8th District Wilmington City Councilman
Dear District 8 Residents,
I hope you had a safe July. Thanks again to all healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of this ongoing pandemic. We are living in difficult times right now so if there is anything I can do to help you, don’t hesitate to call me at 302-300-0453.
This is my monthly newsletter, which I began releasing at the beginning of my campaign to serve as a way for me to connect with 8th District residents during COVID-19. If you haven’t already read my June or July newsletters, you can find them by clicking the links here: June Newsletter, July Newsletter.
As some of you already know, I created a Voter Concerns Survey in May as an outlet for District 8 voters to share their concerns with me. Just this past week, I was pleased to see that over 50 residents completed the survey, giving me even greater insight into what truly matters to District 8 residents.
In addition to the survey, I have been out and about talking to residents and hosting socially-distanced outdoor meet and greets. If you are interested in attending a meet and greet, I will be at various locations throughout the District every Sunday night at 6 PM (weather dependent). Check my website ‘Events’ tab for the schedule. I look forward to meeting you if I haven’t already!
VOTING ABSENTEE IN THE COVID-19 ERA
Many of you asked about how you can vote in these elections. There is good news. If you don’t want to leave your house to vote in any 2020 election, you don’t have to.
To vote by absentee ballot, here are the steps:
All eligible voters will be sent a mail ballot application on July 17th. If you are certain you want to vote by mail, fill it out and send it in. If you didn’t receive an absentee ballot application in the mail, you can request one here: https://ivote.de.gov/voterview
Absentee ballots will be sent to those who apply on or around August 17th. Ballots can then be returned by mail or at the Department of Elections until the polls close on September 15th at 8 PM.
ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?
August 22nd is the deadline for unregistered citizens to register to vote before the September 15th election. If you aren’t registered to vote, here are some ways you can register:
You can register online at https://ivote.de.gov/VoterView/registrant/newregistrant
You can register at any of these state agencies while accessing their services: DMV, Department of Health & Social Services, Department of Labor
You can register in person at the Department of Elections. This link is a list of the contact numbers for the Department of Elections: https://elections.delaware.gov/locations.shtml
BRINGING MORE JOBS AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY TO WILMINGTON
Wilmington is struggling economically. In response to my survey question: ‘What are Wilmington’s 3 biggest problems?’, the economy is always at the top. Here are three verbatim answers from different residents just this past week:
“No big corporation (MBNA, Dupont)”
“Jobs (low incomes…and companies leaving city)”
“More support [needed] for small shops/restaurants”
As an action-oriented problem solver, who has spent my whole career in entrepreneurial business situations, I understand the frustrations of many local residents, whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, owner of a Mom and Pop, or looking to rent out a side property to earn some extra income.
If elected, you can expect me to put my knowledge of the City process, excellent working relationships with city officials, and entrepreneurial background to use for you.
We need a voice on the Council who deeply understands the concerns of Wilmington companies. Making our City more appealing for new businesses to open up shop is essential to ensuring that it thrives for years to come.
That’s why I was so excited to attend the opening day of Ciro 40 Acres on July 24th. Locally-owned, unique establishments like this are among the great highlights of our district. If elected, I will work to attract more entrepreneurs like Ciro’s chef-owner, Michael, who enhance local life and expand variety in our neighborhoods.
BUILDING ON THE LOCAL ARTS SCENE
Building on our local arts community is the key to our City’s future. An enhanced arts scene will make our District even more appealing to newcomers looking for an energetic artistic community to be a part of.
I’ve been strategizing with several key supporters who hold high-level positions in the Arts community to determine what needs to be done to amplify our arts scene. Based on their insights, if elected, I plan to combine forces with other elected officials to champion the Arts, ensure additional funding, and build up a more robust infrastructure.
In addition, I will work to spread awareness about the local gems that we already have, like the Copeland Sculpture Garden at the Delaware Art Museum.
With large-scale sculptures dating back to the mid-1960s, this resource helps adds to the broad array of artistic opportunities in our neighborhoods. Build community through experiencing the arts by planning a picnic there with family and friends.
TWO FOR ONE: AFFORDABLE HOUSING & HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Wilmington is in need of more affordable housing. One location that I think would be perfect for not only increasing the supply of affordable housing but also for ensuring historic preservation is Park Place apartments, located in the Cool Springs section of our District.
First built in the 1890s as mansions of wealthy industrialists, sections of it have fallen on hard times. If elected, I will use my skills as a consensus builder to propose the conversion of this historic building into affordable housing. I'll develop a deep understanding of the concerns of every stakeholder involved and work to turn Park Place into a City asset that everyone can be proud of.
'FROM PARK BENCHES TO POT HOLES’ - SOLVING LOCAL ISSUES:
Taking care of the simpler local issues, from park benches to pot holes, is a core part of the 8th District job. While merely a candidate for office, residents have brought concerns to me and I’ve tried to help however I can. I share this with you because I want to be responsive in the areas that you emphasize in your communication with me.
After several hundred conversations and nearly a hundred survey responses, it’s clear that some of the topics most important to you include: parking, trees & sidewalks and building up our community. You’ve also talked about safety, including petty theft and street lighting. I plan to be responsive to your concerns in these areas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
This week, my campaign put its 90th sign in the ground.
Thank you to all of the loyal supporters who have chosen to engage in my campaign for a more prosperous, equitable and safer Wilmington.
If you are interested in having a sign placed in your yard, let me know!
That’s all for my August newsletter. You can read my June and July newsletters to learn more about additional issues that I plan to prioritize if elected. They can be found by clicking here: June Newsletter, July Newsletter.
We’re only 6 weeks away from the election and I hope to earn your support. If you have anything you’d like to discuss, I’m here to listen and help however I can.