ASHLEY THORNTON

Thornton

The Trib editorial board recommends longtime Baylor University administrator Ashley Bean Thornton for the Waco City Council District 4 North Waco post based on her experience leading the Poverty Solutions steering committee, which paved the way for Prosper Waco’s ongoing anti-poverty initiative.

Thornton, 53, impressed us with her understanding of the challenges of this undertaking. “To me, Prosper Waco is going to have to go down the middle of the road and the easiest side of the road to fall off is among those who say, ‘Oh, Prosper Waco is just a big social services thing,’” she said. “If that happens, then it won’t work. It has to have elements of economic development, workforce development, those kinds of things. We’re not going to get out of poverty by taking more cans to Caritas and handing them out more efficiently.”

Businessman, attorney and District 4 opponent Dillon Meek, 29, strikes us as a dynamic, exciting prospect in the future, but Thornton has earned this post not only because of her work in the trenches organizing an attack on Waco’s chronic poverty but long involvement in other civic causes such as financial literacy and hunger.