LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The Primary Election

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The Primary Election
March 10
00:00 2016

Support for John Larson

To the Editor:

I would like to write a quick note about our candidate for City Council for the South Ward, John Larson.

I reached out to John Larson since he is running for the City Council and representing the South Ward where I work for the YWCA. I run a women’s substance abuse recovery facility for women which is the only state licensed facility of its kind in Forsyth County and the surrounding area. I wanted John Larson to understand the great need to expand our program to allow us to serve a larger number of women. John Larson was immediately interested in what I do and what he could do to help. John Larson spent two hours with me, drove me around asking if I would mind showing him where other facilities were that assisted us in making the program a success, and also asking how he could help. We found some sites together and his desire to help me was one that could make a huge difference in our South Ward. I want it known that I support John Larson and his efforts.

Kristin M. O’Leary

Vice President of Supportive Services

YWCA Hawley House & Project New Start


Bernie is Best

To The Editor:

I hope everyone had a chance to read Dr. Bill Turner’s letter in strong and thoughtful support of Bernie Sanders in last week’s Chronicle.

I am so happy to have Bernie to vote for.  He really is a candidate I can support without reservation.  Of course, I’m drawn to his independence, his rejection of establishment politics and corporate money, and to the fact that he can freely vote his conscience and the best interests of his constituents, not influenced by big donors.

So often it seems that this position on financial and political integrity and his reputation for a strong and honest character are all we hear about in his support.  And that is important to me.  But there are a lot of other reasons I vote for Bernie.  In the limitations of this letter, I can’t name and explain enough, so I will urge you to go to where you can find his positions explained in eighteen categories – civil rights, criminal justice, earth and the environment, economic inequality, the economy and jobs, education, family, foreign policy/national security, government regulation, healthcare, immigration, military and veterans, personal freedoms, political and electoral reform, racial justice, science and technology, social safety net, and working people.

Whatever your values and your concerns in the upcoming election, John Larson, willing to listen to concerns you owe it to yourself to see what Bernie believes and has done in that area.

Wouldn’t you like to vote for someone who really believed what you do?  And who acted on it!

Katherine McGinnis


A Real Rebel for President

To The Editor:

I consider myself to be a natural-born, modern rebel!

Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., I now live in Sylva, where I have planted roots for over 11 years. I grew up in a family very proud, and humble, to be Southerners. According to my Mother I was born rebellious, questioning why I was to do something when told. I still am this way and thankfully so because it causes me to pause, to listen, and to critically analyze new information, experiences, and people.

We, as American citizens, are in dire need of a rebellious leader. There is no other way to change the varied courses of destruction we have been following. We need to rise again, not only the South, but the North, the Midwest, the West, the Southwest, the whole nation! We need a leader who has the guts to take bold steps, to chart a new course for our future. We need a leader who has the strength of character to choose to be civil, to be respectful of us, and of the peoples of all nations.

There is only one candidate for President of the United States who lives up to this, and he is Bernie Sanders. He has proven for over 30 years that he sticks to his guns, and his guns are shooting bullets that will blast the status quo for many things. His ideas are bold, well thought out, and well explained. His vision is one that I believe in for us, and matches what I was taught our great nation is about. As Thomas Jefferson stated “What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

We need a modern rebel in office, we need bold leadership that respects us all, and our future. I encourage you to support Bernie Sanders this March 15 in our state’s primary.

Thank you for your time and serious consideration,

Christian Curtis Collins Jr.


Insight into community’s problems

To the Editor:

As the New South Community Coalition’s President, I have had the privilege to work with Ms. Highsmith in her role as Vice President and as one of its founders and in pursuing our mission of protecting the integrity of our neighborhoods.  Through the Coalition, Ms. Highsmith has been instrumental in ensuring the re-landscaping and beautification of West Clemmonsville Road after its major road expansion project while also working diligently with the Police to try and keep every person healthy and safe when shopping at the South Park Shopping Center and through-out the neighborhoods of South Winston-Salem, especially the Konnoak Hills Community.

However, I most admire Ms. Highsmith for her selfless volunteerism and community work and her increasing experience in dealing with all level of issues at both the city and county levels.

In serving with her in our community, I have had the opportunity to observe Ms. Highsmith’s honest, pragmatic, and hopeful insight into our community’s problems and needs, and her willingness to examine the issues and listen closely to the community’s questions and concerns—all of which sets her apart from her opponent’s expected and uninspired discourse.

So, I am writing today to express my support for her campaign and my intention to spread the word to others of the value of her policies and abilities, along with my respect and admiration for her generosity, intelligence, and dedication.  With proud enthusiasm, the New South Community Coalition and I endorse Carolyn Highsmith as the next South Ward City Council representative.

