The Greens at Virginia Tech are proud to endorse Leslie Hager-Smith for mayor of Blacksburg. We want to encourage the entire Virginia Tech community to turn out to vote on Nov. 7. Too often, we ignore local politics. The result is policies that are bad for the environment, bad for students and bad for local businesses. #ItMattersWhoIsMayor; it matters that we elect Leslie Hager-Smith.
Hager-Smith deserves your vote because she is a woman of character. She has served multiple times as Blacksburg's vice mayor since 2008. During that time, she has stood up for local residents and students on a number of issues, from affordable housing to sustainable development. She is a co-founder of Sustainable Blacksburg, which works to ensure that the town meets the highest standards in sustainability and environmental protection. Many politicians pay only lip service to the serious issue of clean air and water, but Hager-Smith has shown by her actions that she takes this issue seriously.
Her character is best expressed in her appreciation for, and cultivation of, the Blacksburg community. She supports Downtown Blacksburg Inc., a collection of local businesses, and she founded Up on the Roof to gather business owners and town leaders together. She understands that better paying jobs and a strong community come from cultivating local talent, not kowtowing to multinational corporations. Hager-Smith understands that cultivating a strong community means supporting everyone in that community. That's why she co-founded SolarFest 11 years ago to provide residents with another great opportunity to eat, drink and enjoy good company. That's why she fought for Accessory Dwelling units that enable poorer residents and students to find safe and clean housing. She also understands that a good education system is a necessity in the modern economy. That's why she supports local programs like Access to Community College Education (ACCE) that make it possible for residents to go to New River Community College regardless of their income.
Finally, supporting Hager-Smith is simply a matter of common sense. Climate change is impacting Virginia right now, so we need someone in office who will make sure Blacksburg is prepared for what is to come. Virginia Tech is expanding and every student who moves down here will need to find a place to live. Hager-Smith understands this basic fact and has worked diligently to ensure affordable housing for all Blacksburg residents. And lastly, Hager-Smith understands that in this era of excessive partisanship, democracy only works when we are willing to listen to one another and compromise. A vote for Hager-Smith is a vote for moderation and understanding.
To find out more visit https://www.lesliehagersmith.com/ or check her out on Twitter @LeslieforMayor. If you are interested in helping her campaign, come to the next meeting of the Greens at Virginia Tech in Squires 217 on Sept. 18.