Joseph Valenti For Mt. Gilead Mayor
2763 NC HWY 731 EAST
Mount Gilead NC 27360
(914) 309-7718

August 15, 2023

Dear Fellow Residents of Mount Gilead,

As a candidate for Mayor, I am excited to share a transformative initiative that aims to uplift our community and create a brighter future for all of us. The Single Moms Out of Poverty Initiative is a comprehensive approach to address two pressing challenges facing our town: the alarming poverty rate among single mothers and the need to increase high school graduation rates, particularly among our black teenagers.

The Challenges We Face:

· Single Mother Poverty Rate: It's disheartening to learn that 73% of single mothers in our community are living in poverty. This statistic not only affects the mothers but also their children and the overall well-being of our town.

· High School Graduation Rates: Our black teenagers currently have a graduation rate of only 62.5%, well below the state average of 86% and the Town’s white graduation rate of 90%. This gap in education not only limits opportunities for these young individuals but also affects our town's ability to attract businesses and grow economically. Simply put, businesses won’t open in Mount Gilead while the Town’s graduation rate remains below the state average of 86%.

A Comprehensive Solution: I firmly believe that we must tackle these challenges head-on and create a support system that empowers our single mothers and encourages educational achievement among our youth. That's why I'm introducing the Single Moms Out of Poverty Initiative, an effort that aims to make a lasting impact on the lives of our residents.

How the Initiative Works:

1. Single Moms Empowerment Program: Our goal is to reduce the single mother poverty rate from 73% down to at least 36% by the end of 2024 and to 0% by end of year 2025. The program focuses on partnering with community members, businesses, charity groups, and government organizations to provide support to these mothers. This assistance will help them meet basic needs and work towards greater independence.

2. Education and Graduation Support Program: To raise the black high school graduation rate to the state average of 86%, we're focusing on creating a supportive network that emphasizes the importance of education. By introducing mentors and fostering a community that values education, we're determined to see an increase in graduation rates especially among our black teenagers.

The Power of Community: This initiative is not just about financial aid – it's about building a strong community that supports and uplifts one another. We plan to host weekly picnic / barbecues and encourage town volunteers to become a town-wide support network for single mothers and their families. By fostering relationships and unity, we can positively impact the lives of these families and increase high school graduation rates in the process.

Your Support Matters: I am reaching out to you, our fellow residents, to stand with me in support of this vital program. By coming together as a community, we can make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors. Your vote and support for this initiative will not only empower our single mothers and educate our youth but will also contribute to a brighter future for everyone and Mount Gilead.

Join me in creating a more prosperous and inclusive Mount Gilead. Let's empower our single mothers, uplift our youth, and build a community that we can all be proud of. Together, we can make this vision a reality.

Together, we can shape the future of Mount Gilead.

If you have any questions, ideas, or would like to get involved, please don't hesitate to reach out or attend any of the town-based meetings held at Highland Community Center (see below)

READ THE NEXT DOC IN THE SERIES --- 2) Consider What Can Be Done To Help Single Mothers.


Joseph Valenti
Candidate for Mayor Mount Gilead, North Carolina