CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, — Next Thursday, February 14, at noon, City Councilor and Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos will announce her bid for a second term on Council. The announcement will take place at the Free Speech Wall in front of City Hall.
One of two councilors whose seats are up for election this year, Szakos hopes to continue the work she started in 2010 by standing up for inclusiveness and fairness in issues that cover a wide range of policies.
“I look for what is overlooked,” she says. “I try to see who’s being left out or what’s being forgotten in a situation and shine a light on it, so the city’s work continues to be inclusive of all our city residents.” Szakos points to her leadership in creating the Our Town Charlottesville neighborhood meetings with City Council and the formation of the Charlottesville Youth Council as examples of this commitment.
She has also been instrumental in increasing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, reducing waste (including paperless Council meetings and improved recycling), increasing the City’s commitment to affordable housing, protection of residential neighborhoods from abusive noise and dangerous traffic patterns, development of accountability measures for city departments and funded organizations, lobbying in the state legislature for City Schools, creating employment opportunities for youth for those reentering the community after incarceration, and fostering mutually beneficial relationships with Albemarle County and the University of Virginia.
Since joining the Council in 2010, the Vice Mayor has been a recognized leader both locally and nationally. She was elected chair of the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail Authority Board and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, represents Charlottesville on the Charlottesville-Albemarle-UVA planning board PACC and Virginia First Cities, and was recently elected Vice Chair of the National Council for Children, Education and Youth. She was also selected last year as one of 50 women from around the world to participate in Harvard Kennedy School’s “Women and Power” program.
Recently appearing on CNN to comment on the Council’s recent vote on the use of drones, Szakos has never shied away from tough, controversial issues, but remains committed to building strong, respectful relationships across partisan lines. Priorities for a second term in office include opportunities for children and youth, citizen engagement, housing, living-wage jobs and people-centered development.
The Democratic Primary will be held on Tuesday, June 11, for the November 5 General Election.
You can follow Szakos’ reelection campaign, view her complete bio, and get involved on her website or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kristinforcouncil