Charlotte City Council district candidates – WSOC TV

Charlotte — Ahead of the primary election on May 17, Channel 9 is asking candidates in several local races why they’re running and what they hope to accomplish if elected.

We sent all candidates contending for Charlotte City Council’s district positions six questions and asked them to respond in about 100 words.

READ MORE coverage from The Political Beat HERE

Three Democratic candidates are vying for the District 1 seat on Charlotte City Council. No Republicans are running for the seat. The current representative, Larken Egleston, is running for Charlotte City Council At-Large.

Three Democratic candidates are running for the District 2 seat on Charlotte City Council. Incumbent Malcolm Graham is seeking re-election to this seat. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Mary Lineberger Barnett in the general election.

Two Democratic candidates are seeking the District 3 seat on Charlotte City Council. Incumbent Victoria Watlington is seeking re-election. The winner of the Democratic primary will face James Bowers in the general election.

Three Democrats are running for the District 4 seat on Charlotte City Council. Incumbent Renee Johnson is running for re-election. No Republicans are running for the seat.

Five Democrats are running for the District 5 seat on Charlotte City Council. Incumbent Matt Newton is not seeking re-election. No Republicans are running for the seat.

Three Democrats are running for the District 6 seat. The winner of the Democratic primary will face incumbent Republican Tariq Bokhari in the general election.

  • What is your occupation?
  • Why are you running?
  • If elected, what is your top priority?
  • What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with?
  • What sets you apart from your opponents?
  • Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority?

Below are the complete, unedited responses of each candidate who chose to participate.

District 1

Dante Anderson

Did not respond to Channel 9′s questions.

Charlene Henderson El

What is your occupation? I am a small business owner, and a professional Licenced Instructor in the Beauty Industry for over 25 years.

Why are you running? I am running because AS A BUSINESS WOMAN FOR OVER 25 YEARS,

AND A NATIVE CHARLOTTEAN, I DEEPLY CARE ABOUT THIS CITY.

I PERSONALLY HAVE EXPERIENCED VIOLENT CRIMES. INACCESSIBILITY TO TRUE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, LACK OF RESOURCES AND ALSO, I WANT TO KEEP OUR CITY SAFE, AND INCREASE JOB OPPORTUNITIES.

I’VE SEEN FIRST HAND HOW GENTRIFICATION HAS AFFECTED OUR COMMUNITIES

AND WE HAVE TO TAKE A STAND AND DO WHAT’S RIGHT BY Equity, AND equal access for all people.

Code and Law Enforcement, making sure public safety is a main priority.

If elected, what is your top priority? My top priorities are the same as my why I am running, including and not limited to transparency, accountability, compassion and empathy. For so long we have forgotten about the very things we are elected to do and be.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? One of the decisions I disagree with is public transportation, access to the resources for those who can not maneuver the digital world, and the preservation of communities that do not want to be overlooked.

What sets you apart from your opponents? What sets me apart from the opponent is that I am an advocate for the marginalized, the underinvested in and my being accountable, compassionate and transparent. All of the entities that will impact our communities. Furthermore I am one of the candidates that understand the City mission and the vision.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? I only support the sales tax The use of public dollars is perfect if it helps to benefit the citizens. I support anything that creates jobs and benefits the district. The dollars should reflect a priority in the budget so that we see the return on the investments, because it seems as though we are losing out.

The project that should receive priority is energy efficient public transportation.

Billy Maddalon

What is your occupation? I am the founding owner of Unique Southern Estates. We operate The Morehead Inn in Charlotte, Fiddlehead in Banner Elk, and formerly operated VanLandingham Estate.

Why are you running? I am running for this seat because I’d like to focus on Livable Communities. Charlotte is defined by strong neighborhoods. Mobility, access to our food shed and community based public safety are all important on the critical path to more livable communities. I have the experience, temperament and skill to lead, getting things done and making things better. My entire life has been about producing results. I served on an interim basis on Charlotte City Council in 2013, replacing a council member who became mayor mid-term. I am be the best candidate because my accumulated executive experience running several successful businesses, as well as understanding what’s happening on the ground, working in the community at the grass roots level to improve the lives of the lost, least, last and left out. Whether it’s having served as a member of 11 local non-profit boards (some of which I’ve chaired) or as a therapeutic foster parent of 19 children, I’ve proven that my words mean far less than my works.

