Dear Neighbors,

I believe in empowering our community to ensure that Greensboro continues to grow and prosper. I have lived in Greensboro since 1996 and I’m proud to call it home! After retiring from a successful musical theatre career in 2004, I began college at age 40. Yes, I was a 40 year old Freshman at UNCG.  I’m the first person in my family to go to college and my whole world opened up through my studies and research.  I received my B. A. where I specialized in Biological Anthropology. My focus of research centered around the field of paleopathology, the study of disease in ancient populations. After undergrad, I pursued my Graduate studies in Public Health Education, also at UNCG.  I earned my Masters of Public Health and my focus of research was increasing physical activity in children to decrease the risk of childhood obesity. My husband, Matthew and I share our alma mater, as my husband also earned his BFA in Acting at UNCG! My strong support and belief in public education is reflected in our daughter, Bronwen’s education. She has attended Guilford County Public Schools since Kindergarten – now a rising Sophomore at Weaver Academy, Theatre Arts Program.

I also served as a Research Associate and Children’s Curriculum Coordinator at UNCG’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAPEd) for four years.  In my role with SNAPEd, I traveled to various low-income elementary schools and City Parks and Rec afterschool centers in Greensboro and High Point. There, I taught nutrition education via LIVE theatre productions, as well as other engaging children’s nutrition education programs.

I believe in the American Dream, that if one works hard, anything is possible.  However, I also believe that there are many factors at play that can impact the quality of life for many families in Greensboro. In my former role as a Youth Development Coordinator and my current role as an Exceptional Children’s Teacher in Greensboro, I know there is not always equity in the world. I’m a strong advocate for Social Justice, Equal Rights, Human Rights, Women’s Rights. I’m also a concerned citizen of Greensboro.  Like many of you, I’m devoted to increasing transparency and oversight within our police force.

I’m aware of the state law (HB972) that limits the Greensboro City Council’s ability to mandate body-cam footage be released to the public when use of excessive force is in question.  However, I believe I am not limited in my own actions, voice, and support for Greensboro’s families.  Speaking out, and more importantly, listening to families’ genuine concerns are one of my highest priorities.

Issues:

Infrastructure – I support a budget that will take assertive measures to make Greensboro neighborhoods safer & more community-friendly.  For example, constructing sidewalks in underserved neighborhoods.  Sidewalks promote public-safety, health & well-being. Neighborhoods with accessible sidewalks decrease the risks of pedestrians being struck by vehicles.  In addition, neighborhoods with sidewalks foster physical activity.  Daily physical activity decreases risks of obesity, and increases quality of life.

Economic Justice – I support the movement to raising the minimum wage to at least $15.00 per hour by 2020.  In addition, I support workers’ rights to being paid for overtime at time and one-half.  Just because NC is a Right-to-Work state, doesn’t mean that workers should be denied overtime pay earned.

Police Accountability & Transparency – The Greensboro Police Department has adopted an agency-wide Neighborhood Oriented Policing philosophy (2014) which states, “The goal is to align geography, officers and workload to better serve you, the public. By dedicating the same officers to your area, they get to know you better and work with you more to solve problems and improve quality of life” (http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/index.aspx?page=4489).  Also, on the GPD website, you can read a newsletter (July 01, 2014) that lays out strategies, goals, and methods.  That newsletter is over three years old.

I believe that a more assertive public relations approach is needed to inform the community of the GPD’s rates of success since implementing this philosophy – how is the GPD measuring effectiveness? I also believe that Greensboro Police Officers must participate in continuing professional development sessions that deal with issues of:  Social Justice, Biased-policing, Cultural Competency, Sensitivity Training, and how to De-escalate dangerous situations.  In addition, the GPD must proactively protect against discrimination in all its forms, including:  Racism, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Poverty, Persons with Mental Illnesses, and Substance-addicted persons.

Above all, by empowering, planning, and acting alongside our community members is a more efficient and collaborative way to bring about positive changes. I promise to work toward these goals as your next City Council At Large Member.

Respectfully, I ask for your vote on October 10, 2017 in the Primary, as well as the General Election on November 7, 2017.

Onward together!

Jodi Bennett-Bradshaw

@jbbgreensboro

jodi@vote4jodi.com

The Voice We Need for the Change We Deserve