For Immediate Release
July 29, 2016
Carrie Perrien Smith
Smith Announces Bid for 2016 Mayor’s Race in Rogers
Carrie Perrien Smith, MBA announced that she will run for mayor of Rogers. She is a local business owner and a marketing, communication, and branding consultant. She moved to Rogers in 1993.
Her leadership portfolio was built over fifteen years serving more than twenty local organizations in volunteer leadership roles.
“I first became interested in studying city leadership when I watched the events of the 2010 mayoral race unfold. What really drew me in was moving from northwest Rogers to southeast Rogers in 2011 and seeing how neglected the South 8th Street business district was. I wanted to learn how to turn that around.”
From there, Smith began attending not only city council meetings but also committee meetings. “I have attended most of the city council meetings since then. I learned about each department’s roles, strengths, and weaknesses. Hearing the questions that the aldermen ask about city issues gave me a lot of insight. It inspired me ultimately to run for municipal office,” Smith said. “I have several friends who serve in the state legislature and I explored it, but my heart all along was in addressing issues that our city faces.”
Having invested so much time studying city issues, attending meetings, and talking to city employees and voters defined her campaign platform. Smith believes that the city needs to revitalize Rogers’ at-risk commercial districts and neglected neighborhoods. She defines two such areas as South 8th Street and West Walnut Street between 4th Street and Dixieland where there are many empty and often run-down commercial buildings. “We must work to make every part of Rogers a viable place to do business and live,” commented Smith.
A long-time mentor for business owners, she believes that businesses of every size, franchise, corporate, or locally owned, are important to our economy. She wants to spark a spirit of entrepreneurship where people launch companies and create jobs.
Her platform includes designing and rolling out a communication strategy and developing a volunteer corps. Smith said, “Very recently, the city hired a communication director. He helping bring the city into the twenty-first century and utilize communication technology to tell its story. I want to help him take what he is doing to the next level and put Rogers back on the national radar. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that very few residents know what is going on in the city. It is time to build an e-mail database and audience using new media tools like Facebook, podcasting, and YouTube. Everyone who is even thinking about living, working, or playing in Rogers ought to be able to find out how awesome Rogers is with a Google search.”
She added, “If we can just create an audience that we can connect to via e-mail, we can tell them about new businesses, road improvements, emergency information, upcoming election details, and volunteer opportunities. You will always have people who aren’t digital media users and rely on television and newspaper. You just have to increase the media tools you use to reach the majority of people.”
Smith believes that a strong volunteer outreach will provide opportunities for residents to help the city improve the overall image, to meet new people, to serve in community leadership roles, and to become a Rogers resident for life. “There are some exciting things going on in the neighboring communities and some of our residents are selling their Rogers’ home to move to another city. Let’s give people more ways to connect and fall in love with Rogers. There are some amazing people here who want to give their time to serve something bigger than themselves. Let’s create more ways to do that.”
Also on Smith’s platform is a plan to beautify Rogers. Smith recognizes the large investment the city makes in landscaping but says the city doesn’t properly maintain and protect it. “We’re hiring lawn maintenance companies who are great at mowing and trimming but know nothing about the proper way to prune bushes and trees so they are strong and healthy. It starts with having knowledgeable green space management and proper plant choice. Much of the needed improvement could be accomplished with volunteers.”
Finally, she has a goal to significantly reduce hunger. “We are reported to have a staggering hunger problem in Rogers. Some might say, ‘Solving hunger isn’t the job of the city leaders.’ But I don’t know how you can be the CEO of a city and not explore causes and solutions for such a serious problem. How can we continue to look the other way?”
If elected, Smith committed to collaborate with existing programs that serve the hungry like food pantries and church soup kitchens. Smith said, “These organizations are great at feeding the hungry but that is a temporary fix. We need to teach children and adults how to cook inexpensive nutritious meals from basic items and add more community gardens.”
“This is a great opportunity to create a volunteer-driven initiative that coordinates these activities and people who would love to teach people to cook and grow their own food for their families,” she added. “We can’t heal all the problems in a household, but when we create opportunities for children and adults to be mentored while they tend a garden or learn to prepare a pot of soup from scratch, we improve a family’s future. And that is great for our city.”
The municipal offices are non-partisan and are decided in the November 2016 general election. Filing for those open offices begins in late July.
Learn more about Carrie Perrien Smith at www.carrie4rogers.com. Read more about her platform under the 4 Next Steps for Rogers tab on her website.