If elected, what is your top priority? My top priority will be to advocate, through policy where necessary, for community based public safety and a culture of excellence when it comes to policing. Our police department needs to hire better, train better, pay better and fire more. Those are the essential building blocks of organizational excellence.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? I disagree with the rezoning of the Ascent micro-apartment project in NoDa on 36th street. The height and scale were too large for that corridor.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Easily, my experience leading and working in the community separates me. I serve/have served on 11 local community and non-profit boards, several of which I’ve chaired. In local government, I’ve served on an interim basis on Charlotte City Council, as well as the boards of the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. At the state level, I’ve served as a trustee at Meredith College and as president of the NC State University Alumni Association. Moving people toward consensus on big ideas or facilitating making hard choices is something I’m comfortable doing and do well.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Yes, Charlotte should absolutely pursue the capacity to fund more than just transportation. The funding and planning needs are more appropriately around mobility. Livable communities are defined and made possible by the ability of people to move without necessitating a car, meaning proximity to commercial and employment centers. Dedicated bike lanes, greenways and reconsidering how our buses operate are much lower hanging fruit than trains and can be addressed faster and with more impact. Small wins around high touchpoint concerns can help make the case in Raleigh for our need for enhanced funding.

District 2

Kendrick Cunningham

What is your occupation? Political Strategist; Account Assistant at Wildfire Contact

Why are you running? Kendrick Cunningham is running for office because community and business leaders asked him to fight for the preservation of their communities in Northwest Charlotte. Kendrick will take the next steps towards transforming Charlotte into a world class city by focusing on improving the conditions for working families.

If elected, what is your top priority? Once elected, Kendrick’s top priority will be hiring a constituent affairs director. This will assist him with building and sustaining the necessary relationships with stakeholders to govern district two.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? A decision made by the current City Council that Kendrick disagrees with is supporting the incumbent protected redistricting map that was recommended by Councilman Malcolm Graham.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Kendrick offers an alternative form of governance that will allow him to create solutions tailored to each community in his district, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Each community in district two has different needs and wants then the other. Additionally, Kendrick has lived experience as a native of this district that will help him to have budget priorities more aligned to that of the constituents of his district. This will also help Kendrick agenda set specific action items that communities request of him.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Kendrick feels that the Charlotte City Council should prioritize investing in the Envision My Ride program before pursuing a sales tax increase or going all in on the Transformational Mobility Network (TMN). Many residents in district two rely on city buses more than any other form of public transportation. Many residents feel district two has the most unreliable and unconnected bus routes. The Envision My Ride program can help to provide more bus shelters and dedicated bus lanes, two major requests of district two constituents. Furthermore, a strategic investment in this program can help hinder overcrowding on route 7 and connect the Mountain Island/Oakdale community to the greater Charlotte metropolitan area.

Malcolm Graham

What is your occupation? Executive Director, Charlotte Amateur Tennis Championship

Why are you running? I’m running for Re-election to continue the work of providing progressive leadership to the citizens of district 2. I enjoy working to create a Charlotte Thant’s better tomorrow than it’s today.

If elected, what is your top priority? If elected I will continue to work on issues regarding the affordability of housing, creating an environment where jobs are are available for those who seek it, building an environment for corporate relocations and development, and lastly providing a transportation system that works for all.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? Council voted to approve a development in district two without parking. Base on the location of the site and limited street parking I voted in the negative, however it passed.

What sets you apart from your opponents? What sets me apart from my opponents is my experience. Proven, Steady, Leadership!

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Yes, Charlotte should pursue a sales tax increase to for transit. The ballot language should include projects for building a new transit line, greenways, sidewalks, and bike paths.

Amar Johnson

What is your occupation? Supplier Quality Engineer

Why are you running? Now more than ever, our city needs leaders who value upward mobility and understand how to implement its objectives; that’s why I’m running for office with a mission to establish upward mobility platforms. With a focus on leveraging and promoting programs that support and sustain our city’s senior citizens and strategies to make vendor opportunities more fair for local entrepreneurs.

If elected, what is your top priority? Establishing platforms to address upward mobility with the five key objectives;

    • Income Inequality
    • Family Structure
    • Education
    • Race
    • Social Capital
  • Establishing platforms for equitable economic development which includes;
    • Business Inclusion for Minority Women Small Business Enterprises (MWSBE)
    • Establishing Platforms for Entrepreneurs
    • Sustaining and Growing Existing Businesses
    • Affordable Housing
  • Senior Citizen Stability

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? Petition 2019-167 The Stewart Creek Greenway project. This city council is not requiring Grubb Properties to build any parking, and Grubb Properties is going to have the residents sign an addendum saying they will not own or drive a car while staying on this property, if the residents own or drive a car while staying there, they will be evicted. This does not encourage or promote upward mobility.

