Dawn Mackey has announced her candidacy for Westfield Town Council, Fourth Ward. Mackey has lived here for 12 years with her husband, John Mackey, and has three children: a son who graduated from Westfield High School in 2008 and twins who attend Edison Intermediate School.
Mackey has immersed herself in volunteer work in Westfield, having chaired annual committees for the YMCA Preschool, Lincoln School and McKinley Elementary School and as an active parent in PAL cheer and flag football. On any given Saturday, you can find Mackey on the field selling pretzels and collecting for coat and food drives. This year, Mackey helped PAL renegotiate practice space, saving the organization almost $2,000.
She is passionate about civic involvement. During her residency in Hoboken, she helped spearhead the grassroots movement Citizens for Safety, an effort that culminated in her role as community liaison with the mayor and chief of police and the reintroduction of beat cops. In Westfield, when the state made cuts that hurt public schools and local taxpayers, Mackey attended hearings at the Statehouse and met with legislators.
The importance of engaging the community and listening to residents’ ideas was a driving force in Mackey’s decision to run for town council.
“When I saw neighbors with good ideas being ignored and turned away, I knew the time had come to throw my hat in the ring,” explained Mackey. And when it comes to supporting local merchants, good ideas are needed. As the former owner of Once Upon a Café in Cranford and an events company, Mackey understands the challenges of local businesses and what they need to thrive: “It starts with asking questions and listening to answers.”
Mackey attended The City College of New York while working full time, and earned a BA, Summa Cum Laude. She has built a successful career in NYC commercial real estate as a title examiner over the last 25 years, and is a passionate leader for Weight Watchers