social fabric of communities.

The personhood and personality of Heggins reflects the compassion, brilliance and ability to communicate the urgent needs of the moment and bring people of goodwill together. Recent examples include the summer public gathering around “Fame” at the Civic Center that allowed citizens to discuss its place in the city. Secondly, when the influx of drugs and gangs threatened the safety and security of longstanding West End residents, Heggins did not merely express sympathy. She walked the streets herself and convened the neighborhood stakeholders with city officials who possessed the authority to intervene. The result has been the lowest crime activity in several years. Heggins’ capacity to build valuable connections even at the White House was evident when officials from Washington, D.C. arrived in Salisbury to discuss the opportunity zones project and share how they might benefit everyone.

Heggins’ ability to seize opportunities that help ordinary citizens participate in the necessary work of disrupting the historical inequities from its founding to the present day is crucial to the future of Salisbury.

Host’s words are helpful as we determine who will receive our vote to govern and allocate the resources of Salisbury. The future is now and the next generation will reap the rewards or pay the price of our choice.

— Sharon Grant

Salisbury

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