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Reading City Council Dist 5

Under the Home Rule Charter, the City of Reading is divided into six districts, with each district electing one Council member. District-elected Council members represent the voice of their District and act as a body to make decisions in the best interest of the entire City. The President of Council is elected at-large as the presiding officer of Council with the same voting powers as the other six District Council members. The President interacts with the Mayor and other governmental entities and represents the voice of Council.

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  • Candidate picture

    Donna Reed
    (Dem)

Información Biográfica

What motivates you to run for the office of Reading City council?

Please explain your qualifications for this position.

What is the most important issue(s) facing the City of Reading, and how will you resolve it?

Education Graduate Muhlenberg Township High School; Graduate, The American University, Washington, DC, with dual B.A. in political science and communications.
Qualifications Multi-term District 5 City Councilor, past member of Reading Planning Commission, Centre Park Historic District Board, current member of Pagoda Foundation, Council liaison to BCTV and Reading Area Transportation Study. I have been directly involved in many aspects of city government since 1999 when I left the Reading Eagle. During the 23 years I worked there, I reported on city matters and/or directed coverage of them. I've been actively involved in the Census efforts of 2000, 2010, and 2020, having served on all the Complete Count Committees, so I well understand the changing demographics of our city.
The motivation now is the same as it was for my first candidacy: the desire to serve the residents of Reading, especially those in the Fifth District. I learned this district as a child helping my dad and uncle whose huckster routes frequented these streets. The folks who bought our produce back then helped us earn our livings and sustain our Muhlenberg farms. Serving the folks who live here now has been a payback of sorts for the kindnesses of generations past. In my role as a public servant, I act as I believe the constituents desire: advocating for honest, transparent governance centering on those departments that protect and serve, advocating for better streets and quality of life, and pushing for meaningful economic development. With the post Covid-19 economic uptick, the next years will be critical in attracting new business throughout the city and embracing the downtown renaissance with Alvernia’s CollegeTowne campus. Building repurposing for multi-use is key to revitalization.
I am a graduate of The American University, Washington, DC, with a dual degree in political science and communications and worked out of the National Press Building and on Capitol Hill. I spent 23 years as reporter, columnist, and editor at the Reading Eagle, covering City Hall, the Reading School District, and business. I served as point person for Census 2000 awareness, garnering one of the highest response rates in the country for mid-sized cities. I was communications manager at the former Berks County Chamber of Commerce. I returned to the media as assignment editor for 69 News/Berks Edition and completed my career at The Ephrata Review. I'm still a free-lance writer. I’ve served on the Reading Planning Commission and the Reading Parking Authority and now on the Pagoda Foundation. During my Council tenure, I've gained significant institutional knowledge and experience. From saving Antietam Lake to exiting Act 47, to working with constituents, I believe my qualifications are clear.
The key issues are quality of life and economic development. They go hand-in-hand. A clean, safe city is essential to retaining and attracting businesses that can provide the kinds of employment opportunities our residents deserve. As West Reading is built out and with the Drexel University Medical School opening as well as the reconfiguration of the old VF property – all within walking distance of the Buttonwood and Penn street bridges, we need to concentrate redevelopment and enhanced housing in the western sector. Riverfront development needs should be a priority from Confluence Point Park and the Dana South 50 acres down to the Bingaman Street Bridge area. The old Glidden property offers development potential with its proximity to Route 12. We need to encourage neighborhoods to organize and work towards successes seen in Centre Park, South of Penn, and 18th Wonder. Resolution occurs by working with the mayor, fellow councilors, auditor, key partners, and the people of Reading.