What sets you apart from your opponents? There are several quality factors that set me apart from my opponents.

    • First an foremost, I am a good decision maker.
    • Experience leading large scale projects.
    • Familiar with zoning and land use and how it affects the public socially and economically.
    • Community engagement
    • Implementing upward mobility platforms
    • Negotiating community benefit agreements with developers

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Before making that decision, I will have to have all the details surrounding this proposed tax increase. I am for increasing social mobility, and this is an essential part of upward mobility. “But at what cost and expense to the tax payer” is the question. The city should prioritize project in economically depress areas and low income areas first. Areas the city has divested in.

District 3

Neither candidate submitted a photo.

Tiawana Deling Brown

Did not respond to Channel 9′s questions.

Victoria Watlington

What is your occupation? As both a mechanical & systems engineer, Six Sigma Black Belt, and certified Project Management Professional, my background spans across multiple disciplines including Manufacturing Operations, Technical Engineering, Continuous Improvement/Change Management, and Innovation Management. Currently, I am the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Service Operations Manager at the Coca Cola Company.

Why are you running? Simply put, I am running for office because of my neighbors, who sent me to ensure the West Blvd Corridor Playbook was implemented, after having led its development as the land use committee chair for the Coalition. Beyond the Blvd, people across the district rallied around four key areas: community-led planning, affordable housing, transportation, and economic mobility. We’ve made significant strides in these areas, and we have great momentum to continue the work. Given we are already in a new term, with the budget process well underway, we need stable, experienced leadership as we come out of a turbulent season in our city.

If elected, what is your top priority? My top priority is ensuring the future of our city by improving quality of life for our residents. So many of our most pressing needs—jobs, housing, transportation, safety, sustainability—are intertwined. They must all work together for a common goal. As the Great Neighborhoods Committee Chair, I am focused on investing in strong neighborhoods, because collective power is the single most effective tool for change. As a member of the TAPE and ED committees, I seek to ensure that we are thoughtfully planning our city to fuel equitable growth, so Charlotte will continue to be a place we want to call home.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? As I made clear last year, I strongly oppose approving blanket density increases across our city before proper protections are in place to prevent accelerated displacement. We have only just launched the anti-displacement committee, guaranteeing we will be playing catch up to address unintended—yet, foreseeable—consequences of a sweeping policy.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Results. Over the last 2.5 years, I’ve demonstrated both an understanding of our community’s issues, a community-led approach to district representation, courage in advocacy, and an ability to deliver policy (SAFE Charlotte framework) and programs (Corridors of Opportunity investments). As a current Councilmember, I possess directly relevant experience in leadership and governance, as well as a professional skillset, and a demonstrated commitment to City-specific policy as both a resident and an elected official. As is often said around these parts, “It ain’t where you from, it’s where you at,” and District 3 community leaders and I are in the streets and the government center, building better outcomes for our community, together.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Though I would much prefer a funding model that did not include a regressive tax, given a limited set of funding options, a sales tax increase may be appropriate to generate revenue for transit. However, we have learned from previous transit projects, as well as peer cities, that we must ensure that public dollars are used for public good. This means that any funding structure should include a shared-cost model with the private sector development along the transit lines, economic opportunity for minority and small business, and anti-displacement protections for residents living along future transit lines. In addition, any tax increase cannot be for transit alone. It must include greenways, bike lanes, and sidewalks, to connect communities beyond transit routes. We should prioritize projects that create new connections to mitigate congestion and provide non-car alternatives for moving about the city.

District 4

Cedric Dean

What is your occupation? President Safeguard Atone Validate Educate (nonprofit), CEO Cedric Dean Homes (emergency reentry housing)

Why are you running? As the most qualified candidate for Charlotte City Council District 4 and as a citizen seeking to make Charlotte safer and stronger, I commit not just to serve as the district 4 representative, but even more important, to fulfill my humanitarian obligations in a manner that extols the elimination of corporate community takeovers and the achievement of fair housing practices for all. That is why, in this age of downward mobility in Charlotte, I offer instead a comprehensive plan for community development, community involvement and community policing – a principle-centered contract with no code words.

