VOTE 2018: Olivia Trimble to run for Fayetteville City Council in Ward 1

Courtesy photo

A local working artist and tradesperson is the third candidate to announce plans to seek the south Fayetteville seat on the City Council this year.

Olivia Trimble, 32, will challenge Kris Paxton and Sonia Gutierrez for the Ward 1, Position 1 seat currently held by Adella Gray.

Councilwoman Gray, who was first elected in 2006 and is the council’s longest active member, will not seek a fourth term in November.

Trimble is known to many as a local sign painter. Her work includes the Experience Fayetteville logo on the back side of the Visitors Center building on the downtown square, the 400-square-foot Uptown Quilt mural at Uptown Apartments in north Fayetteville, and the Favoriteville painting outside Smoke and Barrel Tavern off Dickson Street.

Meet the Candidates

The following candidates have responded to a request from the Fayetteville Flyer for more information about their candidacy in the Nov. 6 election.

Ward 1
Sonia Gutierrez
Kris Paxton
Olivia Trimble

Ward 2
Martin Bemberg
Raymond Burks
Mark Kinion

Ward 3
Lucas Regnier
Sloan Scroggin

Ward 4
Adam Fire Cat
John La Tour
Teresa Turk

She received national attention for her Repaint Hate campaign which replaced racist graffiti with hopeful messages following the 2016 election. The initiative brought together a network of activists and artists to cover up hateful graffiti across the country.

Trimble is also active as a community organizer and has helped with several local events, including the Women’s March in Fayetteville and the Wampus Wonderland holiday art show. She has given a local TED Talk and Pechu Kucha presentation about her art and activism, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art invited her to display her work as part of its American Made exhibition.

She was an advocate for changes to the Fayetteville Housing Authority’s five-year plan, which was recently updated after Trimble and many other residents demanded a closer look at the organization’s decision to sell Willow Heights and move its residents to Morgan Manor.

As a child, Trimble spent time between her father’s home in Springdale and mother’s home in Fayetteville. She resides in south Fayetteville with her husband and two daughters, and has lived in Ward 1 for 27 years.

Ward 1 encompasses south and southeast Fayetteville, including the areas south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Huntsville Road. Mount Sequoyah, Happy Hollow Elementary, and Ramay Junior High School are also included in Ward 1.

Filing for muncipal candidates ends at 12 p.m. on Aug. 17.

Profile: Olivia Trimble

Position sought: Ward 1, Position 1
Age: 32
Residency: Lifelong Fayetteville resident, lived in Ward 1 for 27 years
Employment: Working artist and tradesperson
Education: Springdale High School (Spent time between father’s home in Springdale and mother’s home in Fayetteville)


What made you decide to seek election to the council? Is it something you’ve been considering for a while?

I have been heavily involved in community organizing for the past few years by observing meetings at City Hall, listening to neighbors, and organizing events and rallies to enrich the community. I have wanted to run since ‘14, however the incumbent had done a great job and was the appropriate candidate for that cycle. As my civic participation has increased, it has become clear that I am passionate and uniquely qualified to serve my neighbors in Ward 1.

Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 1? How would you describe that part of town?

I have been very fortunate that my great grandparents settled here in 1976. My grandmother, and my mother live just two streets over from the home where my husband and I are raising our two girls. I can’t imagine living in another area of town. We have a rich history down here, in the original Fayetteville. I love that the bike trail runs right near my neighborhood now and allows me to quickly bike to grab tacos, play at Walker Park, or get to my studio downtown.

Ward 1 is huge and diverse, we have a great mix of tradespeople, service workers, artists, students, and professionals. Parts of this Ward are developing very quickly and densely, thanks to the proximity to downtown and the university. Other parts are traditional neighborhoods that are very clear about the kind of development that they want to see. There are challenges with affordable housing and concerns about longtime residents with lower or fixed incomes being displaced as development booms and the cost of living rises. We have a rich history of industry and hard workers in Ward 1, and right now we have the opportunity to get back to those roots by pursuing a trade school in this part of town. I believe that our Ward has underappreciated natural gems, from Lake Wilson, to a handful of secret parks, and the White River access at Pump Station Road. As a community we have the resources and imagination to activate these spaces. Can you imagine a paddle park right off 15th Street, at the Pump Station access point? How a tiny park with a blank screen and space for quilts so that neighbors can set up a movie night, or a pop-up concert?

Are there any recent council decisions you agree or disagree with?

The Welcoming Plan, and Energy Action Plan are two exciting steps that illustrate the values of this community. I am pleased that the council held a special meeting to listen the public express their thoughts and concerns about the performance and management of the Fayetteville Housing Authority. I agreed with the council’s recommendations to the FHA on how they can improve their five-year plan, required by HUD to receive funds for 2019. Adopting the Solid Waste Reduction, Diversion and Recycling Master Plan was a great step in developing an environmentally and economically sustainable materials management system.