McCoy looks to provide “a new way forward” for the NE Ward

Paul McCoy

McCoy looks to provide “a new way forward” for the NE Ward
March 19
10:25 2020

Earlier this month, longtime city native Paula McCoy announced her plans to run as an unaffiliated candidate for the Northeast Ward on the Winston-Salem City Council. 

In a press release submitted to The Chronicle earlier this month, McCoy, who is the former executive director of Northwest Child Development Corporation and Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods (NBN), said her campaign is about offering Winston-Salem a “new way forward.” McCoy mentioned that she had a conversation with incumbent Council Member Vivian Burke sometime last year and was asked if she had considered running. 

“She asked me if I had considered running for the ward and I told her I would not run as long as she was running … I didn’t find out she wasn’t running until she announced it the day of the filing deadline, so I didn’t have enough time to file,” McCoy said. 

McCoy said after Burke decided not to run for re-election, and receiving multiple calls from citizens, she decided to run as an unaffiliated candidate. As an unaffiliated candidate, McCoy must submit a petition with more than 280 signatures from registered voters to the Forsyth County Board of Elections to appear on the ballot in the general election. 

When discussing her platform, McCoy said the most pressing issue facing the Northeast Ward is poverty. She said the policies that are currently in place keep people from being able to be “mobile economically.” And as a member of city council, her plan is to change that. 

“I think it’s the economy and the policies we put in place over the years have kept people from being able to be mobile economically and so being on the council, I think there’s an opportunity to help change some of those outdated policies that keep people from being economically mobile,” McCoy continued. “Poverty is all over the country and the fact that it’s so high here is linked to the fact that people have not had the opportunity to help solve the problems. The people who are impacted by poverty need to have a voice in how we solve this issue. If government was the answer, if the institutions had the answer, if philanthropy had the answer, we wouldn’t be here. I think it requires the people to help move the needle.” 

Other items on McCoy’s list of things she plans to address if elected are all related to poverty, including the affordable housing crisis, low-performing schools, and a complete overhaul of the transit system. McCoy said what will help her most in the general election is her track record of working to uplift the community. Along with her stints with Northwest Child Development Corporation and NBN, McCoy has also served on a number of boards including the Winston-Salem Foundation, Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI), Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, and several others. 

“The thing that will help me most is the fact that I have been working in the community and I have been working to help people realize their power,” she said. “A lot of the time you hear people say ‘let’s empower people,’ but you don’t have to give people power, they already have power. We have to help them realize the power that they have.”

If she gets the signatures needed to be added to the ballot in the general election scheduled for Nov. 3, McCoy will face off against Barbara Hanes-Burke, Vivian Burke’s daughter-in-law, who won the Democratic primary election earlier this month. When discussing her challenger, McCoy said she believes Hanes-Burke is running on a name and that it’s time for a change. 

“I decided to run after getting many calls from people who encouraged me to run and so for me, it was a call to lead and I simply answered the call. People feel like they didn’t have a choice and so they needed another choice,” McCoy said. 

For more information on Paula McCoy and her platform, visit or visit “Paula McCoy” on Facebook.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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