Portsmouth is blessed with many beautiful, historic and diverse neighborhoods. The citizens of all neighborhoods want the same things. They want to feel safe in their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. In fact without the security of safety, nothing else can get accomplished. Our professional public safety departments (fire, rescue and police) have the awesome task of protecting and serving. But they need our help.
Police, fire and rescue departments need dedicated, well trained public safety professionals with the most up-to-date equipment available. It is up to our city leaders to provide these departments with just that. We must recruit and retain the finest professionals to ensure that services will be available when we need them. This means competitive salaries and benefits, a retirement and health care plan that will be there when our public safety officers need them. It means making sure that the police and fire departments have the equipment they need to do their job. It means that our budget must reflect these priorities, even if it means cutting other areas. Public safety must be a high priority.
But public safety is also dependent on establishing trust between communities and the police and fire departments. This means we must support efforts at community outreach by our police and fire departments. City leaders must also develop relationships with public safety professionals at all levels.
When elected, I commit to working on behalf of our neighborhoods and our police, fire and rescue departments to make Portsmouth a safe place to live work and play. Public safety is one of the three pillars of a vibrant city and I will work tirelessly to ensure Public Safety remains a priority.
Portsmouth children deserve the best education in order to prepare them for a successful future. Families considering a move to Portsmouth look first at the quality of our schools. Businesses need a workforce, trained and ready for the jobs that a thriving economy will offer. For all of these reasons, we need to focus on our schools system.
While the School Board has the primary responsibility for planning and oversight of our schools, a wise City Council is informed and ready to work with the School Board to make certain that our children are receiving the best education we can give them. Currently, only 11 of our 19 schools are fully accredited. We must continue our progress towards full accreditation of ALL of our schools, so that ALL of our children have the opportunity to have the brightest future possible. We must encourage a greater focus on workforce development to enhance economic opportunities and god paying jobs right here in Portsmouth. Finally, we must recruit and retain the finest teachers. We cannot afford to lose our teachers to other districts with better pay, benefits and working conditions. Council has the responsibility to fund our schools. But we also have the moral obligation to give our children the very best. This does not necessarily mean more money spent. What it does mean is focusing on priorities and eliminating waste. It means good planning and constant oversight.
When our children receive the best education, our workforce is enhanced, our economy is strengthened, and our community will grow. As your City Council member, I am committed to working with our School Board to provide for a Portsmouth that is well education and ready to take their place as productive residents.
Portsmouth, VA is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. The people of Portsmouth are industrious, generous and visionary. Our rich history as a port city, and our location in the geographic center of Hampton Roads gives us opportunities that no other Hampton Roads city can claim. The charm of our downtown, the many historic districts throughout our city, the strength of our diverse neighborhoods, and the warm spirit of our people make us ripe for economic growth and prosperity.
In order to grow our city, we must capitalize on the assets that we have: Our port, our history, our people and our geographic location. The business opportunities that each of these element can bring to companies, large and small, is tremendous. But we first must fix the dysfunction, real or perceived, that holds us back. We must make sure that our neighborhoods are strong, clean, and safe. We must make sure that our schools are on a path to excellence. We must make sure that there is an educated workforce to help companies to succeed in Portsmouth. We must attend to the infrastructure that every business needs for success.
Most importantly, we must work to create a vision of economic prosperity that runs through every City Department, every school, every neighborhood and every citizen. We do this by planning, and by holding to the plans we create. It does not happen by accident.
If you will support me on November 8th, I commit to be a voice for an updated plan for economic prosperity that includes the voices of citizens, business leaders, community stakeholders, educators, faith communities, civic organizations, and experts alike. Economic growth is our most important means to get out from under the burden of our high taxes. It is the only way we can create prosperity for all our citizens. It is the foundation upon which all our other priorities will be accomplished. We need to get this right! It has been several years since such a plan has been done here in Portsmouth. That needs to change. You have a chance on November 6 to begin that process.
As someone new to the political arena in Portsmouth, I am learning every day from citizens I meet. The first thing necessary is to listen to the concerns of everyday citizens who live, work and play in Portsmouth.
I have taken time over the past year and a half to listen, to read, and to study about what is on the minds of citizens I meet. I have attended civic league meetings, community events, regional meetings, and talked to people at restaurants, shops, festivals and informal gatherings. I have learned a great deal about what is on the minds of citizens that I have met.
I have taken time to learn about best practices in ethical campaigning through participation in the Sorensen Candidate Training Program at the University of Virginia. Now it is time to get started. Now the focus shifts to you, the citizens of Portsmouth. This endeavor is about serving you, making Portsmouth better for you, bringing you into the process of governing in this beautiful place.
This campaign will focus on five issues critical for you, the citizens of Portsmouth:
Please reach out to me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, through Facebook (click the link in upper right corner), cell phone (757-535-1210) or in person. You are the reason for this campaign and your support will be needed to move our city forward. Thank you for your interest.
Watch this space . . . Cathy Revell