Donna Reed is now in her fourth term as the District 5 representative on Reading City Council, having been elected in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.
The terms were interrupted when Reed left Council in late 2006 to accept the position of assignment editor at Channel 69 News/Berks Edition. She returned to private industry in late 2007 which enabled her to re-enter public life. She regained her District 5 Council seat in the November 2009 general election with 80 percent of votes cast.
As a member of Council, Reed served as chair of the former marketing and economic development and of the public works committee. She also served on the administrative oversight committee and was Council liaison to the Downtown Improvement District and alternate representative to the Reading Area Transportation Study group.
During this Council term, Reed intends to focus on the city’s fiscal issues and the Act 47 process. She also will actively participate in on-going neighborhood and crime watch groups in the Fifth District as well as work to establish viable community organizations in the Riverdale, Riverside, Windsor and Front streets, 15th Ward, and St. Mark’s and Hope church neighborhoods.
Reed is a life-long resident of Greater Reading. She is a 1971 graduate of Muhlenberg Township High School. She received bachelor of arts degrees in communications and political science in 1975 from The American University in Washington, DC.
Reed spent 23 years as a reporter, columnist and editor at Reading Eagle Company, resigning to enter public service. She also worked briefly at the former Lutheran Services Northeast and as coordinator for the Berks Complete Count Committee Census 2000. From 2000 through 2005, Reed served as vice president-communications for the former Berks County Chamber of Commerce. Following a year with Channel 69 News, she joined the staff of Strategic Reports Inc., Mount Penn, where she is a writer.
Reed is also a free-lance writer, having contributed articles to the newly created BCTV Hub news Web site, Berks County Living, the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities Reporter, Historical Review of Berks County, the RiverPlace 2005, 2006 and 2007 annual reports, the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal, and the Muhlenberg Township 150th Anniversary/History Book in 2001.
She has and will be teaching writing courses at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading.
Reed has been involved in a number of community organizations over the past decade. She is currently a board member of Crime Alert Berks County (serving as secretary) and the Penn Corridor Initiative and is publicity committee chair for the Berks Complete Count Committee Census 2010.
Her service to the City of Reading includes time as a member of the Reading Planning Commission, the Reading Parking Authority, the Reading Weed and Seed Program (AID and Steering committees), Reading Beautification Inc., the Initiative for a Competitive Greater Reading, the Pagoda Centennial Committee, Riverfest committee, the Comprehensive Plan 2000 Task Force, the Reading Zoning Ordinance Review Committee in 2001, and the Centre Park Historic District Board of Directors.
Reed was appointed to the Pagoda Task Force in 2008 and continues as an advisory member of the group. In 2008, she edited an all-volunteer book entitled “Pagoda Centennial Tales,” a community-driven endeavor. More than 120 individuals contributed personal stories, poems, drawings and photos of the Pagoda. All proceeds from the book are directed to the Pagoda Pennies Fund which Reed co-founded in 2004. The task force is the precursor to the Pagoda Foundation, with a goal of making the Pagoda operation self-sustaining.
Reed is married to Tom Knause, city editor at Reading Eagle Company. Their son, Harry T.R. Knause, is a 2009 graduate of Holy Name High School where he was a member of the varsity basketball and football teams. He is now a student at Reading Area Community College. Harry plans on pursuing a career in athletic training.
She dedicates this Council term to her late father, Charles A. Reed, who served two full terms as a commissioner in Muhlenberg Township. She promised to match his time in public service and is sincerely grateful the voters of District 5 enabled her to keep that vow.