Petersburg City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Arnold Westbrook, Jr. as councilman for Ward 7. This follows the resignation of John Hart, who stepped down from his council seat in early November. The City received letters of interest for the position from two people in Ward 7.
“Mr. Westbrook has the experience, commitment and passion needed as we move Petersburg forward,” said Mayor Sam Parham. “He was born and raised in Petersburg and has continued to be involved in the community by mentoring city youth and serving as Chairman of the Social Services Advisory Board. Mr. Westbrook is a team player with vision.”
Westbrook is a professor at Virginia State University where he serves as an English instructor. He is also an Advisory Consultant to the Honors College at VSU. Moreover Westbrook says one of his greatest achievements is being the creator of the #crownHIM initiative for Black Male empowerment. His service in Petersburg includes serving as an Advisory Board Member on the Appomattox Regional Water Authority. He has worked with Trio Upward since 2011 in working with at-risk city youth.
“I am committed to help grow Petersburg and improve quality of life for all,” said Mr. Westbrook. “To love something, as I do Petersburg, you must give of yourself and stay dedicated to community service and residents.”
Westbrook outlined many priorities that he will work with City Council and city administration to achieve. Those objectives include:
- Working with the School Board to improve education
- Growing economic development and creating a “Transformative City”
- Improving health outcomes by supporting programs and activities that help people make healthy choices
- More revitalization programs and overall city cleanup
- Poverty reduction
- Infrastructure and technology upgrades
- Respecting and promoting the City’s history while enhancing the tourist experience for younger and diverse visitors.
Westbrook earned a master’s degree in American and English Literature at Virginia State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Economics from Morehouse College.