In an effort to fight against corporate takeovers, I promise to leverage every legislative authority of the Planning and Zoning departments to:

· Reduce the 20% cap on corporate ownership of single family homes

· Enforce the 6-non-related family member rule for corporations who purchases single family homes to rent out by rooms

· Find and fine corporations who violate zone laws

If elected, what is your top priority? Implement my 5 point plan:

FIRST, mandate all gentrification-like predatory practices that unjustly apply to single family communities be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law;

SECOND, put forth a plan to adequately address homelessness and implement a character and career education development program that makes homeless residents career-ready instead of convict-ready;

THIRD, cut the number of ineffective city-funded programs and conduct a comprehensive audit of the city-funded agencies for waste, fraud or abuse;

FOURTH, propose a $16 an hour minimum wage for city contract workers;

FIFTH, implement a District 4 Community Engagement Program, which prioritizes community building and revitalization.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? Redistricting Hidden Valley to District 1.

What sets you apart from your opponents? My lived experience. I was expelled from CMS, incarcerated at 16 years old, sentenced to serve life in prison at the age of 22, published 20 books from prison, received a Civil Service and Call to Service award for being a PEACEKEEPER, founded a national nonprofit, worked for CMPD and MCSO, as a community engagement coordinator, started a reentry home for returning citizens and attended the State of the Union in 2019. As a nonprofit president, I am out in the community every single day. I take time to listen, learn, and lead – to ensure personal accountability to the people I serve. People know me, people trust me and people depend on me. Specifically, I am accessible to all people – 7 days a week / 24 hours a day via my cell phone 704-492-1533. If you google CEDRIC DEAN my cell number comes up with my name.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? No. The city council should focus on Transit Safety for drivers and passengers. The drivers are forced to work overtime, no lunch breaks at times, disrespected by dispatchers, underpaid and overworked. Not losing another driver to gun violence should be the top priority.

Darlene Heater

What is your occupation? Managing Director, Panorama (as of Dec 2021) (former) Executive Director, University City Partners

Why are you running? I am passionately committed to building the best northeast Charlotte.

If elected, what is your top priority? For three decades, I have been a fierce champion and a committed resident in District 4. For the last eight years, as Executive Director of University City Partners, I spearheaded growth, development and community building in University City and North Charlotte. My hope is to take my experience, knowledge and skill set to a higher level to serve the residents of City Council District 4 and the greater Charlotte community.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? Our fast-growing neighborhoods and communities need an experienced advocate, a leader skilled in negotiation, and a community collaborator—someone who is solutions-driven and a proven public servant for our residents. As City Councilperson, I will be a champion for our neighborhoods, as well as for our local institutions and businesses.

I believe that together we will create a sustainable, thriving community with vibrant neighborhoods and strong business districts.

1. Ensuring Safe Communities and Streets

2. Strengthening Communities and Inclusive Communities

3. Investing in Mobility Infrastructure

4. Building Smart and Sustainable City

The UDO is an issue of concern for many people in the community. I believe adopting policy of this magnitude should include a framework and schedule for assessing, amending and tweaking the plan so that all publics understand this plan is a living document and it can and should change based on outcomes or inconsistencies.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have the passion, commitment and a long list of past successes to lead North Charlotte.

I am known as a leader who gets things done and done well. I have worked for both public and private entities and has spent the last 25 years working as a city builder. In this role, I helped lead the transformative growth in University City over the last eight years. I am a fierce champion for investment in light rail and innovation in policing and public safety.

As a community leader I helped recruit 12,000+ jobs to University City, led the successful community campaign to move the University City Regional Library to its most accessible location and pushed hard for the County to purchase two large parcels for new North Charlotte parks.

I have worked proactively to identify land for affordable housing leading to five current developments. I am also the co-founder of UCITY Family Zone www.ucityfamilyzone.com in partnership with Dr. Mark DeHaven of UNC Charlotte. The organization is a place-based partnership for improving livability and quality of life in the University City, Newell South and Hidden Valley communities. The UCITY Family Zone was just awarded $990,000 from Mecklenburg County for programs.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Yes, I believe the sales tax increase is the only current, viable pathway for realizing a fully developed transit system. The silver line and the red line should be prioritized. Some of this tax is going to be invested in bike and ped improvements. Northeast Charlotte has several bike and ped connections that need to be bridged.

Renee Perkins Johnson

What is your occupation? I am the founder and Executive Director of Triumph Services, a behavioral health and peer support agency. We specialize in serving survivors of acquired brain injury.

