My name is Uriah Ward. I am the founder of New Greenville, a proud pirate, a Greenville Native and a Middle School Social Studies Teacher.
I love being a teacher.. and it’s made me look at the world a bit differently. I remember shortly after I started teaching I had a moment. That moment has stayed with me. I have car duty at the end of the day, which means that I have to make sure the kids don’t get run over as they’re escaping the school. I tend to joke around with my kids some. I’ll make fun of who they’re dating, tell them their NC State shirt is out of dress code… but I noticed something and I didn’t feel like joking around anymore. I noticed that most of the kids who were doing well in school were getting into these new, shiny expensive-looking cars and the ones that were struggling the most were getting into these older beat-up-looking cars. And I was struck by the reality that so much of what determines our opportunities, happens outside of my classroom.
Every day my kids come through my classroom door and I am inspired… and I am heartbroken. I am inspired by their dreams and their passions and their potential. I am heartbroken because I know that… for many of them… unfair realities will keep them from realizing their full potential. I know that we as a society and as a community can do more for them, for their friends, their parents their neighbors and for the adults that they will become.
What can I do to keep them safer at home? What can I do to make sure they have a peaceful and supportive neighborhood? What can I do to make sure they have job opportunities when they graduate? What can I do to keep them from getting in an accident?
Now, I am proud of what I do. I believe firmly that education is critical to giving every child the chance to succeed in life.. But I’ve come to realize that so much of what shapes the opportunities that we all have.. happens beyond my classroom door.
So today, I am taking a step beyond my classroom door. Because I believe I can do more for our kids and for our community. I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. This is why today I am announcing that over the next 8 months I’ll be working to be Your Voice for Progress. Today I’m announcing that I am a candidate for Greenville City Council District 3.
As we begin I want to make something clear: This is not my campaign. This is OUR campaign. Progressive change cannot come from one person. If we are going to move this city forward, we must do it together. And from here until the end, I am relying on you. I am relying on your energy, your enthusiasm, your input and constructive criticisms. Because you are what this campaign is about. You are what the city council’s work should be about. You are my only hope for victory and you are this city’s best hope for progress.
If we win, it will be because we did it together. If we protect our neighborhoods, it will be because we did it together. If we improve Greenville’s Quality of Life, it will be because we did it together. If we make Greenville a safer place for our kids, it will be because we did it together. If we make this city safer for pedestrians, if we invest in our parks, if we improve Greenville’s traffic, if we promote local businesses, if we stand up and make it clear that everyone is welcome in Greenville no matter their race, religion, orientation or identity, it will be because we did it together.
And if we work hard, and if we reach out earnestly and passionately to our neighbors — we’ll stand together on a faraway Tuesday night with our arms raised and our heads held high basking in the light of a brighter tomorrow. And together, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work bringing progress to Greenville.
Now, lets go win this thing.