Mackenzie Cates-Allen

Mackenzie Cates-Allen

An incumbent member of the Winston-Salem City Council and a challenger to another council member have announced they will run, as political interest heats up in advance of the 2020 campaign season.

Mackenzie Cates-Allen announced Friday she will run for the South Ward seat now held on the council by John Larson, setting up a Democratic Party primary for the nomination next year.

Larson has not formally announced, but said he will be running for re-election.

Northwest Ward Council Member Jeff MacIntosh announced Monday he would seek his third term on the city council. MacIntosh, a Democrat, has no announced challengers so far.

Cates-Allen, who is 33, is the president, founder and “chief ambassador” of a group called the Winston-Salem Ambassadors, and is owner of a business called Cates-Allen Connections, a consulting and event-planning company. The Ambassadors group welcomes newcomers to town and promotes the city.

Cates-Allen said that her slogan is “A Fresh Start,” and that council members “should be within the community every week.”

“There should be ward meetings at least once a month,” she said. “With the availability of and variety of tools for communicating, every single thing (that can be explained) should be explained and put out there to the ward for feedback. Otherwise the only person being served is you.”

Cates-Allen said she would look hard at the city budget and “reallocate when necessary,” including “eliminating unnecessary ‘memberships’ and looking at community agency funding, as well as spending of all kinds.” She said development should be encouraged, but not at all cost, and that the city should put more emphasis on sustainability efforts, including community gardens and solar panels.

MacIntosh said his goals for a third term include improving maintenance standards on streets, sidewalks greenways and parks, and recruiting and retaining the highest quality of police and fire officers. He said he also wants to shape policies to “keep the city’s neighborhoods strong, vibrant and livable.”

MacIntosh said he is proud of his level of engagement in a wide variety of civic, neighborhood and nonprofit efforts. He is the vice chair of the city council’s Public Safety Committee and is a member of the city council’s Finance Committee. He said he is passionate about increasing the amount of affordable housing in the city.

MacIntosh said that he has established “a consistent, nonpartisan line of communications with city residents through his e-newsletter, social media and attendance at neighborhood meetings and gatherings.

MacIntosh, who is 61, is a real estate agent. He said his accomplishments include involvement in the renovation of Hanes Park and the creation of Second Street Park. MacIntosh said the city has also paid for street repairs and new sidewalks from a bond issue, but that more needs to be done on those.

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