City and community leaders send in condolences on the passing of Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke

City and community leaders send in condolences on the passing of Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke
May 14
00:15 2020

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin: 

“The North Carolina Democratic Party is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Pro Tempore Dr. Vivian Burke. Dr. Burke was a trailblazer who served the City of Winston-Salem for four decades and became the longest serving elected official in the city’s history. We mourn with the entire Burke family, but also celebrate the work of Dr. Burke and her commitment to serving her community.”

Forsyth County Commissioner Chair Dave Plyler: 

“We’re saddened to hear about the passing of Vivian Burke. She was a champion for equality who left an enduring legacy with her 43 years of service on the City Council. Her family has had outstanding devotion to service with her late husband State Rep. Logan Burke; her son, Senior Resident Superior Judge Todd Burke; and her daughter-in-law, Barbara Burke, who serves on the school board. Vivian was truly a community institution and she will be missed. On behalf of Forsyth County Government and the Board of Commissioners, we offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends and the many other people in the community whose lives she touched.”

Chancellor Elwood Robinson on behalf of Winston-Salem State University: 

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Winston-Salem Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke. Dr. Burke was an icon in the community with 43 years of service to the city and its constituents. When she was elected to the Winston-Salem City Council, she was one of the first two African-American women elected to the board. Throughout her more than four decades of service, she fought for the African-American community and for our university. Dr. Burke served as a member of WSSU’s Board of Trustees during a time of great change and transformation. Her leadership contributed to the development of the university’s first doctoral degrees, the construction of the Donald J. Reaves Student Activities Center, and the renovation of Hill Hall. Her entire life exemplified the WSSU motto of “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve.” Her work has left an indelible mark on our community. We acknowledge the great loss to the world as a result of her passing and offer our condolences to her family during this difficult time.”

Members of the City Council

Council Member Dan Besse: 

“It was an honor to serve with Mayor Pro Tem Vivian H. Burke on the Winston-Salem City Council. We can’t just replace an iconic leader like Dr. Burke, who did so much to force open the paths of opportunity in our city to women, minorities, and disadvantaged members of our community. We can all only work to build on her legacy.”

Council Member John Larson: 

“I am surprised and saddened by the suddenness of Council Member Burke’s passing. Her impact on the city has been immeasurable but for me personally. I will remember her fondly for the courtesy and kindness she showed me when I first arrived on City Council. She will be missed.”

Council Member Annette Scippio: 

“Council Member Burke was a force of power and love for the people of Winston-Salem. It has been a privilege to serve with her on the council. I have fond memories of her as a 3rd grade teacher at 14th Street School, being a guest on her radio program in the early nineties and sharing worship services at Grace Presbyterian Church, where my mother was a longtime member. Mrs. Burke, passionate, committed, driven, a true public servant! Her wisdom and insight will be sorely missed!”

City Manager Lee Garrity: 

“Council Member Burke served this community tirelessly for 43 years on the City Council. Serving the citizens and making our city a better place was her passion. Not a day went by that she did not do city business. She was, by far, the longest-serving council member in city history, and she was particularly dedicated to the men and women in our police and fire departments. For 36 years she chaired the council’s Public Safety Committee and it was a fitting honor when the council voted in 2018 to name the Public Safety Center after her. On behalf of all city employees, I offer her family my sincere condolences.”

Mayor Joines’ Statement on Council Member Vivian H. Burke

      “Council Member Vivian Burke was a remarkable woman who leaves a legacy of accomplishment that shaped the city that is Winston-Salem today. Throughout her 43 years on the City Council she was a tireless leader and advocate for equal rights and equal opportunities for all of our citizens. She initiated the establishment of the Human Relations Department to work for better race relations, and initiated the city’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program to ensure inclusiveness in city purchasing and contracting practices. She lent her talents to a tremendous number of boards for local and statewide organizations and was instrumental in organizing the Black Political Action League and the N.C. Black Elected Municipal Officials Association. Her death leaves a void in our civic life that cannot be easily filled, and on behalf of all city employees and the citizens of Winston-Salem I extend to her family my deepest sympathies.”

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