In honor of African American History Month, we are highlighting African Americans who have changed and impacted the City of Newport News.
Newport News native son, Charles Allen, was a great public servant committed to the revitalization of the Southeast Community.
From 1988 until his retirement in 2008, Allen, served the residents of Newport News, first as the Deputy Director of Planning, then as a City Council member and finally as Vice Mayor for 12 years.
His unrelenting efforts to revitalize the Southeast Community resulted in facilities such as the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center and Heritage High School. Allen also pushed for other improvements around the City of Newport News such as public parks on the waterfront and providing Navy housing.
While serving as the Director of Planning & Development for Gary, Indiana, he developed the prototype for the Community Development Block Grant, which is now commonly used in cities across the country. Allen was critical to the development of the Newport News Framework for the Future, a citizen-based planning process that became a strategic part of the city planning process.
Allen was a man committed to improving the lives of others, making his city a better place to live and work, while promoting the arts and education.