OPINION: Why I’m leaving

OPINION%3A+Why+I%27m+leaving

My Catholic faith describes a revelation as divine insight from God which changes a person’s perspective by opening their mind. While I can’t say I’ve received a divine revelation, I have received one guiding a new political perspective.

My political revelation: abandon my partisan label of Democrat and become an Unaffiliated candidate and voter. Let me explain why. 

After years of political activism in my hometown and encouragement from local leaders and community members, I committed to running for Winston-Salem’s West Ward City Council seat in 2024.

As a partisan, there is an overwhelming expectation for you to advance your party’s interests to receive something in return. A political quid pro quo. You do something for me, I’ll do something for you. 

Some give priority to advancing a partisan agenda over the whole community, while political games are played to distract from the fact and convince voters that it’s the other party whose priorities are out of line. 

On the national and state stage, elected officials focus on the expectations of their partisanship, especially during election cycles. This results in a Republican-Democrat showdown for supremacy. 

While the competition acts as a flashpoint for political divisiveness, it also allows voters to change ideology, driving policy. Such competition is beneficial, as there are clear partisan differences in politics on those levels. However, that should not be the case in local government. 

Partisan labels and stereotypes do not belong in city hall and are irrelevant locally. When you want to have the opportunity to open a small business, to find a home you can afford, to discuss a problem you have, a party label doesn’t matter. Having someone to make sure those opportunities exist does. 

Party lines divide people. Winston-Salem needs unity, not red and blue dividing tape. Unfortunately, some people on both sides of the aisle see local communities as a playing field for political games, with their team winning being the only thing that matters. 

For residents, this isn’t a game. It’s our homes, neighborhoods, city and lives. 

I’m not interested in playing games. I’m interested in not only bringing economic success to Main Street, but also to your street. In ensuring we can implement programs to help our struggling neighbors while trying to avoid raising taxes. In ensuring security and prosperity for our generation, and those that follow through investments in education, infrastructure, community health initiatives and our city.

At the end of the day, a political party didn’t help raise me, my community did. I not only believe in putting community over party, but I also practice it. 

My campaign goal now, and going forward, isn’t to ask people to cross party lines. I’m asking you to ignore them. Most of us believe that having the theatrical political showdowns we’re accustomed to is no way to solve our community’s pressing issues.

My goal is to have an accountable city hall with defined priorities that puts effective government over politics. I want to give my city a new vision forward, another choice that just makes sense, and the confidence that all our local leaders are acting in our best interest, not a party’s.

I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am a neighbor, peer and community member promising a city, yearning to breathe free, a new way forward.