(1st in a series of posts on candidates for election)
press release Jan. 14
GRACE CRAMPSIE SMITH ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR BETHLEHEM CITY COUNCIL
Grace Crampsie Smith, a Democrat and longtime Bethlehem resident, has announced her candidacy for Bethlehem City Council.
Crampsie Smith, who has lived in the city for 28 years, is a school counselor at Easton Area High School.
“I was raised in a family that took its civic responsibilities very seriously,” said Crampsie Smith. “I want to continue the legacy of my parents who instilled in me and my six siblings the desire to contribute to the communities where we lived, worked, and played. They fostered in me a strong sense of duty to use my skills and education for the betterment of not only my family but our neighbors.”
Crampsie Smith’s father was a police chief of Summit Hill, PA, and her mother was a nurse. “They taught me early the importance of discipline and compassion,” Crampsie Smith said.
She said she decided to run for office now because her three children, Shannon, Bridget, and Brendan, are in law school, medical school, and college, and she has the time to devote to the many challenges and changes that face the city as it grows and continues to be a vital part of the Lehigh Valley area.
“I want to contribute to the city that I have called home and ensure that smart growth is achieved for the benefit of residents, employees, and visitors,” Crampsie Smith said. “It is important to maintain a balance between preserving the city’s past , honoring the people and businesses that built this city and achieving progress in our diverse community. Bethlehem is a city that has never been stagnant but has constantly re-invented itself in the arts, education, and business while never losing sight of its heritage.”
Crampsie Smith has a masters degree in education and school counseling from Lehigh University and a bachelors degree in sociology and social welfare from Bloomsburg University.
She was a member of the adjunct faculty at Lehigh-Carbon Community College and also worked as an addictions counselor and coordinator of community and early intervention services for the office of Lehigh County Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.
Crampsie Smith said the advocacy skills she has honed in her job will help her to represent the residents of Bethlehem. “Council members must be mindful that our community is made up of people from all walks of life who have varied incomes, educations, and skills but all want the same things – to provide for their families and have a good quality of life.”
She said her personal and professional experiences taught her to be fiscally responsible, to negotiate with fairness, to be objective and pragmatic, and to have passion for justice. Her top priorities, she said, include the health, safety and welfare of residents and employees, budget efficacy and socially responsible economic development.
Crampsie Smith said it is crucial for City Council members to know the jobs of city employees and the challenges they face for the overall efficiency of city operations. She said that she completed the Bethlehem Police Citizens Academy to get a better understanding of the operations of the Bethlehem Police Department.
Crampsie Smith is a member of the Bethlehem City Democratic Committee and committee person for Precinct 14-1, Northampton County Democratic Committee, Lehigh Valley Democratic Progressive Coalition, Lehigh Valley ROAR, Lehigh Valley 4 ALL, and the University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College Parent Alumni Association.
Her volunteer work has included Ryan’s Tree for Grieving Children, Musikfest, OLPH School, LV Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the American Heart Association. She is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.