About

I’m Susan Gayle Anderson, and I’m running for re-election to Blacksburg Town Council on a platform of shared community values: smart growth, environmental preservation, a high quality of life for a diverse population, openness in government, active citizen participation in civic affairs.

I was born and bred in Virginia, oldest of four daughters of excellent parents. Having graduated summa cum laude from Mary Washington College in 1980 with undergraduate degrees in mathematics and classical civilization, I began graduate work in mathematics at Virginia Tech in the fall quarter of 1980. I earned my masters degree in 1982 and have been teaching mathematics at Virginia Tech since then. I am currently a Senior Instructor. I married a wonderful professor of philosophy and fellow activist, Kim Kipling, on 7/7 at 7, 1990. (We wanted a “prime” date that was always easy to remember.)

We own a home in one of Blacksburg’s most historic neighborhoods — on Preston Avenue — just a few blocks from the old Blacksburg Middle School site, the public library, and the downtown and South Main commercial districts.

During my many years in Blacksburg I have been energetically engaged in a rich variety of grassroots and civic activism. Through volunteering with numerous organizations in the community and on boards of directors and in local, regional and statewide organizations, contributing a dozen years to the Virginia Tech faculty senate, and advising student groups for two decades at Virginia Tech, I have developed a deep understanding of many of the concerns of community members, faculty, staff, and students.

I believe it is crucial for Town Council to have diverse representation — in gender, age, interests, expertise, and experience.

I was elected to Town Council in May 2006, November 2009, and again in November 2013. Because I received the most votes in 2006 and 2009, I was vice mayor for a two-year term during 2006-2008 and again during 2010-2012 — the second woman to hold that position in Blacksburg’s history. I currently am one of four women on our seven-member council.

It has been both an honor and a challenge to serve on the Town Council of Blacksburg. If re-elected, I will continue working hard to be a good steward of our town.

I know first hand the tremendous amount of time and effort this office entails. Effective service on Town Council requires enormous energy, organization, a keen sense of responsibility and a strong work ethic. These are traits that I possess.

Significant and visible progress has occurred during my tenure on Town Council, including our Town Council vote to become a “Cool City” and subsequent sustainability plans, revitalizing downtown with the North Main Street project and the College Avenue Promenade, breathing new life into the First & Main commercial center, increasing our town’s recycling capabilities, and strengthening code enforcement in our neighborhoods.

But the job is far from finished. Much remains to be done in revitalizing our historic downtown, in redevelopment of the old Blacksburg Middle School site, in providing diverse housing options, in protecting our neighborhoods from internal decay and external encroachment — in fulfilling our comprehensive plan’s shared vision for a vibrant, diverse, sustainable, and livable Blacksburg.

I hope you will share your questions, comments, concerns, and ideas with me.

I ask for your vote on November 7.

Blacksburg Leadership Positions

  • Blacksburg Town Council since 2006
  • Blacksburg Vice Mayor, 2006-2008 and 2010-2012
  • Blacksburg Housing and Community Development Advisory Board
  • Blacksburg Partnership Board of Directors
  • Downtown Revitalization Committee, chair
  • Business Relations Committee
  • Friends of the Farmers Market
  • New River Valley Agency on Aging

Other Civic and Professional Service

  • Virginia Municipal League
  • Virginia NOW Political Action Committee
  • Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, Board of Directors
  • Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.
  • Memberships: AARP, American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters, NAACP
  • Virginia Tech Faculty Senate
  • United Feminist Movement (formerly Womanspace), faculty advisor
  • Women’s Month Advisory Committee
  • Graduate student mentor in mathematics
  • New River Free Press, co-coordinator and treasurer, 1984-2007

Susan stopping violence and traffic at an annual Take Back the Night Rally and March

The current Town Council

Susan participating in a Virginia NOW action

“Leave the wood pile higher.”Family motto