Did you see my piece in the Westfield Leader about my South Side Pride? Please take a moment to read it here:
I have lived on the North Side near the YMCA and now on the South Side closer to WHS. My children attended both Franklin and McKinley. We had great experiences at both. And the best part is sooner or later you all meet up again. For a town of 30,000 we are the smallest big town I know.
As the representative for Ward 4 and a resident of 16 years it is vitally important to me that there is a connection and a cohesiveness between the North and South sides. Our downtown encompasses both and yet not everyone knows this. Once elected, I set to seeking ways to bring attention to the South Side. I hosted a “ Southside Stroll'' for the South Avenue businesses intended to inspire collaborations, build relationships and create an environment of support.
Building Collaboration and Support Among Southside Business
By suggesting that we host Sweet Sounds “ Local Spot Light'' at Foundation Park two things happened- more people came and used this underutilized gem and local bands brought their own fanbase - providing a nice boost to the local eateries.
"Sweet Sounds" at Foundation Park Increases Exposure to Westfield's South Side
Moving the annual Halloween Parade to the South Side lot brought 4000 participants, many who crammed the food establishments thereafter. Drive-In Movies, and a holiday Elf-on-the Shelf event also brought crowds.
Innovative Events Bring Crowds to Town and Exposure to the South Side
When the Art Takes Flight butterflies were launched we made sure many of them landed on the South Side, encouraging visitors to come find them- and also find our businesses.
Butterflies Landed All Over Town Drawing Visitors to South Side
After proactively initiating and executing ordinances to allow for desirable new businesses. I worked directly with the proprietors of Lion’s Roar, encouraging them to bring this fresh, longed for new brewery to the South Side to serve as an anchor and a beacon of things to come.
Proactive Ordinances Allow for New Southside Brewery
With an eye to possibilities I focused early on the coffee kiosk near the train station that had long provided a newspaper and a beverage to commuters running to catch their train. Vacated several years ago, this pretty little building was left to deteriorate. I advocated for its proper restoration and along the journey was informed it was historically significant -the only one of its kind left in New Jersey. The kiosk has been restored, a vendor has been chosen and will soon receive historic designation, providing a quality of life service and preserving a piece of Westfield history.
Newly Renovated Southside Kiosk - Convenience for Commuters
And lastly, I wish for one cohesive vibrant town. And to encourage a connection I advocated, fundraised and project managed the Roig murals on the traffic circle. A nod to our past done by an innovative local artist, the mural serves to beckon pedestrians to traverse the space between, creating an unspoken invitation. I am thrilled to also soon bring the Central Avenue Mural Gallery. Two sides, two themes. Welcome’ and “ Charles Addams’. With the mission of telling a story to visitors as they enter downtown, these murals will bring light, color and interest to a dark, industrial space. Another physical and visual connection from one side to the other.
I am a proud South Sider and will continue to make sure efforts not only include the South Side but celebrate it.
I hope I can count on you for your support!
Councilwoman Dawn Mackey
Roig Murals Beautify Underpass Connecting Town's North and South Side.
This candidate statement originally appeared May 17, 2021 in TAPintoWestfield and Westfield Leader on May 13, 2021.
As a girl from Brooklyn, I am not a nature girl. To be honest I prefer asphalt and concrete to grass. I do not often take time to “stop and smell the roses.” But 2020 happened, and nothing was the same. My calendar, always full in quarter-inch increments was suddenly wide open, untouched, and forgotten. Confined in my home, with my family like all the other families in this town, in this state, we watched the world from the inside out.
I remember the moment when the parks were allowed to open, and it felt like a portal appeared. Suddenly, I was at Tamaques, not because I had a flag football game but because I had time to take a daily walk with my husband and even ride a bike for the first time in years. I love this park. I have loved it from the sidelines, but now I was not a spectator I was a part of it. And I was seeing things differently without the rush of the children in their opposing colors, the blur of a ball, and the cheering of the parents. I was not seeing the park in action. I was seeing it at rest.Read more
This letter originally appeared in TAPintoWestfield and the Westfield Leader on April 29, 2021.
“Can you meet me for coffee? I have an idea.”
So it begins, Dawn Mackey has put her mind to a project. Although this simple question may seem like she is just conceiving it, this powerhouse councilwoman is many steps ahead in her mind. She sees the entire event unfolding, smiling children, happy parents, the town coming together for a morning, a day, an evening to celebrate, Westfield, our restaurants, our downtown, an underserved park, and while you are hearing about this one event, Dawn is planning others in her mind. These will be revealed when the time is right.Read more
I was inspired to run four years ago to be a strong voice for Ward 4, and I am excited to announce my candidacy for re-election. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Councilwoman, and I look forward to continue working on your behalf.
During my first campaign I heard a consistent concern about the condition of our roads. My research indicated that Westfield did not have a process to properly assess road conditions or a plan for efficient repaving. I delivered on my promise to prioritize our paving.