After a whirlwind campaign, Emily Rose Windle got to work on keeping her promises to the Second Ward including bringing back North End meetings to keep residents apprised of what is happening on city council.
As the city’s youngest councilor, she is utilizing her position to remind everyone that decisions affect all residents in the city, not just the retired and wealthy. Emily regards her councilor role as apolitical in many areas including current hot topics: the increase in real estate taxes and the planned rain water fee. Emily believes parks, taxes, and whether or not your street lights work should be viewed through the lens of how they will affect the entire community, including those living below the poverty line or on fixed incomes where $800 a year can mean the difference between having a roof over your head or not.
Emily observes the differences in life stages that affect community involvement while working among older councilors. When we are isolated from the daily grind, most of us forget what it was like to raise a small family and work full-time. When meetings are planned during the day, those who are still employed or at home with children are effectively barred from attending, a problem that exists at all levels of government, boards, and committees. As a result, bringing back North End meetings was at the top of her priority list, to ensure that locals are kept in the know and available to discuss ideas together.
Emily’s election campaign included door knocking not only to get her name out there, but also to hear what neighbors needed addressed. She recalls one person who was enraged when she knocked, ordering her to return in a year to show what she had actually done for the town rather than just saying nice things to earn his support. Emily caught up with him at a recent community gathering at T-Bones, where he said she was “doing really well.”
Her next ambition is to help revitalize the public parks, particularly Friendship Park in her neighborhood. Citizens’ input is critical at this point in assisting Emily and her team of city staff and volunteers in understanding the needs and wants of the nearby residents. Now that the deteriorating basketball court has been removed, it is time to explore what facilities should be added.
Emily and all members of City Council can be reached at https://www.winchesterva.gov/government/city-council