Growth and Housing Affordability
During my 25 years in Raleigh, we have been through a lot of change. Today we face even greater growth pressure with 17 people deciding to call Raleigh home every day. The question is not will we change and grow but will we make better choices to grow in a more thoughtful, well-planned way. Raleigh’s way.
Raleigh’s way is inclusive, making sure every member of our community has a seat at the table. It accounts for the critical need for infrastructure to support new growth. Raleigh’s way improves our quality of life while we grow. It’s what I do every day in my profession, helping communities effectively plan and implement important infrastructure solutions focused on the future.
On housing affordability, the city has made progress on a number of fronts including public subsidies, zoning reforms, public private partnerships under low-income tax credit programs that make our city money go further, and more help for first time home buyers and for aging seniors to keep their home. Despite those efforts, the housing crisis has gotten worse. We can and must do more.
In addition to the need for more market rate housing to put downward pressure on rising costs and rents, we have a great need for more affordable housing for low to moderate income residents in our city. We should strengthen the affordable housing partnerships with our nonprofit partners such as the Raleigh Area Land Trust, expand the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing, and better leverage density bonuses and public benefits during rezoning. For low to moderate income residents and seniors affected by rising property values and property taxes, we should accelerate efforts to pursue tax relief. Finally, Raleigh can’t solve housing alone; we must have greater collaboration with our regional and state partners in the search for solutions.
On infrastructure, I will advocate for better public transit including a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system along Western Blvd and Wilmington/S. Saunders streets that has robust ridership, viable mobility options at stops, and well-planned corridors for density. More options for people to get around is good for everyone, including residents who want to drive a car. In addition, residents deserve a road network that is well maintained and is not clogged with traffic, along with sidewalks and bike lanes.
My solutions for the environment include more resilient approaches such as making green stormwater infrastructure commonplace, ensuring that flood control designs take climate change into account, and advocating for an initiative to daylight and restore more streams in and around our urban core.
Raleigh will and should continue to grow. I am running for city council to make sure we're doing it the right way, the Raleigh way.
Public Safety, one of the most important functions of our city government, is personal for our community and it’s personal for me and my family. My wife, as a social worker, works with police officers every day; and I have close family that are active and retired law enforcement officers. And most importantly, as a father, my wife and I share responsibility for keeping our son safe so that he can grow and learn and discover his unique talents and gifts. We want the same thing for every single child in our community.
While we welcome the changes in the Raleigh Police Department since 2020, we know that more work needs to be done. In addition, the city is faced with unprecedented increases in violent crime including gun crime and we have an unsettling number of vacancies in the police department.
We have to keep our communities safe. We have to address hot spots within the city better including in District D along Glenwood South. We must get more guns off the street. The urgency means that city council must take a stronger role and more actively address this crisis.
Raleigh should expand its ACORNS crisis intervention unit city-wide to assist the unhoused, those suffering from mental illness, and other vulnerable populations. Let us also build and strengthen partnerships with organizations working on violence prevention strategies.
In addition, the city should have raised police pay higher in the current budget. As your city council member, I will be an advocate for better pay and for changing the tone and conversation around our police professionals.
We expect a lot from our police and other first responders. Let’s hold up our end as well. And we can do this while continuing to enact common sense reforms and build greater trust within all parts of the city.
Parks and Greenways
Raleigh's parks and greenways are an essential part of our quality of life and critical to our resilience as a city. Parks and greenways were our mental and physical salvation during the pandemic. They are our gathering places, where children learn to play together and people from all backgrounds can enjoy unique experiences that enrich their lives. For our neighbors who are struggling to get by, our parks and greenways are essential as free entertainment and recreation a family can enjoy together and our parks track-out programs ensure that children have access to programs and nutritious food.
A parks and greenway system like Raleigh's doesn't happen without thoughtful planning and courageous investments. I support the 2022 Parks Bond because it strikes the right balance between making needed investments in our parks system, including equity-focused investments in parts of our city, and making progress on what will be the crown jewel of the Raleigh Parks system, Dix Park. Dix will be more than just a park. As a gathering place where all are welcomed and valued, it will be one of the largest investments in public facilities our history and a significant economic driver.
District D needs a strong advocate for Dix Park, Method Road Park, Devereux Meadows, and every community center and greenway trail that runs through our part of the city. As your city council member, I will be that advocate. That's why I strongly support the 2022 Parks Bond and continued ongoing investment in our parks through the "penny for parks" passed in 2021. Recognizing that so many in our community are struggling right now, I want the city to move aggressively to forge partnerships with Wake County and with our local nonprofits to reduce the additional tax burden on low to moderate income residents.