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Parson is running for those 'who haven't had a voice'

February 07, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Alesia D. Parson is taking business classes, but said she feels more comfortable in her neighborhood than the corporate world.

Parson, a Democrat, is a candidate for Hagerstown City Council.

Parson, 40, of 426 N. Jonathan St., is married to Godfrey McBean and has no children. While she uses Parson-McBean as her last name, for the purposes of the election, she is using only Parson.

Parson graduated from North Hagerstown High School in 1982. In 1987, Parson began working for Citicorp in entry-level positions but was managing a night shift and training others by the time she left in 1997. Soon after, she began working at Memorial Recreation Center on West North Avenue, where she participated in recreation programs as a youth.

There, she first volunteered and in about 1998, ran an at-risk-youth after-school program for the HotSpot Communities program for one school year.

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Parson continues to work with Memorial Recreation Center doing administrative work and raising funds. She also established the Community Focus Group this year, which she said acts similarly to library friends groups, but for the recreation center.

In 2000, Parson received business-related associate's degrees from Hagerstown Community College. She now is a full-time student, pursuing a degree in business through Frostburg State University.

Parson was the Jonathan Street community correspondent for The Daily Mail from 2003 to 2004.

Parson said one reason she is running is because her neighborhood and blacks have been underrepresented in city government, but while she is black, "my campaign is not about race."

"It's more so about those who haven't had a voice, and that crosses color lines," Parson said.

Parson said she sees school overcrowding as a problem that will continue to affect children and wants to work more with county government to address that. She also wants to be frank with residents about city government, the processes for which aren't always well-explained to the public.

For instance, she said she wants to speak with city officials and Washington County Hospital administrators about the hospital's proposed move to better understand the issue. Until then, she is not taking a position on the move.

Parson also said that with expected growth in the community, it is important to keep crime down and housing prices affordable.

The other official candidates for City Council are Kristin B. Aleshire, Ruth Anne Callaham, the Rev. Haru Carter Jr., Walter E. "Nick" Carter, Kelly S. Cromer, N. Linn Hendershot, Scott D. Hesse, Ira P. Kauffman Jr., Dan G. Kennedy, Lewis C. Metzner, Penny M. Nigh, Henry R. Renner Jr., Donald L. Souders Jr. and Torrence "Tory" VanReenen.

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