Growing up in rural Diamond, Ohio, I learned early on the importance of hard work, family, and community. Responsibility for yourself and for your neighbors was a value instituted early on, as was responsibility for your actions.

I have held onto these values ​​as I’ve moved across the state and even outside of the state for school and employment opportunities. My partner and I lived in Columbus for fourteen years, but lacked the close sense of community we had come to know as children. We spent time working in neighborhood groups, but often found a common sense of unity and a desire to work towards achieving common goals. We made the decision to move with a desire to return to a smaller community while maintaining our careers and closeness to family and friends. Newark became the clear choice.

My partner and I moved to Newark in July 2019 to a house we fell in love with. We found our neighborhood and the city itself diverse, friendly and welcoming. We appreciate the ease on our commute to work and other activities, and we look forward to returning home at the end of each day. We appreciate the incredible amenities on offer here and want to “show off” our city to our friends and family. We loved meeting our neighbors, marveled at their generosity, and enjoyed hearing stories about Newark’s past. We know these beneficial traits will continue to attract more people with similar stats, although we’ve also had time to hear our neighbors’ concerns and see firsthand areas that need improvement.

As a nurse for over fifteen years, I’ve learned the importance of listening and knowing when to act. My upbringing dictates that I must act responsibly and accountably. I listened to my neighbors’ concerns about homelessness, crime, safety, and neighborhood improvement. I think now is the time to act.

I made my decision last year to run for Newark City Council at Station 1 with a desire to serve the neighborhood my partner and I call home. I want to move Newark forward to make the city council more transparent and to hold our elected officials accountable to the residents who live and work here. I want all of us to be able to contribute to what is happening with and in our neighborhood. Knowing where and how city dollars are being spent, and having a voice in the projects and deadlines that shape and grow Newark. I want this for all of us because these kinds of decisions and discussions affect us all and I and my neighbors feel like I am excluded from these critical conversations. It is for this reason that I am running for Newark City Council and asking for your support and vote in November.

Mike Reagan is running for the first Newark City Council seat as a Democrat.