This page is a work in progress and will be updated with much more information over the next several days.
Issues that are important to the residents of District C (and to me)
There are many issues facing the residents of District C and for many across Raleigh.
Common Sense Growth
Wake County is growing at an amazing rate, with almost 2000 people moving into the area each month. With such incredible growth, we begin to strain local resources: housing, roads, schools, communications, and more. We need common sense growth and make sure that those who are making the most amount of money from our growth are helping pay for the necessary infrastructure to keep everything moving in the right direction. We need officials who understand small business and their needs as well as those of larger corporations who are both necessary to provide jobs in our city. We also need officials who understand – and sympathize with – the members of our local society who may need help in finding housing, training, job assistance, and other services provided by our city, county, and state. We cannot simply focus on the bright and glamorous aspects of growth, but also need to make sure that ALL our citizens are cared for, protected, and can enjoy the benefits of this growth.
As Raleigh continues to grow, the demand for real estate rises dramatically. This demand for urban housing can cause a sharp increase in home prices and rental rates, and often many members of the workforce who keep our businesses running cannot afford to live near their work. New plans to develop affordable housing need to be developed, with the cooperation of city and county planners, developers, and governmental agencies. New committees and advisory boards have been created to look at traditional as well as non-conventional ideas for housing. Raleigh must continue to look forward as it grows and make sure that all of its citizens can afford safe and affordable housing.
Serving on the board for the Women’s Center of Wake County for the past eight years, I have seen homelessness firsthand and understand that it is a constant problem in our community. We can help with funding to non-profit organizations that help those who are homeless and in need of assistance and as well as those who are at risk of becoming homeless. Having a better understanding of how people become – and remain – homeless is paramount in hoping to diminish the number of people who suffer from this plight. The homeless are often the invisible citizens of a city, without a voice, without hope, and without a home. Other cities have done much to reduce the number of homeless. Surely we can do more to help these citizens as well.
With tremendous urban growth, gentrification is often an ignored problem among a very underrepresented class of residents. New development pushes further and further outside the city’s center, often into longstanding, historically poorer neighborhoods where real estate prices are still low. This demand drives up property prices and in turn, property tax rates, as well as the pressure for residents to sell their home. There should be more education and outreach for these residents, especially senior citizens who may not know the worth of their property or do not viable alternatives to moving. There should be an assistance program in place to help homeowners who are subject to severely high property tax increases or perhaps a maximum per year percentage of property tax increase allowed in certain circumstances. Homeowners should be abe to stay in their homes should they choose to without being subjected to forced evictions, detrimental property tax increases, or personal loss due to lack of knowledge of property values. All citizens deserve to know their rights and to be informed of upcoming rate hikes and possible alternatives.
Safety for All
We are lucky to have within our city, a diverse and dedicated team of police and first responders. Our Raleigh Police and Fire Departments are second to none and do everything in their power to ensure the safety of all those in our area. We want to ensure that we pay our public servants a fair and living wage for their families. We also need to develop educational and outreach programs from our public departments to our residents to improve community relations, gather an understanding of resident’s needs, and develop two-way communications that will make both policing and day-to-day living easier and less stressful. With fast-paced growth, increased crime can become an issue very quickly. Systems need to be in place to keep crime in check. Neighbors and citizens can be empowered to help each other, to communicate with law enforcement, and learn how to better protect their families and property.
We also need to develop educational and outreach programs from our public service departments to our residents in order to improve community relations, gather an understanding of residents’ needs, and develop two-way communications that will make both policing and day-to-day living easier and less stressful.
With fast-paced growth, increased crime can become an issue very quickly. Systems need to be in place to keep crime in check. Neighbors and citizens can be empowered to help each other, communicate and partner with law enforcement, and learn how to better protect their families and property.
Community Outreach and Communication
Local government has the duty to not only keep residents informed but also to ask for input on needs and issues. Information and communication need to happen on many different levels and through many different mediums. Social media, emails, mail, community forums, local access stations, and even word of mouth are just a few of the vehicles that could be used to reach as many residents as possible to ensure a fair cross-section of communication to and from all of Raleigh’s residents. Everyone has a right to know what is happening in their local government and a right to be heard.
Over the next few days, I’ll be adding more information on other topics including infrastructure, parking, and community educational programs. If you have other topics you would like to discuss, please send me an email through my contact form and include how to best contact you.