Nikuyah Walker

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Nikuyah Walker
20171229-Walker-swearing-in.jpg

Term Start 2018
Preceded by Mike Signer

Member, City Council
Electoral District At-Large
Term Start 2018

Biographical Information

Date of birth ca. 1980
Place of birth City of Charlottesville
Children 3
Residence Belmont Neighborhood
Alma mater Charlottesville High School (class of 1998); Virginia Commonwealth University (class of 2004)
Profession City of Charlottesville – Parks and Recreation – Rec Aide
Website https://www.votenikuyahforcouncil.com/
Campaign $ VPAP
Contributions $ VPAP

Nikuyah Walker (I) is mayor and one of five members of the current City Council. Walker, who placed first in the 2017 election, is the first independent elected to the office of Charlottesville City Council since the 1940's.

Short Bio

Nikuyah Walker (I) was elected to City Council in the 2017 election. In January 2018, at the first meeting of the City Council’s new term, Walker was selected by her peers to serve as President of the Council (mayor). She is scheduled to serve a two-year term as Mayor of Charlottesville. A longtime activist and community organizer, she has participated in various non-profits in Charlottesville, including working as a Substance Abuse Clinician and a HIV Prevention Educator. She is currently employed by the Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation.

Elections

2017 Election

Walker led at the polls in the 2017 election held on November 7, 2017 to become Charlottesville’s first independent candidate elected to the Charlottesville City Council since since 1948.[1] Independent Nikuyah Walker was a candidate for Charlottesville City Council in the November 7, 2017 general election. Two of the five seats on council were determined in this election. Other candidates in this race included John Hall (I), Heather Hill (D), Kenneth Jackson (I), Amy Laufer (D), Paul Long (I). Each candidate was interviewed by Charlottesville Tomorrow and asked 10 questions about their qualifications, priorities and important quality of life issues.

Native of Charlottesville.
Education: Charlottesville High School in 1998; Virginia Commonwealth University BA - Political Science 2004
Occupation: City of Charlottesville – Parks and Recreation – Rec Aide
Previous political experience: None
Age on Election Day: 37
Neighborhood or area of residence: Belmont
Family: three children.
Other interests and experiences: Music, Theatre and Reading.[2]

Campaign platform

Walker’s campaign was defined by the issues of affordable housing, local government transparency and addressing racial inequality in the Charlottesville community.[3]

  • Listen to concerns and act to fix problems.[4]
  • Improve the coordination of traffic lights.[5]
  • Concerned that subsidized units at Friendship Court will disappear as the Piedmont Housing Alliance redevelops that property. [6]
  • Councilors have to be respectful of elected officials in other localities. “The county partnership is going to be essential in making sure we fix the issues with housing,” Walker said. “Charlottesville will not be able to fix that issue alone because we do not have the land.”[7]

City council signature issues

  • According to the City Council’s website: "Nikuyah’s commitment has been to authentic inclusion, equity, and progress. Her primary goal as a councilor is to help create a city that deserves its World Class designation." [8]

City council key votes

City council business travel

Election 2017

Candidates Votes %
Nikuyah Walker (I) 7,906 29.13
Heather Hill (D) 7,752 28.57
Amy Laufer (D) 7,697 28.36
Kenneth Jackson (I) 2,186 8.06
Paul Long (I) 804 2.96
John Edward Hall (I) 597 2.20
Write-In 95 na


Voters could cast two votes, one for each of the two seats available, hence the percentages do not total 100%.

Walker announced her candidacy on March 14, 2017. [9]

Walker said she ran at the request of late former City Councilor Holly Edwards. She said she ran to address racial disparities and low-income housing in Charlottesville, as well as create more transparency in the way government agencies are funded by the government. [10]

Prior to her election, Walker appeared before Council on multiple occasions to bring awareness to inequality in Charlottesville. [11]

Material from campaign announcement

"This is a unique time in history and it presents an unprecedented opportunity for Charlottesville to move beyond the illusion of being a progressive, utopian village and roll up its sleeves to restructure and create a community where all citizens are able to thrive. Charlottesville has for too long, hidden behind its physical beauty and lofty intentions. Too many of us have remained unwilling to discuss the duality of this city. While the place is aesthetically charming to the outside observer, it clearly lacks that same appeal on an internal level. Charlottesville is a resource rich community, yet those resources have failed to close wealth, education and health gaps. In an area where the University of Virginia is a blink away and philanthropists --from the Dave Matthews band to local groups and individuals, make generous contributions with hopes that their donations will fuel ongoing positive change, we continue to live in a city that tells a vastly different story depending on the narrators' race and economic status. During years of working in social services and as a social justice advocate, I have witnessed the well-intentioned, genuine efforts of our city's philanthropists become nothing more than a business of maintaining middle and upper middle incomes. Charlottesville's narrative is currently mired in duplicity and muddled in “alternative facts.” Yet, the city is full of capable people with the passion required and the level of commitment necessary to unmask the illusion and change our narrative."

References

External Links

Official campaign website