by Sally Cook

Given the opportunity to reflect on my short time on the Salem City Council, I want to begin by thanking my friends and neighbors in Ward 7. I am humbled by the support, insight and perspective of the working families that take time out of their day to call, write, email, or attend a meeting to make their voices heard.

As busy as I feel, at times, I know plenty of people in my ward are managing 30-50 hour weeks, juggling family life with parents and kids, struggling to make ends meet, and working hard to make a better life for themselves and for others in the neighborhood. I am energized by the work taking place in Ward 7 and I am proud to be an advocate for the people living there.

My perspective as a mom, daughter and neighbor has been invaluable on City Council. It requires engaging the community on short term and long term goals.  I am proud to be partnering with Mayor Bennett to see how Salem can be not only a child-friendly city, but a city for all ages. Making sure planning and services include these groups will make livability — the cornerstone of my service on the Council — a priority for everyone. By facing wider community challenges, I am confident that individual issues can be addressed. When we improve our built environment and our natural environment we improve the health and well-being of everyone. 

I am driven to listen and learn when I am out in other communities as well as in my own community. I want to understand neighborhood needs that I can address, and at the same time work to increase the capacity of neighbors to address issues they care about.

I will be supporting transportation improvement projects that add value to surrounding neighborhoods. I will be insisting that our growth be well planned. I know we can increase the density of our neighborhoods without lowering the livability of neighborhoods.

My vision for Salem is as a thriving, inclusive, sustainable community that we realize through strategic investments of volunteer hours, money and skill in our residential, commercial and public places.

I want to thank my neighbors in Ward 7 again for giving me this opportunity to give back to my hometown. Please continue to contact me with your advice and suggestions.

Ward 7 city councilor Sally Cook is passionate about Salem and pragmatic in her endeavors.

Salem Weekly invites all city councilors to address constituents with opinions in Salem Weekly. This is one of a series!