Why are you running? I am a Servant leader. This platform allows me to serve and advocate for others on a larger scale. To set policy and be a part of the change that I want to see in the city. I want to continue to advocate for those who feel left behind in our city.

If elected, what is your top priority? To continue to advocate for affordable housing for those families at or below 30% of the AMI. There is currently a shortage of 20,000 – 30,000 units for this income range. Many families at this income level are forced to live in hotels & motels, and sadly many were occupants of tent city. We need real solutions.

I also support the elimination of Source of Income Discrimination. I was the Councilmember who proposed that any developer who receives ANY public funding be required to accept housing vouchers. I look forward to supporting the ordinance change.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? To eliminate the “Exclusive Single Family” zoning type in the 2040 plan. As stated, I am an advocate for more affordable housing, but in my opinion, equitable development includes protecting home values and the rights of current home owners. Only 33% of our subdivisions are unprotected by covenants that protect their subdivision from multi-family development. Most of these neighborhoods are in the crescent. This provision will affect property values at an inequitable rate and expedite gentrification. I also disagreed with the provision in the Ballantyne Reimagine project that excludes housing for residents in the 30 % AMI level to be built on the land that was donated to the City.

What sets you apart from your opponents? The combination of my leadership, Real estate and Human services experience. It gives me a unique and multi-faceting perspective for making decisions.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Yes. We need more buses to the train, especially in District 4. Residents who live less than 5 miles from the train are unable to take a direct bus to get there. We need to better leverage our current services.

District 5

Curtis Marvin Hayes Jr.

What is your occupation? Small Business Owner and Community Leader

Why are you running? East Charlotte needs someone who will fight for their representation, and I am committed to the revitalizing district 5. I was raised in East Charlotte, and I am passionate about serving our community and neighborhoods. I am a single father of 2, and I understand the need for jobs, infrastructure, and safety. I am dedicated to igniting change and transformation in district 5.

If elected, what is your top priority? It is imperative that we focus on workforce development. We must sustain and incentivize our small businesses to drive economic growth. We have our fair share of affordable housing; I will strive to preserve our naturally occurring affordable housing. This will minimize the displacement of our people, protect our elderly, and maintain our cultural diversity. Additionally, it is my top priority to keep our community safe. We need culturally competent policing and to develop opportunities for our youth to explore opportunities in public service that sustain pride and safety in our neighborhoods.

What is a decision made by our current City Council that you disagree with? I support the current plan that strives to promote future growth for the city of Charlotte. I believe District 5 needs help right now. We need sensible, inclusive, and smart developments that consider our community and respects our people.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have first-handedly experienced the disparities that exist in East Charlotte. I am dedicated to ensuring the preservation of our naturally occurring affordable housing and making sure the Eastland Mall redevelopment project is an anchor attraction that drives sustainable economic growth and development.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Yes. The Strategic Mobility Plan is a priority, as it will be a catalyst for economic growth and development in District 5.

Liz Millsaps Haigler

What is your occupation? 18 years as a Realtor®, paralegal & Oakhurst Neighborhood Co-Chair where I helped prevent the city from cutting a road thru our neighborhood saving 5 homes. I’ve served on the CharlotteEAST Board & still serve on the Econ Dev Committee where we monitor Eastland redevelopment & equity lens on the UDO. I’m on the Gold District Board, formerly served on the Housing Justice Coalition where we succeeded in getting 2 people affected by housing appointed to LISC Committee & New South Progressives where we eliminated the EEO (Stop & Frisk) & I’ve held 7 elected positions in the Democratic party

Why are you running? I am running b/c the city has promised to work WITH communities & they are NOT. Our citizens know best how to improve their communities. I want to show District 5 folks how to organize & access city services; continue my work on the Eastland Mall site & the Silver Line; promote & bring amenities to the long neglected east side; help preserve the unique flavor of District 5; bring District 5′s voices to City Council & keep them front & center.

