|Working Together in the Southeast Ward
Our Southeast Ward has a wonderful heritage. It’s the second-oldest part of Winston-Salem, and includes residents whose families have lived here for generations on end. In recognition of this, our ward now includes three National Register historic districts in the Waughtown/Bellview neighborhood, the Centerville neighborhood and the Sunnyside/ Central Terrace neighborhood. The Sunnyside neighborhood also includes historically significant housing stock.
Perhaps the best part of our heritage is our history of working together. This was true fifty years ago when the residents of the racially-mixed Bellview neighborhood chose to live peaceably together, and it remains true today as we welcome a new level of international diversity. Our ward has become a multi-colored festival of nationalities, with residents not only from Mexico and Latin America, but Jamaica, Pakistan, Korea, and Senegal and other countries in Africa – and I’m sure I’m missing some! And the heritage of the ward is drawing residents from elsewhere in the city who are bringing new life to the hidden jewels in our housing stock.
I sense a new level of pride in the Southeast Ward. It shows in our growing neighborhood associations and in the yards and trees that have been planted. It shows in the efforts of the Waughtown Business Association and president James Douglas, and the Southside CDC, and in the new and refurbished businesses in our ward. I am particularly excited about the transformation of the grocery story on Waughtown into an international mini-mall. Ron Creasy has done a wonderful job in turning an eyesore into an asset!
I am particularly thrilled that the Boys and Girls Club made a $5 million investment in this ward when they built their new facility on Reynolds Park Road, helping our young people grow physically, mentally and spiritually. And I’m even more thrilled by their commitment to ensure that their old facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive would remain a useful part of our ward. Today it is the home base for the Southside Church, a new, integrated congregation started by Steve Angle.
Beyond the bricks and mortar, we have Vicky Voiers and the Open Arms Community (a ministry of Centenary Methodist Church) working with the Hispanic youngsters in our community. Pastor Dennis Bishop and the congregation at First Waughtown Baptist Church is active in their neighborhood on Moravia Street.
Perhaps the best validation of the changes in the Southeast Ward came when the city designated the Waughtown commercial district as one of two commercial areas in the city to receive the first infusion of grant money under the Revitalizing Urban Commercial Areas (RUCA) program. Through this program, small business owners have been able to receive money to spruce up their businesses. A list of businesses participating in the program is at right.
And these are just some of the initiatives happening in our ward.
Yes, there are still things in the Southeast Ward that need to be fixed. And we still have to overcome perceptions that the Southeast Ward is down on its luck. Great strides have been made in the past few years, and with your input and involvement more will be forthcoming. I thank everyone who is making the Southeast Ward a better place to live and work, and I am proud to represent you on the City Council. As always, I welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to improve the Southeast Ward.
Use this link to send me an e-mail:
James Taylor, Jr.
City RUCA assistance
Old Wachovia Bank
658 Waughtown St.
Johnson’s Home of Memory
727 Waughtown St.
Kermit’s Hot Dog House*
2220 Thomasville Road
Jordan’s Body Shop
659 Waughtown St.
653 Waughtown St.
902 Waughtown St.
2223 Thomasville Road
2128 Old Lexington Road
J. Pratt Building
2124 Old Lexington Road
626 Monmouth St.
With your help the Southeast Ward is changing for the better. If you are not already involved, I urge you to become part of our campaign to “Take Pride in Southside.”
Here are some of the good things that are happening in our ward:
- The city has set aside $675,000 in matching funds to help property owners spruce up one of the declining business areas in Waughtown.
- The Waughtown Business Association has reorganized and adopted an inclusive membership structure.
- Neighborhood associations are reenergized.
- We are continuously seeking to identify investment opportunities for the area.
- A new board of directors has been appointed for the Southside CDC.
- A visioning process for the Waughtown area is underway, with assistance provided by the Community Assistance Program of the N.C. Department of Commerce.
- New public safety activities are being implemented to reduce crime.
- A dialogue has been started with neighborhood leaders and school administration to improve our public schools.
I encourage everyone to stay engaged in making our community better. Whether it involves calling your neighborhood about suspicious activity or organizing a clean-up day for your street; whether leading an effort or following the lead of others, everyone in our ward has something to contribute.
Thank you all for what you are doing for our community and the city of Winston-Salem. It is my pleasure to serve you.
I welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to improve the Southeast Ward.
Use this link to send me an e-mail.