Lee Shewmake 
Member since Oct 24, 2012


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Re: “Five for Fighting

Dear Rhymnosaurus, I have been across the district as well and though I may not have gotten to your door yet, I will soon. I have 5,000 door hangers out so far, but the district is large and it does take time to talk to its 22,000+ residents.
Marty was being fully challenged as was Mr. Gammino before he had to bow out. Mr. Agelasto chose to enter the race for other reasons which are widely known.
As I have stated previously, campaign funds are collected to buy campaign items. What is the difference between donated items and cash donated to buy items? The truth is there is none. I have all the items needed for a campaign and see no point to accumulating cash for the sake of accumulating it. That seems wasteful in this economy.
As for your claim that I am belittling his experience, I am certainly not. A number of voters wanted to know what experience we each possess. The list produced is accurate. What is important information to one person may be annoying to another. Who decides what is shared and what is not? There is a clear difference in our experience and skill levels and certainly I understand those supporting Parker will not like for others to know such, but that is the purpose of a campaign - providing information to voters so they can make an informed decision.
Unlike Parker, I started my campaign at neighborhood meetings in late 2011 and in early 2012 added community events, meetings with businesses and business organizations and leaders from surrounding localities. I in fact have had quite a vibrant campaign, just with a different flavor. But that vibrancy is why I have been walking with volunteers from across the district and the city, who support my candidacy and want to share why with those they meet at their doors. Listening at all those meetings and events provided much information on the many items that require attention on a full time basis. I am fully prepared to bring a diverse array of entities together to address the varied issues facing the 5th over the next four years. I believe my history proves I am capable of that level of productivity. Voters will have to decide if I am to have that opportunity.

Best Regards,
Lee

0 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Lee Shewmake on 10/24/2012 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Five for Fighting

For those who don't base their vote on who has been bought by special interest money, I have included a clip from West of the Boulevard News blog describing the difference between Mr. Agelasto and myself. A candidate doesn't need a pile of cash, if they get their campaign items donated. Signs, door hangers, info sheets, etc. are what campaign donations are for after all. It would be nice if Style would include pertinent information in their article instead of just steering voters to their chosen candidates. See below:

Good afternoon, I am in for a break from walking and will head out again soon. The 5th is a large district to cover and it simply takes time to reach the 22,000+ residents. I walk with residents who are willing to give up their free time to hike miles and miles, knocking on doors of people they do not know, to share why they support my campaign. I hope those in the Fan 5th will take the opportunity to speak with them and not rest on hearsay on a blog. Rest assured, if you have not seen me yet, you will soon. To answer the post from PW here is a breakdown of the experience between Parker and I (I am leaving Marty out since it did not sound as if you were considering him for the position.) I have spent decades in business leadership. I have been the Marketing and Finance Director for a multi million dollar amusement park, a Turnaround Agent for a national retail chain, the Portfolio Manager for one of the largest real estate companies in the southeast, with about 200 apartment complexes, malls, commercial office space and private residential homes across 3 states and the District of Columbia and the Executive Director for a Social Service non-profit that also ran a preschool for Richmond’s inner city at-risk toddlers, along with a couple of other management posts leading up to these positions. I also have a long record of civic leadership. When I held my first meeting as President of my civic association, I invited the police to attend and received a call back inquiring where the neighborhood was located. (I am serious.) Today, all of city hall knows where Woodland Heights is as do many residents across this city. I took over a defunct and broke association and produced a coordinated machine that now funds local churches, schools, the library and parks as well as neighborhood and community wide events. We have a logo merchandise line, website, storage facilities and 501c3 status. I led the neighborhood to victories against inappropriate ABC licenses and development issues. I chaired the committee that brought Federal and State historic designation to the 80 city blocks of the neighborhood, the largest volunteer effort in state history and served as a consultant for the second largest effort for the Forest Hill neighborhood, located in 4th district. Under my leadership all 80 blocks were inventoried for tree loss and we worked with the city to see 250 new trees planted in a single year. The crossing guard at Patrick Henry, the infrastructure work at the school entrance on W 34th St, the traffic circle on W 32nd St are all my projects and I haven’t even gotten to my other volunteer leadership posts. Now let us look at my opponent, Mr. Agelasto. In his 6 years in Richmond, he has been the Interim Membership Desk Manager at the VMFA, a census collector, a small business owner, as an independent art curator and, as of September, adjunct faculty working on a job skills training project. When challenged at debates by Mr. Jewell over his zero participation in community leadership (note the irony here), Mr. Agelasto replied he had tried to participate by contacting Mr. Jewell but never received a call back. I personally find this lack of initiative troubling as he lives in one of the most active associations in the entire city, where leadership and service opportunities abound. Campaigns are really nothing more than a job interview. The job in question here is a management position in your business, the one you support financially by the money you pay in taxes, fees, etc. Selection should be based on experience and skill sets. Providing past accomplishments on a resume’ is the best tool for potential employers to gauge future accomplishments. I lived in the Fan before moving to Woodland Heights. I have very much enjoyed the many artistic opportunities our city has to offer. It certainly deserves to be better nourished in the future and I am happy to lead such an effort. That being said, in all the meetings and events I have attended since the campaign season began in January (more than 150), I know that the top concerns of residents focus on schools, infrastructure, parking, economic development, mass transit, regional cooperation, taxes, fees and surcharges, development/planning issues, minority business participation, poverty reduction and tax base expansion. This list of topics is quite varied and will require a number of skill sets as well as full time work to appropriately address. I will bring innovative leadership to the district, if you choose for me to.
Best Regards,
Lee Shewmake

4 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Lee Shewmake on 10/24/2012 at 11:20 AM

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