"We need someone on [the] Council to engage real issues and to bring the city together,” he announced during his campaign launch on the front steps of the Stryker Building.
Tuesday, Feb. 7, David Sievers officially launched his candidacy for the upcoming Williamsburg City Council election, to be held on May 6. Sievers is a junior at the College, but is taking a semester off from his studies to devote his full attention to his candidacy.
While the job may not sound impressive, Williamsburg City Council members, elected by registered Williamsburg voters, influence every aspect of life in Williamsburg, from the Heritage Humane Society to zoning and residential bylaws.
The council is made up of five members, with the mayor of the city elected within the council, and members serving four-year, staggered terms. Elections are held in May on even-numbered years.
The council governs as a parliamentary legislative body, proposing bills, holding votes, and passing laws to govern the city.
Every year, the council publishes a collection of decided goals and initiatives to focus on for the calendar year, describing the direction for change in the future, and driving the city government operating budget. This year’s race is for two open seats, with four announced candidates, including Sievers and the two incumbents.
Sievers’ platform is based on bringing Williamsburg together as a community and providing for the needs of all community members. His issues include a “Smart Growth” plan of promoting guided city density as well as advocating for transportation solutions in both Williamsburg and the greater region area. He would like to ensure stable economic health by diversifying the business base in Williamsburg and carry out a plan for inclusive, affordable housing for lower-income Williamsburg workers. Last, he wants to promote community dialogue in order to build connections among Williamsburg residents.
"I want to build One Williamsburg," Sievers said.
Although the rights to both run for city council and vote in the election have been contested in the past, Sievers is not the first student to run for city council. In 2004, three students unsuccessfully ran for city council. Despite this, Sievers is confident in his abilities and campaign.
“Unlike past student candidates, I am well informed, talk about issues that affect our entire community, and I hope to bring our city together to represent all of Williamsburg's residents,” Sievers said in his press release.
“I am a student,” he said, “but I am also a teacher, a neighbor, an employee in the service sector, a community leader, a cyclist, an environmentalist, and a member of this community.”