Donna Sayegh is a candidate for Portsmouth City Council. Her name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022.

10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race. If you do not see a candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.

See who is on your ballot by viewing the candidate lists on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Name: Donna Sayegh

Race: Portsmouth City Council

Biography: My objective is to become elected to Portsmouth City Council and to relate with the people to help them discover how they can self-govern. To help build the structure and organization of the city, its departments, divisions, boards, and commissions. Self-governance and self-sufficiency are taught in the home, at church, and at school and applied to everyday experiences in life. Self control, manners, and etiquette are the best practices to ensure well-being of self and others.

I have these social skills:

  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Ability to see another’s perspective
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Ability to build trust
  • Well organized and efficient in a work environment
  • Creative thinker
  • Flexible to work solo, in pairs, or as a group member as necessary

I have these qualifications:

  • Able to demonstrate Christian values and ethics
  • Ability to relate to people from all backgrounds
  • Fair, objective, and non-judgmental attitude
  • Patient, committed, and enthusiastic
  • History of working in financial accounting for approximately 45 years
  • Managed a medical/surgical office from 1988 to 2000
  • Treasurer of a number of support groups and a local church auxiliary
  • Used Quicken for record keeping for one support group
  • Proficient in use of office machines
  • Non-smoker, non-drinker

I have these degrees and diplomas:

  • 2011: International Institute for Restorative Practices, master’s degree in restorative practices and youth counseling degree MRP/YC
  • 1994: Fuller School of Massage, certificate in massage therapy
  • 1989: Old Dominion University, bachelor of science in nursing
  • 1976: Louise Obici Hospital School of Nursing, diploma
  • 1971: Richard Bland College, AAB degree
  • 1960: Findlay Senior High School, diploma

I have these work experiences:

  • Owner/founder of the Dove of Peace Ministry, “Bringing Peacemaking Skills to the People,” January 2012
  • Volunteer positions in support groups: PA District 8 AFG (Al-Anon Family Groups), treasurer, January 2009 to April 2011
  • Mediator: Newport News Civil General District Court, 7th Judicial District 2006
  • Office nurse manager for medical and surgical solo practice, rang of office skills used to manage medical and surgical urology practice, May 1988 to April 2000
  • Medical-surgical nursing various nursing units, various hospital and other endeavors, May 1976 to May 1988
  • Portsmouth Police Department as volunteer in crime prevention and employed in central records for two years in the 1980s on my sabbatical from nursing

I have these volunteer experiences:

  • 2022: Running for seat on city council
  • 2014 and 2016: Ran for Portsmouth City Council seat
  • 2018: Ran for a seat on the school board
  • 2020: Ran for mayor of Portsmouth
  • Big Brother/Big Sisters in Portsmouth
  • Juvenile justice in Portsmouth
  • CASA volunteer in Portsmouth
  • FAPT in Portsmouth
  • Intern counselor at the CSF/Buxmont Academy
  • IMPACT Panel
  • St. Luke’s Hospital Behavioral Center

Private Life:

  • Attended Sunday school and Church from 1944 to 1958 at Concord Methodist Church in Stony Creek
  • Siblings: Barbara, Thomas, Dennis, Cecelia, Leslie, and Susan
  • Children: Jonathan, Faye, Deborah, Rachel, and Mary
  • Late Husband: Dr. Emile Sayegh

With all my skills, qualifications, and life experiences, I will be able to guide the people in knowing how to self-govern by knowing the way the elected are spending their money. Learning the structure and function of government will help them to be productive members of society and achieve their potential in life.

Why should residents elect you to City Council?

I am the most qualified in understanding how the government is supposed to work: For the people, by the people, and of the people.

What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?

  1. The organization structure of the city is incomplete. The boards and commissions are not attached to the departments to solve the issues that revolve around the mission of theses departments.
  2. Not only are the boards and commissions not attached to the departments, the divisions and departments are not present of the organizational structure.
  3. The agencies of the city are not listed and where they help.

What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?

The most pressing economic issue facing Portsmouth is the lack of one entity overseeing the economic development and the needs of what type of businesses Portsmouth needs to sustain itself. One way is to call a townhall and obtain the concerns of the people and their needs.

What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?

The biggest infrastructure needs is to take care of the infrastructure in a process that oversees the infrastructure all the time, not when the infrastructure collapses. The Civic Center needs to be rehabilitated and put the police department back in it. All of the police department, not just the ones in the Sports Museum. 801 Water Street needs to be rehabilitated and put a marine academy in it. All the buildings behind Crawford Street need to be rehabilitated and addressed as the government area: Federal, state, and local governments. The Downtown Design Committee is responsible for the oversight of our historic areas in our city. They need to be held accountable for allowing historic buildings to deteriorate.

How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?

Gun violence is occurring because there is a new generation of youth who haven’t been incorporated into the family life. Everything is urbanized. No farming areas to build a working relationship with the whole family. Look at the school system. There is nothing about building relationships. Punitive measures always. No restorative practices being understood or explored to implement in the school system. I already tried twice to educate the school system about restorative practices’ “Safer Saner Schools” booklet with 100 signatures on a petition and the school board at the time blew me off. Next time I was allowed to use the former sheriff’s work crew to do a role play five years ago for the public to attend. I gave personal invitations to the city council and school board. No one attended that event. Not even anyone from the community. I can’t do anything if the people don’t help me.