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Sharon Hightower

Title: Council Member

Municipality: City of Greensboro

Position Interested In: Second Vice President

Tell us why you would like to serve in a leadership position at the League. In particular, specify goals you would like to accomplish as an officer or board member and indicate how, if attained, they will help to achieve Vision 2030 – the League’s future vision of how cities and towns will operate in 2030.

I am interested in continuing the work I have experienced as a member of the League Board for the past 6 years. One of those concerns has been the difficult discussion on tackling racial equity especially after George Floyd and how we can equip our Cities and Towns to deal with this subject. The work has been started to real impact goal #6 as our cities and ton grow more diverse. that aligns itself with Goal#6. All of the goals in Vision 2030 relate back to this issue of becoming inclusive as we think about ways to incorporate growth for them.

Tell us about your experience as a municipal official. You may want to include information on your service on the municipal governing body, other related boards and special areas of interest.

Currently, I am serving the fourth year of my 3rd term as a District Councilperson. Many of my constituents experience low wages, insecure housing housing and food insecurity. It has been rewarding to recruit jobs into the District that pay $15 and above. My East GSO committee developed a specific incentive that attracts businesses to locate or relocate in District. We have tackled the difficult conversation around racial equity by opening dialogue through an Adhoc Committee on African American Disparity. This committee’s purpose is to find solutions to many if the barriers that have impeded progress for years. As the Liaison of the Transit Agency, we were the first in the State to buy electric buses with the intent to convert our noire fleet as we invest in having a clean environment. As a representative of an underserved area, I recruited a known grocery store to build in a food dessert. Raised the profile of the importance of increasing MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprise) inclusion as part of our economic development efforts. After an EF2 tornado ripped through East Gso in 2018, I worked with our Senator to get $1 million in recovery relief. This money allowed homeowners without insurance to repair their homes and I. Some cases, it assisted rebuilding to insure neighborhood stabilization. Since crime and violence is on the rise, I led the effort to establish a Cure Violence program that addresses violence in certain hot areas that are in my District.

Tell us about your educational background, professional experience, and/or community or civic activities. 

Having started off as a Business student in college, I diverted over becoming to a Paralegal concentrating in real estate, wills, trusts for 30 years. This allowed me to focus on my parents healthcare and then to raising my daughter as a single parent. I have been a Girl Scout leader, Upward Bound VP and PTA officer. I have worked alongside my community on committees like Concerned Citizens Northeast; Citizens Economic Environmental Justice, Southeast Medical Taskforce, NAACP, Gateway Research Advisory, all while being President of my neighborhood College Forest. Since being Councilperson, I have served as Liaisons for Transit Authority and MWBE, on boards of East Greensboro NOW, Piedmont Area Regional Transportation, Greensboro Housing Partnership, Continuum of Care, President NC Black Elected Officials, NC Black Alliance, National Forum of Black Public Administrators attendance at multiple neighborhood meetings.

Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • CityVision Annual Conference

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

  • Legislative Goals Planning Events or Process

  • Regional Meetings

  • Legislative Lobby Days

Please provide any other information you would like the Nominations Committee to consider.

I believe I have often brought a different perspective and raised issues that often don’t get discussed. However, being from a diverse population , that voice is often unheard and should always be recognized as important though it may be difficult. This is what our Cities and Tows will be facing from levels of politics. We must be prepared to be in that discussion. The League deals with many issues that significantly impact large cities and as District Rep, I would like to help raise the level of those concerns using Greensboro as a model of what has or has not worked to the benefit of its citizens.

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