Dede Smith

Charlottesville City Council
Vote on June 9, 2015


35-year resident of Fry's Spring
in Charlottesville, Virginia


Our quality of life is dependent on ...

Protecting Our Natural and Historic Resources

I have been the strongest supporter on Council for increased park land. In my term, 100+ acres of natural habitat has been added to our parks system that serves to protects Moore’s Creek, Meadowcreek, and the Rivanna River; secures more of the Rivanna Trail, creates neighborhood Commons, and permanently protects three historic resources: the famous medicinal springs at Fry’s Spring, the vestiges of the Hartman’s Mill along Moore’s Creek, and site of Charlottesville’s original quarry. And there is more land in the queue. I'm involved with several projects focused on historical interpretation that will roll out this year, enhancing tourism, education and appreciation for our beautiful city.

Our quality of life is dependent on ...

Protecting Our Neighborhoods

The pressures associated with development adjacent to neighborhoods has been and will be important in the coming years. I was the only councilor to vote against the "Flats" and two additional student high-rises on  West Main. Special use permits should be reserved for truly special uses. I have been proactive on Council to assure that city housing dollars go to city residents by advocating for organizations like AHIP that exist to ensure that extended families struggling to survive in a changing Charlottesville can stay in their homes. I’ve initiated a similar project to help lifelong low income families purchase a home in their neighborhoods.  By so doing we strengthen families, build community and protect Charlottesville’s historic fabric.

Our quality of life is dependent on ...

Increasing Opportunities for Success

When the Barrett Early Learning Center announced that it was shutting its doors after 80 years of serving the children of low income families, I was the councilor who stepped in to help save this invaluable resource. As a city councilor, I was able to connect Barrett with City resources and local foundations to help with renovations, and am proud to be serving on the new board of directors.

When, as chair of the CAT Board, I learned that bus drivers were in high demand, I helped initiate our Growing Opportunity program to train city residents in need of employment. The GoDriver program was so successful that it is being cloned to provide training for targeted jobs in other arenas including a partnership with Design Electric (GoElectric) and another with UVA (GoOffice) providing living wage jobs to formerly unemployed city residents.

Our quality of life is dependent on ...

A Safe and Equitable City

2014 has been a very difficult year for all of us. From Chief Longo’s report on disproportionate stop and frisk of minorities, to high profile crime, and the crisis of college sexual assault, Charlottesville has been shaken to its core. Now is the time to address issues of lighting, security cameras, and equal enforcement with a balanced, and evidence-based approach to protect our most vulnerable populations. As a member of both a state and local advisory committee on disproportionate minority contact, I am committed to a thoughtful and data based approach to make Charlottesville safer for all our citizens.



  • Resident of Charlottesville (Fry’s Spring) for 35 years
  • Daily Progress Distinguished Dozen 2003-04 for service to education and the environment
  • Neighborhood Leadership Institute 2010


  • University of Michigan; Microbiology and Immunology 1978
  • Charlottesville School Board (2000-2006)
  • Barrett Early Learning Center Board of Directors
  • Past Board Member, Charlottesville Community Scholarship Program
  • Charlottesville "100" Volunteer Award for service to Jackson-Via Elementary


  • Director of Ivy Creek Foundation (1993-2007)
  • Co-founder Rivanna chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists
  • Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) Board of Directors
  • Rivanna River Basin Commission
  • Co-founder of the Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan
  • Chair of the Charlottesville Area Transit Advisory Board
  • Former Board Member, Rivanna Trails Foundation

Social Justice

  • Governor’s Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice
  • Disproportionate Minority Contact Steering Committee
  • Department of Social Services Advisory Board
  • Past member Police Citizen’s Advisory Panel

Charlottesville and Albemarle County History

  • Central Virginia History Group
  • African American Heritage Center Advisory Council
  • Charlottesville Historic Resources Committee
  • Designation of the Ivy Creek Natural Area as an African-American Heritage Site
  • Sammons Cemetery Working Group (2014)