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Letter: People’s house phrase reflects passion

“Welcome to the people’s house” — This is the phrase that Mayor Al Heggins opens every City Council meeting with. It is a concise example of why I support her bid for re-election.

It expresses a reminder that the city government is accountable to the people of the city and not the other way around.It reflects her efforts to insure that everyone has a voice in the important decisions that affect us and that those voices, traditionally not heard, are amplified, and given attention. It reflects her passion for community.

And her record backs all of this up. She was the person who spearheaded the unanimously passed Resolution of Truth and Reconciliation, an important step in our community healing from long festering historical wounds. She spearheaded the Resolution of Fair Housing, committing our community to doing more than just report on the largely unchanged impediments to fair housing every five years. We would actually commit to addressing those impediments.

Recently, she was instrumental in a hugely successful event educating the public about the opportunity zones and how they can be utilized to the benefit of both investors and the neighbors in the neighborhoods being invested.

“Both … and” was a phrase she used a lot at that event and another one that concisely expresses why I support her. She recognizes the “pragmatic” need of wealthy investment, but reminds us that doesn’t have to be at the expense of the “idealist” principle that the economically marginalized in those neighborhoods should benefit from these opportunities as well. Heggins is both pragmatic and idealistic, and that is a combination every voter should support.

— Mike-O Martelli

Salisbury

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