Champion: No obstacle too big, education is pivotal

Sep. 18, 2013 @ 06:31 PM

Geraldine Champion remembers a time of bustling activity on Garnett Street.

She remembers being able to have peaceful conversations on the porch of a house, and to leave that house with doors unlocked.

In an effort to help Henderson recapture some of that, Champion is making a bid for the Ward 3 seat on City Council. Her opponent is incumbent Garry Daeke. Early voting starts today, and Election Day is Tuesday, Oct. 8.

“I believe we as citizens, in the event I become a city council person, the city council and the citizens can overcome any obstacles we have in the future,” Champion said. “We all went through the closing of our major factors, where they closed and went overseas, or went bankrupt, but we can overcome that.”

She said the county may oversee the public school system, but she believes education of youth is a key factor in attracting new businesses for the tax base.

“Our biggest issue, which the city doesn’t handle, is the educational issue,” Champion said.

She believes the obstacles can be overcome, and the good of all the wards will be paramount in her decision-making if elected.

Champion helps her daughters with grandchildren and currently serves on the boards of Henderson-Vance Human Relations, Senior Citizens Advisory, boards for the nursing home and rest home, and the Clientele Council with N.C. Legal Aid. She also participates with Community Watch.

Champion believes she’s best for the job in part because of her relationship with people in Ward 3.

“I believe that a person such as myself who is not intimidated by the community, that they will get out and walk in any area, should be a voice for the people,” Champion said. “I know how to carry myself in a way that can be a voice for the people. That makes me a good candidate: my compassion, my voice and my love of people.”

And she hopes for some small semblance of days gone by.

“One thing I would like to see is a significant drop in the crime rate,” Champion said. “I would like for us, citywide, to be able to sit on the porch, watch our grandchildren and children in the yard, read our paper, drinking a Coca-Cola, and sit on the porch and do those things without having to duck gunshots, having to hear all this loud music, without having to see underwear going up and down the street. I’d love to be able to go back to that time.

“I would like to imagine in the future, that Henderson can be a place we can all be proud of again.”

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.