If elected, what is your top priority? Housing & Economic Development: Improve the House Charlotte program + boost the amount of downpayment assistance

Create an internal program to help city employees buy homes

Appoint affected folks that do the work w/over 20 Charlotte Housing orgs to positions of housing leadership

Bring 3D homes and alternative housing solutions to Charlotte, including improving ADUs

My Ladder of Opportunity & Success for entrepreneurs & small businesses will support them at every level, including creating incubators for co-ops/worker owned businesses & bringing innovative business to Charlotte including 3D homes + industrial hemp products

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? I would have worked with Council & staff to garner public support for Quadruplexes on single family lots. Excellent examples are the newer quads on Pecan Ave (The Cameron) & McClintock Rd (The Lomax) in Midwood. A 2 BR 2 BA at The Lomax currently under contract in 2 days is listed for $475K, & the 3 BR/3BAs would likely sell in the mid $500′s today. Quads exist in all of our original suburbs & the more a buyer is allowed to build on a lot the more money it generates on resale.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I’ve been doing this work for years & have a proven history of leadership + collaboration – equally important on Council

I have the strongest list of accomplishments that have directly benefitted District 5 and Charlotte

I have the broadest range of experience pertinent to this position + the most expansive network of engaged citizen contacts

I have the greatest knowledge of how to solve our issues + I will utilize the folks who are working on the issues when I don’t have the knowledge

I have strong relationships with many who are on/will be on Council + City Mgr

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? I would like to explore more equitable ways to fund transit because sales taxes disproportionately affect our poorest Charlotteans + I have questions: If NC Legislature allows a sales tax, will it extend to Gaston, Iredell & Union counties where our transit lines are planned? The Silver Line should be #1 after repairing out bus system. The Silver Line was supposed to come before the Blue Line, east side has the densest population, the crescent has been neglected too long + we must have transit to our airport ASAP.

Marjorie Molina

What is your occupation? I currently attend school full-time as a graduate student at UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business. The program I will complete on May 13, 2022, is a full-time, 10 month program to earn a Master of Science in Management. The program is intensive and it’s encouraged that while completing the program you do not hold a full-time position. I completely agree!

Why are you running? I love our city! I have lived here since 2004. My two children were born here, I earned my AA, BLS and soon MS during that time. I’ve experienced amazing triumphs and I’ve experienced deep struggle. I’m confident that both will inform my decision making me as a leader and member of our municipal governing body – which I feel we need at this moment. I’ve spent over a decade in service to our community – volunteering, serving on boards, even learning from current and past elected officials – and these experiences provide additional information.

If elected, what is your top priority? Top priority questions during this experience have always been hard to answer. There are needs in our communities that have policy packages that are inextricable. If I have to choose one – considering the needs of the residents in East Charlotte – it would be placekeeping, and the creation of an anti-displacement toolbox. Place keeping is a term used to focus on helping to keep our residents where they are. We must seek solutions that address the housing needs of our residents that are vulnerable to displacement. We need neighborhood specific recommendations and solutions that tackle the complex gaps related to housing affordability.

Increased expenses related to materials, building and even purchasing land and housing have created new challenges when looking for policy solutions that have become even more complex.

I plan to work with my colleagues on the City council to create solutions that are focused on meeting people where they are. Housing affordability is relative. Whether residents sits at 30% AMI or 50% AMI and beyond, all of our working residents deserve our ideas and policy solutions.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? I would definitely like to see the current council address term limits. This council will be the only council that has served beyond 2 years. They will have the experience of what that has been like and could provide insight on whether it could be beneficial to our service and to our community.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have prepared myself with service and education for this experience – which matters. I have integrated deep into the fabric of our population serving in appointed and experiential positions throughout our community. Moreover, I have the preparatory education and policy exposure that have prepared me to perform the requisite duties of a municipal governing leader.

East Charlotte is the most diverse district in our city. We have populations represented from around the world, with Spanish- speaking residents being the largest. I speak Spanish fluently as a second language, I’m raising multi-ethnic, half Latino children, and I have a passion for equity and competency.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? The silver line is actively in consultation and coexisting infrastructure where calculated stops are proposed is already underway. The 11 segment Cross Charlotte trail is already under construction as well. There’s $20.5m allocated for FY 22 – 26. Most of our popular transit programs orbit long term projects. With that said, is this the question we should be asking?

We must visit the effectiveness of our CATS bus system and how it currently serves our residents. We have existing transportation infrastructure. Is it effective? What does population utilization look like? How can we improve bus ridership, especially for residents in East Charlotte? Maybe we can brainstorm on programs that would consider funding a bike program throughout Charlotte? Let’s look at the Vision Zero proposed budget allocation or funding sidewalks and additional infrastructure in suburban areas – like the second Corridor or Opportunity in East Charlotte – the Far East – all budget allocations that must coexist with transportation.

Vinroy Reid

Did not respond to Channel 9′s questions.

