Ask yourself this - are you happy with the way things are? If not, why keep supporting it?
What if there is a better way?
The first and key tenet of my platform is simple - no more. No more council decisions with no accountability for their outcomes. No more choosing winners and losers. No more property tax increases while billionaires get money for tennis courts. No more transportation system that wastes our money while not helping those who need it the most. No more skyrocketing housing prices. No more disastrous zoning restrictions. I will hold people accountable, myself most of all.
Housing costs are skyrocketing. The city's answer was to jack up property taxes at exorbitant rates, and earlier than planned. While $30 million of that money went to a billionaire's vanity project tennis courts, changes to restrictive zoning laws that are the root cause of this mess only happened at the request of developers who donate huge amounts to campaigns state-wide.
Historical neighborhoods fell victim to developer intrusion losing all personality and tradition. And established neighborhoods contend with huge apartment complexes squeezed onto any inch of available land, taxing services, clogging traffic, and ignoring environmental impact. And insane occupational licensing restrictions combined with zoning laws make it impossible for people to open jobs near their homes.
The city has failed us. I will ensure that housing prices adjust at a reasonable rate relative to the market, and affordable housing exists for everyone, in all income brackets.
The city's management of the transportation system has been marked by infighting, ineptitude, misspent and squandered dollars, serious safety concerns, low morale and unhappy employees, and a basic inability to get people where they need to be efficiently and effectively. We have a leadership structure that is so ridiculous it would be more believable on an episode of South Park. We paid consultants tens of thousands to identify the problems that we knew existed because three subsequent audits had already identified them. The number of users has declined steadily, by more than 70 percent, since 2013. And our city's answer is to ask for billions more, because pouring billions into a broken system is how government fixes things.
Like everything else in our city, our public safety system is a smorgasbord of infighting, competing interests, finger pointing, wasted funds, and poor outcomes for the people the system would claim to serve. Funds are wasted on unnecessary military equipment but the police union insists cops aren't paid enough. Meanwhile, our mayor readily calls for more police accountability when things go wrong, and demands change to a system that she has had ample opportunity to change over the last six years.
When I think of the American Dream, it means one thing. Simply, the idea that you can move up in this world throughout your life, and the next generation is better off than you were. This doesn't happen because of some big government investment at the federal level. We move up in this world because we are able to do what's best for us and our families at a local level, building out thriving communities and developing lifelong relationships in the process. Sharing hardships with new friends, growing careers, falling in love, raising children at schools where they have a chance to learn... These are the things we should demand for ourselves and our families.
Instead, a bloated city government that mismanages money and systems like children playing a video game has created an environment where housing prices, lack of jobs, poor education and a ridiculous excuse for a transportation system prevent us from prospering. I will remove restrictions and interference from your lives, the barriers that have trapped you where you are and slowly pushed you down. With me as mayor, together, we will see Charlotte prosper.
I know the mayor has no direct authority over the school system. And I have heard loud and clear that the school board is unlikely to pay any attention to a mayor pointing out its dramatic failures. But our school system is failing our students at an outrageous level and I have to say something. We fail to educate our kids, and we fail to keep them safe. Scores are down, sexual assaults are up, and we choose superintendents like we're playing hungry-hungry hippos. Meanwhile, they want $2.3 billion of our money to throw at their broken system. With me as mayor, our failures will not be hidden from the public.
North Carolina summers are proof that magic is real, and the thunderstorms are as majestic as they are humbling. Of course, after the storms take down trees, we gotta clear the yard.
Elections should not be bought and sold. If you want to give me money, that means the world to me, and I will do everything in my power not to betray that faith. But don't spend your money on my campaign. Instead, this link takes you to my donation page for AFSP's Charlotte Out of the Darkness Walk.
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I don't want your money, but I would love your help. There is so much to do raising awareness and spreading the message. And I want to hear from you - what worries you, what can be better, and what is working? Please, make your voice heard.