Thursday, October 25, 2007

Holly Edwards Releases "Healthy Cville" Platform

Holly Edwards, longtime community leader and current candidate for Charlottesville City Council, today unveiled her platform for helping Charlottesville to realize its ambitious goal of becoming "America's Healthiest City."

"I applaud City Council for setting the goal of being 'America’s Healthiest City,' but we have a long way to go if we’re going to get there," said Edwards, a Registered Nurse who worked at the UVa Medical Center for 13 years. Edwards is co-founder of both the Black Nurses Association of Charlottesville and the Virginia Health Ministries Association.

Edwards made several proposals today to ensure improved health for all of the city’s residents:

* As a City Councilor, she will encourage more of her fellow health professionals to volunteer their time and skills through community health facilities like the Free Clinic, the Westhaven Nursing Clinic, or the Salvation Army Medical Assistance Program, in order to reduce health disparities in our community.

* If elected, she will push Council to give more of its attention to health-related matters. "If we’re to make health a priority," she said, "we need to devote the time to discuss the issues and find new solutions."

* Noting the health and environmental benefits of walking and bicycling, she proposes that the City designate one day a month as a voluntary "car-free" day, when those who can walk or bike to work or school are encouraged to do so.

* Touching on a subject near and dear to parents of City schoolchildren, "We should challenge our schools to provide the healthiest meal choices possible," Edwards said. "I challenge the City schools to 'eat local' by utilizing products from local organic farmers and developing vegetable gardens that would create sustainable educational enrichment opportunities for our children."

* In the wake of IMPACT's recent decision to press for expanded access to quality dental care for lower-income residents, Edwards pledged to advocate for increased City funds and higher state Medicaid reimbursement rates so that more children and adults will be able to utilize these critical dental services.

* Finally, Edwards committed to ensure that all City children have access to quality recreational/exercise opportunities. Addressing one specific proposal that's currently being considered by Council, she said: "I believe that the proposal for a new YMCA in McIntire Park can be a wonderful asset to our community. To ensure that it serves all of our families, there should be free bus service to the new Y, and the Y should establish an after school program targeting Charlottesville High School youth and encouraging youth participation and input in the planning of programs."

Holly Edwards would bring a thoughtful, insightful and experienced voice to City Council and as I've said before, I look forward to the opportunity of serving with her on Council. Please vote on Nov. 6!


Russ Holcombe said...

"America's Healthiest City?" That sounds like the sort of vapid crap that were used to hearing from David Brown. I honestly think your endorsement might have had a bit more weight to it if you hadn't quoted her.

Huja is the only one of the current democratic lineup that seems to have a clue about how to make this city functional again. He isn't going to be able to do much good dragging dead weight around though.

Sorry to say it Dave, but if you actually cared about the future of Charlottesville, you would break with the party on this and give a nod to Kleeman instead.

DaveNorris said...

Sorry, but the "America's Healthiest City" line originated with this Council, not with Holly. You might find that goal to be mere "vapid crap"; we clearly did not. You should spend a day shadowing Holly sometime (if you can keep up with her, I can't) and you might find yourself feeling a bit less convinced of your presuppositions.

Anonymous said...

I fervently hope there are enough City residents to vote Kleeman in as well. I like you Dave, but just because Holly may be a whirling dervish does not a council member make.

Kevin Cox said...

If I take care of my family's and my own fitness and health can I have a refund of that portion of my local taxes that goes towards any local health care initiative? I don't need the Charlottesville City Council to spend money to tell me how to eat,that smoking is bad for me and that I should exercise.

I'm a fervent supporter of The Meadowcreek Parkway and I'm still voting for Peter Kleeman. He's honest and straight forward and doesn't try to feed me a line of feel good crap. I would much rather vote for an honest person that I disagree with about some issues than a phony who conceals their real views about issues we disagree on with vague murmurings that are supposed to reassure me such as, "You know, that is a very good point and an important issue. I'm so glad you are concerned about that. We'll look into it."

Most importantly to me is that Peter will be such a strong voice for pedestrians that Tim Longo and Gary OConnell might actually do something. I've heard enough yammering about pedestrian oriented development. I see first hand the reality facing pedestrians on Charlottesvilles streets every day and it isn't pretty. If the City Councilors really cared about making Charlottesville more pedestrian friendly NOW, they'd do something to get Longo and O'Connell to take some real action and not just more lip service. Supposedly there is an ongoing "crosswalk crackdown" but it looks like someone forgot to tell the police. I see no evidence of any increase in enforcement.

russ holcombe said...

So it was vapid crap from David Brown after all!! Absolutely amazing.

Charlottesville has an incredible number of real problems to solve. Rather than step up and do the difficult work you were elected to do, you guys want to diddle away at nothing. I would have a lot more respect for council if it would at least try to bring some real problems that are its business under control.

How about a city with a professional police force that can handle a crime wave caused by a handful of teenagers? How about a city with responsible management in all of its departments for that matter? How about some real solutions to environmental problems in the city rather than pretty pictures that hide the truth?

How about bringing property taxes under control rather than giving away huge amounts of money for things that are completely out of your control like with the Water Street competition? I could go on for the whole page, but you guys want to make up problems to solve. Of course, the made up problems are of the sort that make measuring success either meaningless or impossible, so I can see the appeal.

I've never been a big believer in the city ranking thing, but still, it is worth noting that the decline came during the reign of Mayor McCheese. This city deserves way better than what it's getting under his "leadership." It's playing the party game that has done that.

Stick with Holly if you feel you must, but I'll repeat, if you actually cared about the future of Charlottesville, you would break with the party and give a nod to Kleeman.