Mark Vincent

What is your occupation? I am a Journey Wireman with the Local Union 379 of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)

Why are you running? The 5th District is on the bottom side of the City’s Economic development plan while the rest of the city flourish with Jobs growth, Transportation, and streets refurbishing. With Matt moving on to District Judge I believe that I am the only hope for the 5th District.

If elected, what is your top priority? To bring Jobs to the 5th District so that Eastsiders can work and live in their neighborhood like everybody else in the city.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? The huge tax credit that was given to the Centene Project.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Let’s start with Minimum wage, first of all there is no such thing as minimum wage it is an opinion. I believe in a living wage just because a person decides not to go to college does mean that they have to live in poverty. Skilled trade workers are a big need in the city as we grow we have to build an environment that will support the growth that is here and is still coming. Second low income housing. I do not believe in building more Projects, and placing impoverished people into a community with other impoverished people. That is just another form of building another school to prison pipeline. Subsidies will work.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? The city has already been increasing taxes on the 5th District to build everywhere else so why would not do the same for the 5th.

So you should know that I am talking about the Grayline.

District 6

Stephanie Hand

What is your occupation? I serve as an ordained Clergy in the United Methodist Church and an Organizational Change Consultant.

Why are you running? I am running for Charlotte City Council District 6, because I believe in the power of collaborative leadership and what our city can be. The people of this city want leaders on council, that work through challenges together, for strong Economic Development, Safe Communities, Affordable Housing, Transportation options and better quality of life. We have a relentless hope, for what our communities can become. Charlotte is a diverse city; the 15th largest and fastest growing city in America. I am that leader who will continue to rise to the occasion, together working HAND in Hand to build a better District 6, and stronger Charlotte. I will be your Voice.

If elected, what is your top priority? Engage with an On-boarding process as the new City Council District 6 representative. I will review the policies, city ordinances, contracts, challenges and the success stories within the District and Charlotte as a whole. Secondly, I will listen to the people of District 6 and greater Charlotte to hear the things going well, discover opportunities for growth and broaden spaces to share with the community. I will also develop a 200 Day Plan of Action, focused on Economic Development and Growth, Transportation, Safety, and Affordable Housing of District 6, along side the citywide priorities that needs to be addressed.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? It’s not a specific decision I can identify, however It is important to work collaboratively on solutions for the pressing issues of our city, even when we disagree with other council members. Healthy debate is important to the work, as we create budgets, address city issues through zoning, ordinances, policies, contracts, the people hired, and how we fill the committees and agencies. Theses collegial debates and decision should always focus on the now and future of Charlotte. As a district representative, I will be a responsive voice for the issues facing D-6 and our city.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I am a collaborative leader with a proven track record finding solutions to the challenges in our communities. Through Covid, the state of NC needed help administering ‘Pop-Up” vaccination clinic, in underserved communities. Through networking we vaccinated over 17,000 people. I am a responsive public servant,who, who finds solutions, through coalition building. I have a doctorate in Organization Change and professionally certified as a Diversity and Inclusion consultant. As a Fortune 100 executive running airports, an Entrepreneur, Clergy, and work in civic, governmental agencies, and boards of directors, it gives you a glimpse of my diverse experience, to lead effective.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? The reality is that the system must be highly interconnected. Our airport, the 5th busiest airport in the world, will continue to remain a top priority. It importance we continue to focus on trains and buses, however we must also ensure we include other means of transportation, such as biking, walking, and open spaces. What I do know is the interconnected nature of our system is important to the growth and quality of life in our growing city. Therefore this work will require tradeoffs as we build towards a more comprehensive plan. We must engage the public at large, state and federal agencies, along with city funding, to create a system we can all support. These comprehensive solutions will also lead to aiding in reducing the footprint of green emissions and cleaner air.

Rob Hillman

What is your occupation? I am currently a Director at Virtus from FIS – a Financial Technology company – providing investment compliance and reporting services to private credit investors and international investment managers.

Why are you running? As a father, finance executive, investment advisor, MIT-trained engineer and public servant, I have been committed to leveraging my expertise for the benefit of the community. I would like to continue to do so by serving on Charlotte City Council. I believe my service will contribute to a brighter more vibrant future for this exceptional city.

