putting people first
I will work with everybody - Democrats, Republicans and those unaffiliated like me - to build solutions that work for all of us. All residents should see their voices represented in city government. As our politics have become more and more divided, I believe it is crucial we elect people who work across differences to find solutions for what we all want in our community, such as economic development, efficient transit, housing affordability, and environmental sustainability.
As someone who has run a small business and worked in organizations that support small businesses, I recognize that a good relationship with local government is key. Small business is the backbone of Raleigh’s economy, and I will improve Raleigh’s oversight of small businesses. The city needs to be more flexible and creative in working with small businesses, to allow them to thrive and compete. Regulations and rules should be conducive to sustainable, equitable growth that leads to a better quality of life for Raleigh’s citizens.
As more people move to the city, our transportation options have become increasingly strained and congested. It shouldn’t take an hour to get across the city just because you left the house at the wrong time. I will help recommit the city council to investing in our transportation infrastructure. That starts with supporting the timely and efficient implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan, which was approved by voters in 2016. Dedicated bus and bike lanes across more of the city will not only speed travel for bus and bike riders, but will also ease the strain on our overburdened roads. I will prioritize bus shelters and benches for all bus stops in the city. I am also committed to expanding Raleigh sidewalks and greenways for pedestrians. Raleigh can not be a world-class city without an emphasis on equitable transportation options for all residents.
I am committed to making Raleigh an affordable place to live for our current and future residents. Raleigh consistently ranks as one of the best places to call home, and people elsewhere have caught on with an average of 63 new residents moving to Wake County each day. That means demand for quality, affordable housing is outpacing supply, pushing up prices of all kinds of homes. Current residents should be able to age in their homes, while those who serve our community — especially teachers, firefighters, police officers and service workers — should be able to afford to live where they work.
I support a large affordable housing bond, and we will need that money to address this issue. For a problem this large, however, we need an all of the above approach. I will advocate to expand our housing stock by pushing for more housing options, especially along public transit routes. Allowing more townhouses, duplexes, backyard cottages and apartments will provide more affordable housing choices for everyone. We’ll achieve affordability by working with developers to incentivize affordable housing units as part of market-rate developments as well as partnering with nonprofits committed to affordable housing. The city has several options for how to help all kinds of residents and I will push to effectively fund new developments for lower-income residents, while balancing the needs of others in our community.
I have worked professionally to protect our environment for more than two decades. Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. That is a good thing, if we manage our growth in a sustainable manner. Thriving cities are better for the environment than dying cities. Clean and plentiful air and water, and a high ratio of urban green spaces help drive economic development. Cities can no longer get away with degrading their natural resources. I will insist on high standards of environmental protection to improve our residents’ lives and grow our city in a sustainable manner.
Climate change is the issue of our time, and Raleigh has the opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint in many ways that will actually reduce costs and waste. One passion of mine is to make Raleigh the most solar-friendly city in the US. We can and should leave our children in a better position than we are in now.
Last, but not least, our parks system! Raleigh has the opportunity of a generation to make Dix Park the best city park in the country. I will fight to ensure this green space is built to the highest standards, and is a living jewel for this city and state. Similarly, I support a park over a quarry at RDU, and would vote that way if given the chance on council.