As Dumfries elected leadership, I'm continuously looking for ways to create economic opportunities for the residents. New opportunities require new thinking, new tactics, and new points of emphasis. In my first term in office, I've led and supported initiatives that have helped Dumfries flourish and progress economically. I provided resources and initiatives that sparked both social and economic development and built value in the relationships between the people in the community and the government and police department, all to drive positive change because relationships matter. When we have a community that knows it can rely on its local governing body to listen to its needs, only then can we encourage residents to be morally and civically responsible members of the community. Since taking office in 2018, I'm proud to have a record of accomplishments which includes:
Reading aloud to children helps build early literacy and social skills. For low-income communities, reading programs can offer access to a library, a place to go on the weekends or in the summer, and the opportunity to build foundational skills for literacy. I will work with community partners to bring programs and resources like this to our community.
Being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities. I will work with our Police Department School officials to bring a program to Dumfries with the purpose of helping children exposed to trauma heal and thrive. The program, Handle with Care is designed to do just that.
The first of its kind Expungement held here in Dumfries allowed participants to have their records pulled, speak with a pro-bono attorney, and meet with the Commonwealth's attorney's office the same day. While some participants walked out the door knowing their records were approved for expungement, others did not receive the same gratifying approvals for different reasons. However, all the participants walked away feeling empowered, and that's what each future annual Expungement clinic will do. Giving someone a sense of personal empowerment, in the sense that they are in control of their life, enables, encourages, and motivates; sometimes, that's all a person needs to change their lives. That's what this is about for me; this is why I do politics.