I’d like to officially pledge my support and endorsement for Melissa Link, who is both a dear friend and a professional colleague of mine. I would like to talk only about Melissa and why I support her, and refrain from negative commentary about her opponent, whom I also know and respect.
I’ve lived in Athens for about 14 years now, and I met Melissa probably a year after I moved here. Since then, Melissa and I have worked together on many community projects, and I’ve always felt that she acted with the overall best interest of our community, the state and truly the nation at heart.
When I was president of the UGA students for John Kerry organization in 2004, I did some serious pavement-pounding with quite a few neighbors for non-partisan voter registration. In addition to giving her time, Melissa really made an effort to educate people, not on divisive political issues but on voting laws in general. Flash forward to 2008: When I was on the leadership team for Obama for America, I could always count on Melissa to help out when I needed help and, more importantly, I could also count on her to give me good advice when I asked for it. We worked together on the Boulevard Gardening Club Steering Committee as well, and I was impressed by how capable she was in getting initiatives funded and implemented to better the neighborhood.
Now, let’s talk about Chase Street Elementary. When I served on the PTO executive board, I always knew that Melissa would show up to volunteer at school events, regardless of the fact that she’s not a CSE parent. Whether it was handing out snacks at Race for Chase or baking goodies for the Election Day bake sale, Melissa helped out, whether she was asked directly or not.
About a week ago, Melissa and I met at the Rocksprings Splash Pad to swim, and Melissa explained to me her role in helping out with the public art project there with local artist Harold Rittenberry. That is an especially relevant example of Melissa’s engagement in and work for all neighborhoods in the district, not just Boulevard.
Her husband, Charles Clark, is an educator, and will continue to be a positive asset to the Athens community and active supporter of CCSD schools.
Pete McCommons is right, end of story. Melissa Link is the educated choice for District 3 commissioner. She has been dedicated to representing the diversity of the community through 20 years as a community activist, arguing for things like a better bus system and affordable housing in in-town neighborhoods. She wants to continue this work on the commission, and I believe she will be effective in initiating local policy that will help make better lives for all families in our community.