Vivian H. Burke

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: 3410 Cumberland Road, 27105

Incumbent or challenger? Incumbent

Age: 79

Campaign website or blog: (link)

Occupationand employer: Retired field officer, NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources

Previous elective experience(including election campaigns): Winston-Salem City Council, 1977-present

Endorsement: Winston-Salem Journal and Winston-Salem Chronicle

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on city commissions and boards): Winston-Salem StateUniversity Board of Trustees; NC Black Elected Municipal Officials; NationalWomen of Achievement; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (National Membership chair,Connection Committee, Boule Bylaws and Constitution Committee, Basielus oflocal chapter); life member, NAACP; United Negro College Fund; Meridian Chapterof the Eastern Star; advisor, Liberty Street East Redevelopment; BlackPolitical Awareness League; NC League of Municipalities; Top Ladies ofDistinction; NC Mental Health Board; board member, Piedmont Health SystemsAgency; National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education;elder/trustee, Grace Presbyterian Church

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): MS, NC A&T University

Party registration: Democrat

Where were you born? Charlotte

When did you move toWinston-Salem? [Incomplete]

Paid consultants working oncampaign: [Incomplete]

Campaign manager: [Incomplete]

Treasurer: [Incomplete]

Articles about thiscandidate:

• Two challengers take on 36-year incumbent in Northeast Ward (link

• Urban circulator, jobs and regional competition mark fault lines between candidates (link

• Lawsuits, convictions and voting (link

• Winston-Salem City Council candidates in tight primaries come out swinging (link)

• Incumbent Burke has built political power base from Northeast Ward over past 36 years (link

• Burke defends NW Ward seat; Knox bucks party to challenge Joines (link

The majority of Winston-Salem City Council declined tointervene in Kalvin Michael Smith’s federal petition for a new trial althoughcitizens have requested that the city take responsibility for a flawed policeinvestigation that arguably undermined the judicial process leading to Smith’sconviction in the brutal beating of Jill Marker. What is your position on thismatter?

As public safety chairperson I recommended the mayorappoint a citizens review committee to address the issue. I made sure that the committeereport was received and discussed thoroughly! Based upon the findings of thecitizens committee some concerns were raised regarding the investigation. At this time the matter is with the statecourt.

Do you support the proposed Urban Circulator (streetcar orenhanced bus) that would connect Baptist Hospital and East Winston throughdowntown? Please explain why or why not.

Yes, I support the Urban Circulator 100%!Citizens need a dependable and reliable method of transportation that will alsoget them there on time.

What role does the city need to play in ensuring thatresidents who live east of Highway 52 benefit from the development of the WakeForest Innovation Quarter?

Residents should be a part at the beginning of aplan that discusses changes that effect citizens. Citizen participation throughpublic hearing forums and recommendations should be shared with Wake Forest orany other company before the city finalizes a proposal. We need to make sureour capable citizens are employed and trained to fill the positions. The WakeForest Innovation Quarter will provide valuable resources (i.e. jobs, training)for the city.

City council has focused on revitalizing downtown over thepast 10 years, most recently approving the first entertainment district in thecity. Should the city continue to promote intensification of shared commercialand residential uses in downtown or slow growth to protect existing businessesand homeowners?

I feel that the city should continue to promoteshared commercial and residential uses of downtown but make sure that it isstructured and planned. The cityshould also assist the residents and commercial downtown with partnering indiscussion of a proposal before it is finalized.

What role should city council play in the Business 40improvement project, including recommendations for traffic alignment throughdowntown when the project is completed?

The state will decide the outcome concerning theclosing of the ramp. The council will give recommendations to the state as towhich ramps will be closed. Since I truly believe in citizen involvement I willencourage that their input be heard!

What is your position on the use of incentives to promote economicdevelopment? If you support incentives, why? If not, what other tools does citygovernment have for promoting job growth?

I have been a supporter for incentives. Itappears that incentives motivate businesses to come to the city, which createsjobs and other opportunities. If we do not participate with a sound plan forincentive dollars, jobs will decrease and the tax base will decrease. We don’tlose by participation because as a steward for taxpayers I am mindful of theimportance of recovery and the role incentives can provide with assistingeconomic development and jobs for the city.

What is your proudest achievement?

The business and residential development(mixed-use) in the Hanes Mill Road and St. Andrews residential area is one ofmy proudest achievements. This area has increased the tax and employment basemany fold for the community. It is a joy for me to see all the coming and goingin the area, and continues to become a convenient, viable, positive, area forthe community.

What’s your favorite way to unwind in Winston-Salem?

I enjoy reading, gardening, acknowledgingbeautification of yards in neighboring communities with recognition signs, anddriving around the city and county!