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by Jordan Green

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Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines announces reelection campaign

Allen Joines announced plans to run for a fourth term as mayor of Winston-Salem on the steps of City Hall at noon on Tuesday, telling about 50 supporters that he was proud of the council’s track record of cooperation, inclusion and transparency.

“Let’s not let our community slip back to the troubled times that we were in when we took office 12 years ago,” said the popular mayor, who also said now is not the time for someone who is inexperienced to lead the city.

The Democratic mayor credited the council under his leadership with continuing to push for economic development in the face of adverse conditions.

“We continue to add jobs to our city and our community, even in spite of the most severe economic recession that we’ve had in over three generations,” he said. “And our community has seen more than its fair share of job loss through companies going out of business or jobs being moved offshore. Over the past 12 years, unfortunately we’ve seen the lost of about 15,000 manufacturing and construction jobs. But here’s the good news: At the same time, we’ve added back 17,000 jobs — new jobs that are in the new sectors that we’re trying to rebuild: healthcare, information technology, biotech, education and corporate management.”

Joines trumpeted partnerships with community development corporations to increase the availability of affordable housing and downward crime trends under his leadership, and celebrated a renewed focus by the NC Department of Transportation on completing the Urban Loop. But he acknowledged the city has struggled with growing wealth inequality.

“We’ve got to continue to address the very unacceptable levels of poverty and hunger in our community, and we’ll do that by making available more targeted job training and employment programs and supporting programs towards homeownership because that’s the best way for people to build wealth, is to actually own their homes,” he said. “And we’re going to particularly push for more middleincome housing in our east Winston communities because that’s what’s going to drive a lot of retail development as well.”

Joines said he has loved Winston-Salem since he took his first job as an administrative assistant to the city manager.

“If the voters see fit to elect me for another four-year term, I’ll work hard,” Joines pledged. “I’ll work harder than I did even in the first 12 years, if that’s possible.”

The mayor began the day at Medicap Pharmacy on Liberty Street in the first series of a round of meetings with small groups of business and community leaders. The event was hosted by Jim Shaw, president of Liberty Community Development Corp. and a co-chair of Joines’ reelection campaign. Accompanied by political consultant Mike Horn, the mayor also greeted community members at Chelsee’s Coffee Shop & More on Trade Street and met with the Ministers Conference on Tuesday morning.

Responding to a question at Medicap Pharmacy, Joines said he plans to host a town-hall meeting with Piedmont Triad Research Park President Eric Tomlinson to help young people learn what it will take to qualify for future jobs at the tech park.

“The other thing we’re going to do is have more communication with our school system so they understand the kind of jobs that are being created there, and they can communicate that the students through their counselors the types of courses they’ll need to take. We acknowledge we haven’t done a good enough job.”

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