Recently my name has appeared in the news more and more, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Annie Black and I am your City Councilwoman.
I am a native Nevadan and, until moving to Mesquite, a lifelong resident of Las Vegas. I moved to Mesquite in pursuit of a better life for my family. As I looked back at my life and saw what was in store for my boys, I realized there was a better life for them. I yearned to give them the best possible childhood, while still making sure they were being raised right. Mesquite has given us that and so much more.
My life has been defined by my choices. Motherhood, above all else, taught me that life rarely grants second chances and that every day is another opportunity to do better than the day before. I have taken these lessons with me and tried to apply them to every aspect of my life. As a City Councilwoman, each of those lessons resonates more and more.
I was elected to the City Council last year. It has been an amazing experience that has empowered me to make a change for the better in our community. Like motherhood, nothing can prepare you for trials of public service. I came in ready to give it my all and work to get better every single day. In the past few months, I have worked to create a more transparent city government, reform the budgetary process, improve public safety, and support business growth. I also serve as a representative of the people of Mesquite on boards and committees.
>From the outside looking in, it is not always clear how or what the city government does on behalf of the citizens. I believe that my first duty as a City Councilwoman is to preserve the public trust placed in the city government. I was elected to care for the city and be a champion for my constituents. I work towards that goal every single day.
My greatest trial as a public servant so far has been participate in the process of creating a budget for the city. Much to my surprise, City Councilmembers do not have as much of a say as I previously believed. The city staff generates a budget and the City Council votes to approve it a short time later. I voted “No” on the most recently passed budget – not because I disagree with paying our firefighters and police, or meeting our other obligations, but because I am not comfortable spending taxpayers money without proper planning and due diligence. I made it a priority to meet with as many city department heads as possible, in order to better understand how tax dollars are being spent. I have voiced my opinions and stated my case for a more comprehensive budgetary process. It is my goal to reform the budgetary process and ensure that we are being more responsible with tax dollars.
I have been very successful in these endeavors in public safety and education. I have built great working relationships with Police, Fire, Parks and Leisure, and all other departments. I am also the Council’s representative on Community Education Advisory Board (“CEAB”). The CEAB is a board that provides grant funding for our local schools, from taxation of the sale of marijuana. I will continue to advocate for education and strive to get our educators the tools they need to be successful.
I am passionate about improving our community and the people in our city have jumped at the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and join me in that mission. I have spearheaded several service projects of late. The first service project was a cleanup of the corner of Hillside and Sandhill, one of the busiest intersections in Mesquite. The second, a mural project at the Women’s History and Culture Center. As these projects continue, I hope more and more people from our community will participate.
I will make it a priority to report back more often. For now, I hope you’ve learned a little more about me and my values.
Councilwoman Annie Black