Portsmouth should be a gem of Hampton Roads and the commonwealth. Rich in history, the city boasts a charming downtown area framed by an underutilized waterfront, and a strong economic foundation built on shipping, defense, shipbuilding and medicine, among other industries.
But the city also has countless challenges, from the tunnel tolls that choke commerce and tourism, to high rates of unemployment, disproportionately high rates of poverty and problems with violent crime.
What Portsmouth needs is reliable, steady leadership that can bring the community together to focus on economic opportunity and infrastructure improvement. It needs forceful voices who serve as advocates for the city and who can recruit new employers to locate there.
Instead of looking forward, however, Portsmouth is always looking back. It is fighting old battles because they are never fully resolved. Residents are perpetually pitted against one another, often along racial lines, when the community would be served working together.