Readers Write: Why Mayor Avena has my vote

The Island Now

I got to know Jim Avena through volunteering for the Growing Love Community Garden. This once unused land was transformed by a group of women whose mission was simple: to connect our diverse community to healthy food, nature, and each other. I believe this mission has been achieved and it wouldn’t have been possible without Jim.

I bring up the garden because for the 20 years I have lived in Manorhaven, we have never had something so unifying in our community. The garden is a place for people who might not have backyards to grow vegetables and flowers, to enjoy books and the peaceful quiet, and for children to explore and play in nature.

Improving Manorhaven has been a staple of Mayor Avena’s tenure. In addition to the garden, he has pioneered the opening of Morgan’s Dock, another space for the residents of Manorhaven to enjoy the water, listen to people playing the guitar, fish, and swim. He has restored the pride in our community.

The Preserve, home to the Native Garden that features dozens of new trees and plantings and Dog Park is a place I have fostered so many friendships.

My dogs and I have doggy play dates with residents in Manorhaven and I have grown so much closer to the people in this community because of these spaces. That is all because of Mayor Avena’s leadership.

There is no administration that is perfect. But Jim has my support and vote because he is always willing to listen even to a seemingly outlandish idea about turning a bunch of weeds into a community garden. I believe he will continue to listen to the people of Manorhaven and foster an even greater sense of community if re-elected as our mayor.

Vanessa Alvez



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