O P I N I O N
Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.
By a vote of 11,033 to 8,436 Joyce Craig on Tuesday won reelection, defeating Republican former state Rep. Victoria Sullivan.
Craig’s first political campaign came in 2007, when she was elected to the Manchester School Board. In 2009, she was elected to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, where she represented Ward 1 until her first campaign of Mayor in 2015. Craig finished second in the nonpartisan primary, thus advancing to face former Mayor Ted Gatsas in the general election, where she lost in a recount by 64 votes.
In 2017, Craig again challenged Gatsas, this time finishing first in the nonpartisan primary and defeating Gatsas in the general election 53 percent to 46 percent. In doing so, Craig became the 56th Mayor and the first woman ever elected as Mayor of the city of Manchester.
Craig earned her degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire where she worked as a marketing director for 15 years developing strategic plans and managing multimillion-dollar budgets. Joyce and her husband, Attorney Michael Craig, have three children, William, Sarah and Kathryn. Joyce is also an avid runner who has completed 14 marathons, including 10 consecutive Boston Marathons.
During the swearing-in ceremony, Craig promised to focus on improving school quality, combating the opioid epidemic, and promoting the creation of high-tech jobs in the city. In her first term, she was able to secure $10.3 million grant over the next seven years to help seventh- and eighth-grade students get an understanding of what college is all about and what courses to take to prepare for college and for the workforce.
Manchester has made a great improvement in battling the opioid crisis, as shown by a 19 percent decrease in overdoses and a 22 percent decrease in opioid-related deaths in 2018 as compared to the previous years. Manchester had a 6 percent decrease in crime rate this year alone. She added 15 police officers in the city to safeguard the resident of Manchester. Mayor Craig holds over 25 community meetings in restaurants, coffee shops, community centers, and retirement communities in every ward, and gather creative ideas to reinforce the city in a vibrant way.
In addition to the phenomenal works she put forth, Manchester has a tremendous growth in its economy during her first stint in the office. Manchester has seen over $250 million in new and private investments in economic development, 800 new and good-paying jobs in the heart of Queen City. There are several new restaurants, hotels, retail stores and businesses opening their doors in the City.
Overall, Mayor Craig had created a culture of collaboration by strengthening the school system, expanding the city’s economy and steadily advancing public safety. Manchester has a bright future. Joyce Craig is someone who gets the things done.
I wish her good luck with her another two years in office.
Tilak Norula was honored with the “Premiere Production Award 2013-2014’ by Concord TV and was selected as a member of the New Hampshire Union Leader’s “40 under 40” class of 2017. He serves as an ad hoc committee member on Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Fundraising Committee for the Manchester Community Health Center and is also serves on the Youth Services Advisory Board to Mayor’s Office and the Board of Director at the Building Community in New Hampshire. Tilak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .