Dick Parker of Helena has announced that he is running for the Helena-West Helena City Council WARD 1 POSITION 1 in the November 2018 election.

“I am running because I believe I have stayed on the sideline for too long while serious problems in our community mount,” says Parker. “As I gathered signatures to run for office, I asked each citizen what issues they were most concerned about and believed that the present Council failed to confront. The repeatedly highlighted such problems as property blight, violent crime, lack of employment opportunities, roads and streets in disrepair, low wages, and infrastructure problems. It occurred to me there were recurring issues from one City Council to the next and it was time for new political leadership. So I’m running for office to help implement real change NOW.”

Parker and his wife, Dawna, who works for the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism as manager of the Helena-West Helena Welcome Center, moved to the community nine years ago from Fairfield Bay, AR. As the founder and director of the DELTA TEACHING INITIATIVE, the move was motivated by the desire to significantly improve the quality of classroom instruction by implementing the organization’s “Teach for EXCELLENCE” program.” Parker observed, “If the Delta is to ever overcome its widespread poverty, quality schools will have to be in every community. This requires committed, well-trained teachers in every classroom. And this was the sole reason for our move.”

He believes that his community service background and experience with both troubled budgets and organizational reform has prepared him well for a position on our City Council. Parker has served in leadership positions as Chairperson of the Helena-West Helena COMMUNITY PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE (implemented by our City Council), Deputy Chair of the LEE COUNTY COOPERATIVE CLINIC, and current Chair of the HELENA HOUSING AUTHORITY.

“Like our City Council, the latter organizations were also confronted with very serious financial issues that I and other Board members struggled with to avoid financial failure and we were required to make significant organizational reforms,” said Parker. “I truly believe that I have the knowledge, experience and the commitment to help make a real difference. And I’m excited and ready to start the change process that will ultimately bring the people of Helena-West Helena the community they deserve.”