AS PARENTS of young children, my husband and I chose Manchester for our home for all that it had to offer. We recognized it for the vibrant city that it was and saw its yet untapped potential. We saw it as a great place to raise our children as it seemed filled with opportunity.

Our children have been involved in city sports since they were very young. I worked with other volunteers to create and run a theater program at their elementary school for seven years. We embraced the community of Manchester and made great friends.

Sadly, many of those friends now have made or are making the choice to leave the city. Their reasons vary from dissatisfaction with the school district, to the inability to enjoy the parks and trails as they once did, or that they are simply concerned regarding the reputation that is developing surrounding homelessness and the overall quality-of-life issues the city is facing.

I decided to run for mayor in 2019 because I wanted to help create a path to a return to Manchester’s brighter days. I wanted my children to be proud to call Manchester their hometown, and I wanted to help restore our downtown to a vibrant thriving area that is inviting to would-be guests.

As a state legislator, I worked with state agencies, across political aisles, and with local government and organizations to do the people’s work. I knew I could use those same skills to work with local and state agencies, non-profits, and faith-based groups to help our most vulnerable, our unsheltered, those suffering from addiction, and people seeking help who suffer from mental illness. I wanted to use my experience in education to lead the school district to be one that rises above the rest. I am running for mayor again for many of the same reasons.

COVID-19 has shed the light on the lack of leadership at city hall. Manchester was a rudderless ship during a time when her people were searching for leadership through unprecedented times. As a Queen City citizen, I did what I could. I reached out to people through social media to check in on them...just to see how they were doing. I gave parents tips and tricks to help with their dual roles as teachers and as remote workers. I read books to children online. With help from the community, I ran book drives and got reading materials into the hands of our students. I helped at food banks.

And, I was not alone. Many Manchester folks stepped up. We did what we could, but our mayor was not out in front.

Our volunteers never stopped working. Our non-profits never gave up. Our faith-based groups led through faith, not fear. These organizations never stopped innovating. They never stopped serving their community. That is the strength of Manchester. Her resilience lies within her people.

I have spent countless hours working alongside the volunteers in this city. I reached out to many of our hard-working organizations. I have listened to their successes and their frustrations. Based on these conversations, I have identified what I believe are the most pressing issues facing our city: homelessness, public safety, economic development, education, fiscal responsibility, transparency, and community outreach and involvement.

Over the course of this campaign, I will present solutions for each of these issues based on the information that I have gathered. I will welcome your feedback and your input because we are all in this together. I am excited to work with you. This is our opportunity to forge a brighter Manchester and dig into her yet-untapped potential. This is our time. I am ready to get to work.

Victoria Sullivan is a candidate for mayor of Manchester and a former state representative who served as assistant majority leader in the New Hampshire House.

Thursday, May 06, 2021
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