Neighborhood Improvement the Cornerstone of Terry’s Campaign
Neighborhood improvement the cornerstone of Terry’s campaign
Evelyn Terry emphasizes self-reliance and personal responsibility when speaking with her constituents from Winston-Salem’s Southeast Ward. She doesn’t hesitate to share her political philosophy that all politics are local and encourage residents to get more involved in city government. “I want the world to work for everybody, not just the selected few,” Terry said. “Most people want a good quality of life and I want that for everyone I represent.” Evelyn Terry accepted the mantle of leadership from her husband, Frederick, after he stepped down from the Winston-Salem City Council in 2005. Frederick Terry represented the city’s Southeast Ward for two terms. Evelyn Terry said she had a strong desire to continue her husband’s good work, so she entered the race. With no prior elective experience, Terry defeated Jimmy Boyd in the Democratic primary by a mere two votes, and ran unopposed in the general election. Terry said the planks of her 2005 campaign — attracting business investment to the Southeast Ward, cleaning up some of the ward’s more blighted areas, and improving police protection for residents — mirrors her 2009 platform. In the current economic climate, residents of the Southeast Ward need a representative who will fight for the ward’s fair share of local, state and federal funding, she said. “Winston-Salem is at a crossroads,” Terry said. “Once, we were a bedroom community with [big industry] taking care of everything. The change has been painful, but we’re rounding the curve. Someone told me [the Southeast Ward] is not getting what others are getting in this town, and that may be true, but we have a seat at the table.” A retired nonprofit executive, Terry said raising money is her forte, and she will continue to apply her financial skills to the task of creating greater opportunities for her residents of her ward. “I know how to go after what I want,” Terry said. “Nobody’s going to give you anything.” The most controversial issue Terry and her fellow city council members have faced in the past four years is the city’s investment in the downtown ballpark. Terry voted in favor of every resolution related to the city putting up nearly $28 million to build a new home for the Winston-Salem Dash. Critics of the city council’s actions have said the baseball stadium will only benefit a handful of people and do nothing to improve the area’s overall economy. Terry disagrees. She said the new baseball stadium will create jobs immediately and will have a positive economic ripple effect on the surrounding communities in the future. “If you clean up [blighted areas] and expand, create some stuff for the downtown, it stabilizes your tax base. It makes more sense that you can attract more investment in other places,” Terry said. Public safety is another top priority for residents of the Southeast Ward, Terry said. The Winston-Salem Police Department’s new deployment strategy of dividing the city into zones and implementing permanent shifts for patrol officers has “made a dent” in criminal activity in the Southeast Ward, Terry said, but there is still great concern among residents regarding police response times. “Removing the scourge, the image of crime will enhance small business investment,” Terry said. She supports Operation Impact, a city program designed to hold absentee landlords accountable. Terry added that her personal mission is to make the Southeast Ward more business-friendly. Ultimately, she hopes to inspire a sense of empowerment that residents of the ward control their own destiny. “I have a solid, stellar career of 30 years of raising money, raising awareness and helping people see the power they have,” she said.