“It was a wake-up call for me, and it made me realize playtime was over, and I had to grow to become a better mayor,” he said. “Aliquippa needs someone who’s ready to fight for them (citizens), and I realized no one did anything for Aliquippa for years. I have to fight for this city to show a future is bright here, and will be bright.”
To build his city, Walker knew he would have to reach out to fellow minded individuals, as well as continue to build the image of Aliquippa. He maintains a close relationship with Philadelphia Mayor Netter, last year took a trip to Nigeria, where he proudly waved Aliquippa’s Flag and handed out T-shirts with Aliquippa to the native people, and also, in a life-changing moment, met President Obama during the President’s re-election campaign.
For current Police Chief Andre Davis, a police officer of 27 years in Aliquippa, working alongside Mayor Walker has ignited a passion throughout the city.
“His (Walker)’s visibility and passion speaks volumes and the city has responded to him immensely,” said Davis, “The Mayor has invoked a plan that will see things become better for the city. The problems Aliquippa has gone through didn’t come over night, and they won’t be solved as quickly, but through Mayor Walker’s diligence, we are making a valiant effort to change.”
The citizens of Aliquippa have responded positively to the new mindset. They feel they have a voice now. They fill the room each Council meeting, share their opinions of how to make the community better, and more importantly, know they can make a change.
For the remainder of his term, Walker will continue to build his city and the agenda he has established.
“I’m working to bring people together. I have an open door policy, anything you need to ask or talk to me about, please come see me. I’m always here working late, trying to get a grant proposal written to try to help better our city. We have come far, but we still have a lot of work to do, and it’s going to take a lot of perseverance to reach them, and I believe we can do it.
“There’s a possibility here now. There’s hope now,” Walker said.
(To reach Abdul Al-Nakhli, call 412-320-6008, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on twitter at twitter.com/mrspadez)