Tuesday, September 25, 2018

‘We Are a Powerful Force’

March 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Highlights

ASKED & ANSWERED: SHEILA COLLINS

‘We Are a Powerful Force’

SHEILA COLLINS

Las Vegas native Sheila Collins is running to represent Ward 5 on the Las Vegas City Council — a seat that opened following the swift and stunning downfall of former Councilman Ricki Barlow. Las Vegas Black Image spoke to Collins about her campaign and why it’s time for “a woman’s touch.”

Did you grow up in Ward 5?

Yes, I went to elementary in Ward 5 and grew up in the community where I currently live now.

What prompted you to run for City Council representing Ward 5?

It has always been my passion to bring about change to Ward 5, based on my observations for the last 20 years of it being underdeveloped. I am running for the seat because it seems to be the perfect time for women to be elected and to be part of positive change. I have worked alongside my father [Gene Collins] on community boards — and I thought it was time for me to get involved on a political level. I have helped others become candidates, and now I’m the candidate.

You have stated that you have seen the economic development voids in Ward 5. Have you held other political leaders accountable for the voids, or do you think Ward 5 just needs a woman’s touch?

It needs a woman’s touch. We as women are nourishers. We love beyond ego and put the family and the community first because that is our nature. And it is just time for a woman’s touch in Ward 5.

What is your vision and platform for economic development in Ward 5?

My vision and platform is empowerment for the marginalized groups in the community. We have been on the back burner for economic development for so long. My passion is to assist business ownership and place mentors to help new business owners be more effective. I would like to have technology hubs in the community — because the world is changing dramatically toward digitalization, and our youth need to be able to compete nationally and globally. There shouldn’t be a reason for companies to look outside of the community for qualified employees. I want to contribute to the beautification of Ward 5 because boarded up building and barren landscapes are unnecessary. I don’t want to put too much focus on what happened in the past — I want to put the focus on moving forward. I will represent everyone in Ward 5, but I don’t apologize [for advocating] for African Americans in the community.

You were one of the organizers for the recent Women’s March in Las Vegas?

It is time for all women across the board. It’s time we take our place at the table and be unafraid to speak up. Women have always been on the front line of the movement. We have always pushed the agenda along. It’s nothing new, but we are just more empowered and we are saying we are no longer going to sit back and allow our families, community and our lives to be destroyed. No, we will stand up and take our position and make positive change. We are a powerful force.

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