By Will Fairless
Associate Editor

Erica Baker-Norris, Vice President Elect of the Alabama Association of Public Personnel Administrators and the Diversity and Inclusion Chairperson of the East Alabama Society of Human Resources Management, has qualified as a candidate for the Ward 2 City Council seat.

Baker-Norris is also currently serving as the Human Resources Director for Lee County Commission. She worked for over ten years in public service for the city and county governments. She has also served as the Parent Teacher Organizer President and as a Home Room Mom in the Opelika school system. “I’m most proud of being the mother of three wonderful children,” Baker-Norris said.

Her primary goal as a representative of Ward 2 will be to develop a plan for the ward to have a supply of housing that will meet its population’s needs. “I understand the importance of affordable housing for our citizens,” Baker-Norris said, “There is a stigma attached to the term Affordable Housing and this creates a barrier for those individuals who cannot afford high cost housing.”

Her plan to create this supply of housing is to preserve affordable rental property while enforcing standards set by fair housing, incentivize the production of affordable housing and educate the community on what affordable housing is. “My hopes is that education will be the start in helping to improve the housing issues in Ward 2,” Baker-Norris said.

The following are some other platform items she listed in correspondence with the Observer:

• Partnering with educational institutions like Southern Union Community College, recreational facilities, religious organizations and social groups in Ward 2 and the city of Opelika to create more opportunities and activities for young people and senior citizens

• Partnering with groups and agencies to provide training to the Ward 2 workforce in the areas of interviewing skills, resume preparation, college planning preparation, skilled labor mentoring, diversity and inclusion training and commercial driver’s license training

• Building bridges in the community, which includes addressing crime and poverty in Ward 2 and continuing successful projects like upgrading Bandy Park, continuing the Ward 2 Academy and Keep Opelika Beautiful Awards, providing computer classes for senior citizens, assisting citizens with the restoration of voting rights and creating a platform to highlight the great things that people in Ward 2 are doing

The point most important to Baker-Norris is that she loves people, will advocate for the fair treatment of all people and will work hard for the people in Ward 2. “I am so excited to have an opportunity to earn the vote of the people of Ward 2,” she said, “and to be given a chance to serve them. In a time of so much uncertainty, I am certain of this: I am called to serve.”