Marikay Abuzuaiter


(Yes! Weekly)

Marikay Abuzuaiter

Age: 57

Party: Democrat

Lived in Greensboro: 37 years

Incumbent or challenger: Challenger

What is your position on the White Street Landfill?

Abuzuaiter was there for the protests and teamed up with the Greensboro Citizens for Economic and Environmental Justice. “I helped lead the fight to keep it closed. (It was) a horrible thing that it was considered to be reopened, and would have affected the neighborhood, the environment.”

What is your plan for economic progress in Greensboro?

The city council’s job is to create a welcome environment. Right now, “we don’t have a very welcome environment. (We have) a divisive community and more divisive council.” The White Street Landfill issue has “created a rift in the community that harms our image.” The council does not have the ability to create jobs, but “can provide an environment for businesses to want to come to Greensboro. I would do my best to present Greensboro in a positive light.”

How do you plan to reach out to college students to get them more involved in civic life?

Through partnerships with several Universities, the council is “trying to empower students to become more involved. It has been difficult because they don’t see how (issues) affect them.” The curfew is a good example of how issues in Greensboro affect students. Abuzuaiter wants to “create a warm environment where students want to become more involved, not because their professors are telling them to, but because they see how it affects them.” To accomplish this, she would “do more outreach with students and create an atmosphere where (students) will want to take on these roles” and remain in Greensboro after graduation.

What changes do you want to see in the city during your time in office?

Abuzuaiter would like to move speakers from the floor back to the beginning of the meeting. “If someone wants to speak to someone from their city council, they have to wait until the end of the meeting,” she said. This structure is a problem for parents, elderly citizens, and many other citizens when the meetings last until 2 a.m., according to Abuzuaiter. “We are disenfranchising our residents.” Ideally, the council “would be able to work well together and spend time in things that we need to spend time on.”