Bernita Sims, Mayor of High Point, NC
Every Democratic Municipal Official is busy. But Bernita Sims is really busy!
We know we have paid a lot of attention to North Carolina this year, and today, we are going to go there again. After all, we are working to paint that state BLUE!
Congratulations to MAYOR Bernita Sims. Many of us have known Bernita Sims a a Council Member from High Point, North Carolina. We know her as a National League of Cities (NLC) Board Member, and a member of the NLC Search Committee charged with hiring the new Executive Director. We know her as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and as an officer in the DMO North Carolina State Chapter.
Here's what she's been up to in North Carolina,
"She has been a member of the High Point City Council since December, 2003, where she has served as liaison to the High Point Museum Board and the Human Relations Commission, is the current Chair of the Public Services Committee, is a member of the Special and Planning Committee and serves as liaison to the local Alcohol and Beverage Commission.She was elected Mayor Pro-Tem in December of 2005 by her fellow council members and served a one-year term.She serves on the National League of Cities FAIR Committee, (Finance, Administration, and Intergovernmental Relations) and is the Chairwoman of the Finance and Administrative Legislative Action Committee for the North Carolina League of Municipalities.Bernita was the High Point Housing Authority Pillars of Fame honoree for 2009.Her most recent achievement was receiving the 2010 High Point Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Advocate of the Year.
"Her community service involvement includes co-chair of the Black Leadership Roundtable of High Point, workshop coordinator for High Point Racial Healing, Chair of the High Point Children’s Cabinet (the United Way of Greater High Point’s 2009 Child Advocate of the Year Award recipient), Secretary of the High Point Branch of the NAACP, serves on the Executive Committee of the Guilford County-Greensboro-High Point Workforce Development Board (chair of the Community Awareness Committee and the Incumbent Workers Grant Committee) , Chair of the Democratic Party’s 12th Congressional District and Chair of Welfare Reform Liaison Project, Inc.She also sits on the boards of Win-Win Resolutions (National Board), SCV Ministries, Inc., the High Point Workforce Alliance, the High Point Community Foundation, and the City Project Board.
"She attends Williams Memorial C.M.E. Church where she serves as President of the Board of Trustees, President of the Pastor’s Aide, is a member of the Chorale Ensemble Choir, the Children’s Retreat Committee, the IT Committee and serves on the Board of RJW Ministries, Inc."
So, Bernita Sims obviously didn't think she was busy enough, and therefore ran for Mayor. And Won!
She is a real testament to why we love municipal officials and see local politics as very different from the divisive climate in Washington. The Greensboro News & Record published this description,
Fellow City Council member Latimer Alexander describes her approach to issues as logical.
"She likes to read, does her independent research, then consults with either the council or community, then works up to making a decision,” he says. "Some people I’ve worked with make a decision, then go out to find the facts to support their decision.”
Sims says her involvement with the Democratic Party naturally led her to seek a spot on the City Council. Sims, who has served on the council for five terms, was first elected in 2001.
"I think I surprised people,” she says. "I think people thought I would be a militant black female when I first came to council.”
Alexander also was elected to the City Council for the first time in the same year as Sims.
They are very different, he says.
"I am a strong, white male Republican. Bernita is a strong, African American female Democrat. ... We’re very different people, but there’s no one that I respect more than Bernita Sims, because I know in her heart, she wants to do the right things for the right reasons,” Alexander says.
When he was president of the N.C. League of Municipalities, he chose her to lead one of its legislative action committees — a group that helps formulate policies.
He says they frequently tell people they are twins.
"I’m over 6 feet tall and she’s just over 5 feet. I’m white and she’s black, and we give each other a hug and say, 'Can’t you see the family resemblance?’” Alexander says. " We are brother and sister in service.”
How can we not name Bernita Sims our Democratic Municipal Official of the Month? It is well-deserved!