News Flash

City Manager's Office

Posted on: May 6, 2020

Statements on the Death of Council Member Burke

Council Member and Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke

Members of the City Council and City Manager Lee Garrity made the following statements today on the death of Council Member Vivian H. Burke:

Council Member Dan Besse: “It was an honor to serve with Mayor Pro Tem Vivian H. Burke on the Winston-Salem City Council.  We can’t just replace an iconic leader like Dr. Burke, who did so much to force open the paths of opportunity in our city to women, minorities, and disadvantaged members of our community.  We can all only work to build on her legacy.”

Council Member John Larson: “I am surprised and saddened by the suddenness of Council Member Burke’s passing. Her impact on the city has been immeasurable but for me personally I will remember her fondly for the courtesy and kindness she showed me when I first arrived on City Council. She will be missed.”

Council Member Annette Scippio: “Council Member Burke was a force of power and love for the people of Winston-Salem. It has been a privilege to serve with her on the council. I have fond memories of her as a 3rd grade teacher at 14th Street School, being a guest on her radio program in the early Nineties and sharing worship services at Grace Presbyterian Church, where my mother was a longtime member. Mrs. Burke, passionate, committed, driven, a true public servant! Her wisdom and insight will be sorely missed!”

City Manager Lee Garrity: “Council Member Burke served this community tirelessly for 43 years on the City Council. Serving the citizens and making our city a better place was her passion. Not a day went by that she did not do city business. She was, by far, the longest-serving council member in city history, and she was particularly dedicated to the men and women in our police and fire departments. For 36 years she chaired the council’s Public Safety Committee and it was a fitting honor when the council voted in 2018 to name the Public Safety Center after her. On behalf of all city employees, I offer her family my sincere condolences.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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