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About Melissa Link

Experienced - Pragmatic - Effective - Progressive

Melissa Link was born in southeast Washington, DC in the hospital where her mother worked as a nurse for over 30 years. She is a descendent of Irish immigrants who settled in Brooklyn, NY and Lithuanian immigrant  steel mill workers who settled outside of Pittsburgh, PA ,as well as  Tennesee & West Virginia hill people. Her maternal grandparents met while serving in the US Navy during WWII, her paternal grandfather served in the South Pacific during WWII, and her parents met as Naval communications officers serving stateside during the Vietnam War. Melissa grew up in southern Prince George's County, Maryland where she graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1988. She was a football statistician, member of the swim team, editor of the literary magazine, and member of the National Honor Society. Melissa still pays summer visits to her great-grandfather's former farm property in rural western Massachusetts, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. This background drives her passion for socio-economic justice, racial equality, environmental protection, historic preservation, and a patriotic defense of democracy.

Melissa 's appreciation of urban living and public transportation was fostered during visits with her mom's extended family in Brooklyn, NY as well as trips to see paternal grandparents in Pittsburgh. Her grandmother took the bus downtown every day to her job at a department store beauty salon. Melissa regularly rides Athens Transit and commutes via electric scooter on the Prince Avenue bike lanes to her job on North Campus. She is an animal lover & passionate organic gardener with a productive vegetable patch & fondness for pollinators & other interesting insects.

Melissa graduated from East Carolina University, arriving  in Athens as an art history graduate student in 1993. She quickly became involved in the Athens community as a volunteer at the Lyndon House Arts Center, organizer of the Human Rights Festival, board member of the Athens Area Arts Council, AthFest Arts organizer, Cultural Affairs Commission member, Georgia Climate Change Coalition, Boulevard Neighborhood Association, & Boulevard Gardening Club. She has worked as an arts, music, & features writer for Flagpole magazine, the Athens Banner-Herald, & other publications. She  is a longtime supporter of the Athens arts & music scene, and neighborhood & environmental activist with a keen interesting planning & zoning. She is a communications specialist with UGA's Department of Philosophy & managing editor of an environmental ethics journal. She has lived in the Boulevard neighborhood since 2002 and is married to a high school English teacher who works in a neighboring county public school district.

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