Council Vice President Lucine Sihelnik has announced that she will not run for re-election of a second term as the District 1 representative to Reading City Council.
“I’ve decided to not pursue a second Council Term, but I will be an active participant in community endeavors, and present a good succession in District 1,” Sihelnik stated.
“I am invested in the City of Reading both personally and professionally and I’ve been involved as a resident, a volunteer and a public servant for more than a decade. I plan to continue that involvement and fully intend to remain committed to our community.”
Dedicated to multiple projects centered around Community & Economic Development in District 1, she will round out 2021 with focused advocacy for the work in the 18th Ward of Wyomissing Park, Oakbrook, and Millmont.
“The 18th WONDER Improvement Association, resident association, and business alliance have multiple initiatives & events that are sustainable and in fact evolving,” stated Sihelnik. She anticipates putting the shovel in the ground this Spring for the Pedestrian Bike Safety trail, a project that she has worked on since its inception.
“There is so much work to be done to make our City the work/play/learn/live destination that citizens deserve. And I will certainly continue to be a part of that work.”
The South of Penn taskforce has her full support as they continue to host creative placemaking initiatives through arts & culture. On the South Side of District 1, areas like Reading Iron Playground have seen improved safety and renewed vibrancy through lighting upgrades, clean ups, activities, movie nights, and themed celebrations.
Financial Literacy classes and land banking, along with the adoption/stewardship of vacant lots, have promised to strengthen the quality of life for all residents in the South of Penn neighborhoods. Sihelnik has also long advocated for the Reading Skatepark Project location along Canal Street which has become a priority project for the current Administration.
During her time in office, Sihelnik has served as the liaison for City Council to the Reading Downtown Improvement District and the Alvernia University Collegetowne project, and as an alternate liaison to the Environmental Advisory Committee, and Downtown Public Private Partnership. She has initiated six community meetings, a tree lighting event, a Victory Garden Taskforce, and the activation of a Youth Commission.
During the pandemic, Councilwoman Sihelnik held weekly “Community Check In” programs on BCTV and hosted livestream story times with the Olivet Boys & Girls Club.
In addition to her active participation in 18th WONDER Advisory & Board meetings, Oakbrook Collective Impact Council meetings, and South of Penn events, she looks forward to the potential of creating an Urban Agriculture program this year in partnership with The Berks County Conservation District. On the horizon is the Passenger Rail project.
Councilwoman Sihelnik has been motivated by the potential of restoring rail service in Reading, and is active in County and regional level collaborations through the Berks Alliance to reconnect Reading to major metropolitan destinations with the vision of securing true Economic Development revitalization plans for future generations.
“The good work of our community is never done. It takes every one of us to step up to create and build the vision of a vibrant City. It is my hope to continue to inspire future leaders and keep civic engagement strong.”