If elected, what is your top priority? I believe that creating public/private partnerships and workforce development programs will create jobs and economic growth. I support a Unified Development Ordinance that will allow for sustainable growth and a more equitable future for Charlotte. I am dedicated to growing the economic pie and working to increase the upward mobility for all of our citizens, protecting our clean air and water, and transitioning to clean renewable energy.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? I think we need to go further and faster to promote workforce development and life-long learning programs that up-skill our existing workforce to be able to succeed in acquiring the jobs that are available in our region. In addition, we need to build out a transportation network that allows people to get to area jobs without needing an automobile.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Over the course of the next few years a large amount of money will be coming our way for infrastructure spending. My engineering, technology and financial background has prepared me to be ready day one to lead in the effort to invest those funds wisely, efficiently, and in a way that doesn’t leave people behind.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Our city will choke on the traffic if we do not accelerate funding for public transportation. I will prioritize bringing more buses and small format shuttles in service, adding commuter rail and additional light rail, greenways, bikeways, and quality sidewalks.

Nancy Wiggins

What is your occupation? Nancy Wiggins is a minority small business owner – providing commercial real estate brokerage (NC&SC) and consultant services such as market, feasibility & forecasting analyses & reports. Consultant services are provided in the USA & internationally.

Why are you running? Because I believe that District 6 constituents deserve much better constituent support & service from their Councilmember than they are receiving now.

I will listen to their inquires and opinions as I have over the 12 years that I served as a Commissioner on the CMPC.

I am a dependable, experienced problem solver in service for Charlotte. As a District Councilmember , I would never propose a commercial district plan that included residential property within the district because of expenses unless it was a large scale high rise that would require the same level of infrastructure as a commercial property. The average home owner should not be required to pay for services they would not use or have their property designated as commercial unless they requested annexation as such.

If elected what is your top priority? As the District6 Councilmember, my top priority would be to make District6, neighborhoods & all of Charlotte safer that it has become recently!

Granted the Pandemic has created stresses that have contributed to the rise in crime and mental stresses. I propose that we hire licensed Counselors – one/shift for every CMPD precinct so that tgey can work to de-escalate domestic violence & mental health issues. That transfer of responsibility will allow the trained police officers to focus on the increasing crimes such as gun violence, street racing & ( in my part of District6) pedestrian deaths.

My second priority is to help create policies that provide equitable access to affordable housing for low and middle income residents.

What is a decision made by the current City Council that you disagree with? While I am not sure that the proposed $300 mil

fund set up for the City to use to attract businesses & employees who desire to have jobs that pay a “living wage “) has been finalized, I have one strong objection to a part of the proposal. I object to the funds to be “maintained” by the Foundation of the Carolinas. I believe that that part of the proposal has ramifications that suggest the City of Charlotte’s impeccable reputation as a clean government with solid financial management has somehow changed.This false perception may cause concern about Charlotte’s financial capacities.

I believe that the fund should be kept in and administered by the City Finance Department instead. The Finance Department has all of the municipal expertise & experience and will do an excellent job to maintain the integrity of the fund.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have had extensive experience of working as an employee in the public sector as a planner at Centralina Council of Governments learning about fiscal federalism ( public budgeting); served on the Mayor’s Com. For the City Budget (Knox);Solid Waste Asv Board ( Recycling Com);Livaby Meck; and 12 yrs on the CMPC as a Commissioner (about 35% of the City Council workload.) As a Commissioner I helped craft the Current 2040 plan; the Current UDO as well as the UDO slated for adoption.

In private practice I have brokered deals for developers as well as completed HUD Market studies for winners in affordable housing for complexes here in Charlotte , NC,SC,GA & Al. I was inducted into the Order of the Hornet by the Meck Co for Meritorious service in 9/2020.

Should Charlotte City Council pursue a sales tax increase for transit? What project should receive priority? Yes it should immediately put forth a penny increase in the sales tax to show that we can commit to cleaner air by developing an additional light rail. This year Charlotte is once again rated as having the dirtiest air due to carbon monoxide by the Feds.( Just like it was in the ‘90′s.) We must follow the same path so that we can get funding from this Federal Infrastructure Allocation because we have no guarantee that it will be available in the next decade so that we can add to light rail & cut dependency on autos.

The Silver Line because this light rail system will affectively go between Gaston County through Charlotte at the airport all the way to Matthews & Union County.

This line will effectively provide light rail efficiency to all sections of the city. Currently District 6 only is only served by the Blue line on the western side of the district. With the Silver line basically following the rail line through to Union County, it provides eastern side of District 6 with reasonable access to “time certain” light rail transportation. The silver line will also stretch through districts

3,1, 2,4, and 5 as well giving each district two options for using the light rail the blue line and the silver one.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.