Rev. Robert E. Leak III President

New South Community Coalition


John Larson not afraid to roll up his sleeves

To The Editor:

I heartily endorse John Larson

for Council Member for the South Ward.  The St. Philips Heritage Center, a touchstone of Winston-Salem’s early African American his-tory, lies in the South Ward.  John’s work on the restoration of the St. Philips site in Old Salem bears wit-ness to his commitment to community and his dedication to the preservation of all of our city’s history. St. Philips is not where the story ends and that is why I most admire John Larson because of his ability to see the big picture and the value of inclusiveness.  He stated in a 1994 article entitled, “Architecture and The Preservation of Memory,” –

“What are the vessels we shall carry forward to remind us of ourselves and our past?  Which memories are we to discard? To what degree do we simplify the realities of the past and remember only what is convenient and comfortable? … and just whose memories are to be saved.” John Larson is not afraid to take on tough issues and roll up his sleeves and work where needed.  There is a lot more work to be done in our city that will take the combined efforts of our city officials.  John Larson is a methodical thinker and a team player who will bring his vast experience and skills to the table and work with an already committed city council for the betterment of Winston-Salem. I believe John Larson is the ideal person to serve the South Ward as its Council Member.

Cheryl Harry


To The Editor:

My family has lived in West Salem for over 200 years. We have always believed in preservation of land, houses and buildings. This is only one reason I will be casting my vote for John Larson for City Council in the South Ward. John is also a visionary, working with the Southeast Gateway Plan and Creative Corridors Coalition to further beautify and enhance our great city. But the most important attribute is his interest in the people and his willingness to listen to their concerns about the neighborhood in which they live. Being with Old Salem for 40 years is a testament that John Larson is in it for the long haul. If you want a person who is a hard worker, interested in what you have to say, compassion-ate, and a go getter, vote for John Larson for South Ward City Council.

Judith Ruff


Vote for progress, not fear

To The Editor:

In the South Ward, two candidates are vying for City Council.  One has name recognition for a neighborhood newsletter she writes, but has just one focus: fear of crime. I live in that neighborhood and we are not a hotbed of violence; we are a community of strong families with solid values, vibrant houses of worship, independent businesses, and much more. Fear inflames distrust and isolation, not development and success. We need a representative who sees all that and recognizes both the needs and the strengths in the entire South Ward, not just one issue in one neighborhood.  John Larson has deep roots in Winston-Salem. He understands the history that has led us to where we are and envisions ways to meet the needs of the future. Larson stands for improving the economic vitality, safety, and social richness of the area. He recognizes the opportunities and challenges we have ahead of us and is ready to take them on. Don’t give in to fear. Vote for nurturing the bonds of good neighbors, for building a thriving community, for empowering our voice in the City of Winston-Salem on all levels. I encourage my neighbors to vote for John Larson for the South Ward.

Lise Keppler


Understanding of past, commitment to future

To The Editor:

When I select a candidate to represent the South Ward on the Winston-Salem City Council, I’ll be voting for John Larson. John’s qualifications are exempla-ry—a resident of Winston-Salem for 40 years; his long career at Old Salem has equipped him with an unparalleled under-standing of the city’s past, while his engagement with organizations like the Creative Corridors Coalition speak to his commitment to meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities that the future will bring. The South Ward is a complicated place, divided by major arteries that sometimes separate it into different constituencies with different concerns. But spend even a moment with John, and you’ll know of his keen interest in both protecting and fortifying the ward’s unique neighborhoods, while also uniting them into a more integrated, livable, and sustainable urban fabric. John’s generosity of spirit, his willingness to listen to differing opinions and deliberate for the public good, and his capacity to see the South Ward as a whole make him the right person to help lead this city forward. A vote for John Larson on March 15 is a vote for a better future for all of Winston-Salem!

Michael P. Wakeford


John Larson has demonstrated commitment to South Ward, City

To The Editor:

John Larson was one of the first people I met when I moved to Winston-Salem nearly forty years ago. At that time he was an intern in the restoration department at Old Salem.  Now he is preparing to retire at the end of 2016 from his position as vice-president at that institution. Through the years, John has remained a close friend, and I have had the opportunity to see and appreciate the development of his many talents.  Among them, I find him to be hard working, tenacious, generous of his time, and articulate in his speech.

In his life’s work, John has demonstrated his strong commitment to historic preservation, not only in Winston-Salem, but also at the state and national levels. In this field, he has been a tireless worker and an able leader. But John understands that historic preservation is not just about preserving buildings, but also about pre-serving neighborhoods and making them better places in which to live.

John’s concerns for Winston-Salem extend far beyond the bounds of Old Salem and historic preservation to other areas of city life, whether it be through his work with Creative Corridors, clean-ing trash out of local streams, or any of the other local efforts in which he has participated. In short, John is committed to making Winston-Salem a better place for all citizens.  I can think of no better person to represent the South Ward than John Larson.  I hope you will join me in voting for him March 15th.

Laura A. W. Phillips


One Great Candidate is Running

To The Editor:

During this bizarre 2016 election campaign, it is a pleasure to be able to wholeheartedly endorse one candidate. We highly recommend Mark Johnson, Republican, for N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Mark is running for Superintendent to focus our education system on teachers, not testing!

He currently serves on the Winston Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education so he has experience navigating “the system.” Mark began his career as a public school teacher so he personally knows the challenges teachers face. He has vision and passion and the determination to help create better schools and a better future for N.C.

We are proud to count Mark and his wife as personal friends. We are grateful that a young man of such integrity and passion has dedicated himself to improving our state by improving our education system.

Mark has provided some clear explanation of his vision on his website.

We highly recommend that you vote for Mark Johnson for N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction. If you can’t vote in the Republican Primary … remember to vote for Mark Johnson in November!

Marian and David Bell

Winston Salem NC

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