Claudia Edwards is running for Common Council At-Large in Richmond, Indiana as a Democrat candidate in the 2023 general election.

2023 Election Guide

Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide

The Western Wayne News asked candidates in contested races for the Nov. 7 general election the same nine questions.

  1. What are two specific reasons you decided to run for this office? (100 words or less.)
  2. If elected/re-elected, what are your top three priorities for your time in office? (150 words or less.)
  3. What are two specific skills you would bring to the office to benefit constituents, if elected/re-elected? (100 words or less.)
  4. What’s one aspect of the government body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think is working well and should continue? (100 words or less.)
  5. What’s one aspect of the body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think needs to change, and what specific action(s) would you pursue to change it? (100 words or less.)
  6. Will you accept the results of the election process even if you are not elected/re-elected? (50 words or less.)
  7. Beyond encouraging attendance at public meetings, how do you plan to involve residents in decision making processes that the office you seek is a part of? (100 words or less.)
  8. If you received a $5 million grant to improve our community any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why? (150 words or less.)
  9. Any other comments you’d like to share about your candidacy? (150 words or less.)

Candidates were given a month’s time to respond with a firm deadline. We share their answers, unedited from their original form, here and in our print editions.

For full election coverage, visit the Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide.

Claudia Edwards

Reasons: I clearly see the gaps in service in representation that too many Richmond citizens are falling through, and I have a unique set of knowledge, skills and ability that will allow me to leverage scarce resources to help close those gaps which can strengthen the fabric of our city. Having me as a member of City Council, Richmond will move further, faster.

Priorities: 1) Mental Health,

2) Accessible Housing

3) Financial Responsibility and Economic Growth.

I want to increase resources for mental health diagnosis and treatment by partnering with mental health care providers to conduct screening and assessments of local offenders before they get released. I want to increase accessible housing by reallocating budgetary funds earmarked for demolition into a multi-phase renovation project. I want to increase fiscal responsibility by realigning budgetary items of current funds in ways that will increase and maximize their impact for the city.

Skills: My financial management background and my ability to bring together diverse knowledge to increase effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the organizations and the people which I serve.

Arguably, the most important task of Common Council is budget management. Early in my career, I worked for a Fortune 500 client, and recently I served as the executive director and CEO of a non-profit organization. Through these two experiences in very different sectors, and as a servant and leader, I learned a great deal about budget management and the importance of listening carefully and acting promptly in order to serve my constituents.

… The AID or “Active Information Dissemination” program would be geared toward actively pushing information to citizens rather than requiring them to look for information through social media platforms or the website.

Claudia Edwards

Working well: The city’s investment in new industrial and economic development. I would like to continue the important work that is being done in partnership with the EDC by broadening the business recruitment efforts to encompass different types of businesses which thrive in Richmond and the Wayne County area.

Bringing a diverse investment that goes beyond industrial companies, we would increase tax revenue for the city, retain current residents, and attract new residents to our area.

Needs changing: We could be making more advances in the area of active information dissemination, and therefore, I have an idea for a plan called the AID plan. If elected to city council, I would work with other city officials to create a program to increase communication between the municipality and our residents. The AID or “Active Information Dissemination” program would be geared toward actively pushing information to citizens rather than requiring them to look for information through social media platforms or the website.

Accepting results: Absolutely.

Votes are the voice of the people. I hope more citizens engage in our civic duty and democracy. We need not let circumstances dictate choices that are an integral part to strengthen and develop further our city, state and nation.

Involving residents: In addition to cencouraging residents to attend meetings for important action items, I will seek community input through media sources by using short flash-polls.

$5 million: I would divide the funds into 3 pools: $3M for housing, $1M mental health support, and $1M for capital improvements in the city.

1) $3 Million would go to the housing accessibility plan, and that would allow the expansion of the number of homes to be refurbished and the number of individuals and newlyweds who could afford their first home.

2) $1 Million would go toward a contract with mental health agencies to do around- the-clock screenings and assessments at the jail and hospital that would cover the cost of 8 mental health professionals for 2 years.

3) $1 Million would go for capital improvements around the city, street maintenance, updating city plumbing and other needs.

Other: If elected as your council person at large, I will bring commitment to develop mutually beneficial solutions. A zero-sum game is an antiquated fallacy, we need not always accept a proposition that in order for one person to win, someone else must lose. I will bring a commitment to the people and institutions of Richmond, Indiana that is grounded in a Win-Win philosophy-finding a mutually beneficial solution. We can all win, and we can do it together. For the Love of Our Richmond.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 11 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.