Political newcomer to run for Wilmington council

Rysheema DixonWith a goal to help attract more businesses and community entrepreneurs to Wilmington, city consultant Rysheema Dixon announced she will run for a city council at-large seat.

Dixon, 29, said, if elected, she hopes to cultivate a vibrant business hub in downtown Wilmington and in its neighborhoods.

“I am wanting to focus more on community entrepreneurship opportunities,” said Dixon, a Philadelphia native who moved to Delaware as a teen.

“I also want to build more synergy around all of Wilmington to break down some of those silo issues and make sure our sectors are working in sync to make sure we are all growing as one and not leaving others out of the process,” she said.

Dixon hopes to tap into her experience working with city nonprofits and area hospitals, which has shown her how important it is to have collaborative growth in many areas including transportation, education and healthcare to improve communities.

“In order to see those things work, they have to work collectively,” Dixon said.

Dixon is President and CEO of her own consulting firm, RD Innovative Planning, which she operates from her Market Street home. Dixon has worked mainly with the Wilmington HOPE Commission, Nemours Health and Prevention Services, Christiana Care and Henrietta Johnson Medical Center.

Dixon is running for one of four at-large council seats, one of which is reserved for a minority party. The seats are currently held by three Democrats – Maria Cabrera, Loretta Walsh and Justen Wright – and Republican Mike Brown, who is not seeking re-election.

There will be several open seats on council on the 2016 ballot. Council President Theo Gregory has announced he will run for mayor and vying for his seat will be Wright and current 4th district councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz.

Political newcomer Michelle Harlee has announced she will run for Shabazz’s seat, but several other district seats have no announced candidate. Fifth district Councilman Sammy Prado has announced he is not running for re-election and 6th district Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker is running for lieutenant governor, leaving those two seats up for grabs. Darius Brown, who represents the 3rd District, and Cabrera have not said if they will seek re-election.

Dixon said she has long had political aspirations and hopes to be elected to higher office eventually.

“I thought this would be a great platform to start because Wilmington helped me become a leader in my field,” she said.

Contact Jenna Pizzi at jpizzi@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2837. Follow her on Twitter @JennaPizzi.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/12/24/political-newcomer-run-councilwoman–large/77879224/

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