• Greenville City Council District 3

    Two Candidates; Voters Select 1

    Marion Blackburn, candidate for Greenville City Council District 3

    Marion Blackburn


    Your current job and title:


    I work as a paralegal, writer, and policy consultant. I serve as the District 3 representative on the Greenville City Council.


    Your highest level of education:


    Master of Public Administration, East Carolina University, with a focus in public policy.


    If you're elected or re-elected, what will be your top priority? Why?


    In a few words, my top priority is “Making sure Greenville is a safe, lively, prosperous community where all people enjoy an excellent quality of life.” I am passionate about representing people. Their wishes, their dreams, and their needs form my top priorities.


    People tell me they are concerned about safety, affordable housing, and the environment. They want more entertainment – concerts, art shows, theater, bands, even a music festival. They want a performing arts center.


    I represent many students. They also want a safe community with fun activities. More concerts, running and walking events, festivals. Indeed, most residents of District 3, regardless of their age, profession, or walk of life, share a similar vision.


    We have to support small businesses. These enterprises make our city prosperous, Moreover, small businesses give people the chance to follow their dreams. Whether they envision opening a florist shop, a tailor’s studio, a café or a restaurant – these small businesses become part of our city’s fabric.


    We support them by making sure city processes are easy to navigate. We make sure we don’t have too many obstacles hindering their success. And, we make sure their customers can get to them.

    For instance, I support free parking downtown, instead of the paid system in place.


    In addition, I am passionate about animals. I support animal welfare in our community. I want to prevent, and prosecute, cruelty.


    Together these issues form my top priority of making Greenville desirable, attractive, and progressive.


    If you're elected or re-elected, how will you involve your constituents in the process of making decisions?


    Transparency and listening serve as hallmarks of my service. I engage voters in a number of ways:


    • I distribute regular City Council updates

    • My social media posts outline the issues

    • I welcome people to respond via email, phone, or in-person meeting

    • My personal cell phone is publicly available

    • I attend public events

    • I attend neighborhood meetings

    • I regularly consult with residents in all the areas of the district


    Why should voters choose you for the position you're running for?


    My vision is to create a desirable community our citizens love to call ‘home.’ A place where they can count on safety; smooth transit on good roads; safe, walkable streets, sidewalks, and greenways; parks; and abundant shows and entertainment.


    Moreover, I believe in an inclusive community where all voices are valued, all walks of life are embraced, and love for others prevails. That means everyone feels welcome – homeowners, students, visitors, people of all walks of life, new businesses.


    It also means valuing members of the LGBTQ community and celebrating their many contributions to our city.

    These traits distinguish me as a candidate of the people, and for the people – all people. Whether you are a long-time resident homeowner, a student, a new homeowner, a member of any minority, or a newcomer from another part of the state, country, or world, I will represent you and your hopes.


    Which three things about you do you most want voters to know?

    • I believe in the dignity of all people. Love is a core human value – and I want to make sure our community shows love to all its residents. That means respecting people of all ages, professions, and economic status.
    • I am also dedicated to animal welfare and protection. I am a vegan of many years. I don’t eat meat or use any animal products like leather.
    • I love running, and have completed several marathons. 

    Is there anything else about you that you wish to tell voters?


    I am asking for your vote for Greenville City Council District 3. You have my pledge to represent you at City Hall. Too often we hear people become discouraged about politics. Or, they feel beaten down, and left out. I am working to change that. I am your voice at City Hall.


    Neighborhoods are the cherished places in our city we call home. It’s central to support them, and make sure our homes retain their value – as a financial investment, and as our places of safety and retreat from the outside world.

    We must honor the environment. I am working to end harmful practices that hurt our waterways, air, and soil. Taking care of our environment is a central value for me.


    Having a walkable city, with sidewalks, greenways, and safe crosswalks, makes life better for us all. Our greenways should take you through scenic areas – and get you around town without a car.

    If you are a student, I want you to love Greenville. I want to make sure we have restaurants, music, recreation, and events outside of your campus life. Most of all, I want you to feel safe at all times in our city – and I’m working to make sure that happens.


    I invite voters of all ages to contact me directly if they have any questions about me – my job is representing YOU on the Greenville City Council.

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    Neal Driver

     Your current job and title:


    I am the Senior Global Sales Manager for an overseas based manufacturing company and I work from home here in Greenville.


    Your highest level of education:


    Two BS degrees in Industrial Technology and a Minor in Business from ECU


    If you're elected or re-elected, what will be your top priority? Why?


    My main priority to all of Greenville is to reduce property tax burdens resulting from the County’s upcoming 2024 Property Tax revaluation. This increase could increase our property taxes by 40-50%! The City Council can reduce City rates to make this a revenue neutral solution for the taxpayers. From a student’s perspective, hiring enough law enforcement officers to fill the 28 officer shortage to ensure that all students are safe, is the top priority. Improving roads and infrastructure in town, especially on the Grid is my second priority because many of the streets around most of the students’ housing is in poor to failing condition. This is unacceptable in 2023!


    If you're elected or re-elected, how will you involve your constituents in the process of making decisions?


    The main reason that I’m running is because I, as a citizen of this great country, feel that our government has forgotten about their citizens, and what we elect them for. I want to return the Power back to the PEOPLE! I plan to personally interact and listen to business owners, permanent residents, and students on a regular basis to ensure I fully understand the true needs of the people. I plan on incorporating advisory boards representing students, businesses, the university, and permanent residents to ensure collaboration together towards one common goal here. That’s to ensure that Greenville is the flagship city of the east and a place where everyone will STAY and THRIVE due an abundance of economic opportunity.


    Why should voters choose you for the position you're running for?


    I have over 20 years of experience in my career of managing large budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars that oftentimes come with large problems to solve. I have a tremendous track record of solving these big issues with big solutions for a WIN-WIN scenario for all parties. I deal with multinational, multicultural global entities that don’t oftentimes share our values, goals, or political ideals, yet I’m able to facilitate agreements between my company and those groups that are beneficial to all parties involved. I want to bring that experience to Greenville to help take the City to new heights!


    Which three things about you do you most want voters to know?


    I’m very passionate, I love this town and community so much that I moved from downtown Raleigh with my family to be here, and I’ll fight for EVERY citizen in this City!


    Is there anything else about you that you wish to tell voters?


    In my career, I’m expected to bring actionable results that make huge positive impacts. I won’t waste the taxpayer’s time while I’m in office, and I’ll bring guaranteed positive results that make Greenville an exceptional place to STAY, LIVE, and THRIVE!


    All city residents vote for Mayor and the At-Large City Council member. They also vote for one city council candidate in the Greenville district where they live.