I am not a complicated person. I came up poor, though I didn't know it until later, which shaped me at a deep level. I like helping people, and I don't think I deserve any special accolades for that. I like music a lot, and the beach is my favorite place to be. I love this state, and this city, and I hate to see it fall apart, not because of people that want to hurt it, but because of people who think that they are helping.
I am a Libertarian. What that means, though, is often wildly misconstrued. Libertarians have a wide range of philosophical beliefs, but we are all bound by something called the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), which is simply this: Don't hurt people, and don't take their stuff. From there, our philosophy grows and flourishes. We believe that the best person to make decisions on what is best for you is, well... you. If you want to trust an expert, then you should be able to, but we wholeheartedly and utterly reject the idea that an appointed bureaucrat or a politician who campaigned solely to get elected has the authority to violate your personal or bodily autonomy.
I believe in decentralized solutions, power to the people, questioning authority, people over politics, and humanity first.
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 h
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.
Last year, the city government took $70,000 of our money to hire a consultant (Management review finds CATS needs a major overhaul (substack.com)), Management Partners, to review the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). In return for your $70,000, the city received a series of observations and recommendations so embarrassingly obvious th
Last year, the city government took $70,000 of our money to hire a consultant (Management review finds CATS needs a major overhaul (substack.com)), Management Partners, to review the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). In return for your $70,000, the city received a series of observations and recommendations so embarrassingly obvious that I would like volunteer myself for the next review. I'll do it for $20, and it will take a day.
Among those observations:
Of course, CATS should've known this given the three prior audits it had recently undergone that identified similar issues (Records: Charlotte had evidence of CATS shortcomings in months-old audits - Axios Charlotte). This is against a backdrop of a 70% drop in ridership since 2013. The city's answer? To seek another $13 billion to throw at a broken system.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am relying on news reports to tell you what was in the review. The city spent $70,000 of our money on it, but they want you to spend another $12 a month to access it now (CATS Management Partners Review Dec. 2022 | PDF | Organizational Culture | Leadership (scribd.com)). I reached out to see if they would send a copy... stay tuned.
As mayor, I will immediately halt this nonsense.
Charlotte has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes, with a crime rate of 42 per one thousand residents (Charlotte, NC Crime Rates and Statistics - NeighborhoodScout). The violent crime rate in Charlotte is 34.3 per 100,000 residents, which is significantly higher than the US average of 22.7 pe
Charlotte has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes, with a crime rate of 42 per one thousand residents (Charlotte, NC Crime Rates and Statistics - NeighborhoodScout). The violent crime rate in Charlotte is 34.3 per 100,000 residents, which is significantly higher than the US average of 22.7 per 100,000 people (Crime in Charlotte, North Carolina (bestplaces.net)). Violent crime is down, year-over-year; while it is still unacceptably high, that's good news. But murder is up over 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
Hampered by serious staffing shortages (CMPD focuses efforts on recruiting, retaining officers | wcnc.com) the Charlotte Police Department is stretched thin, and the citizens are suffering, not just from an increased risk of being a victim, but increased 911 response times (CMPD Blames Ongoing Staffing Issues For Slower 911 Call Response Times - WCCB Charlotte's CW) when seconds can be the difference between life and death. The police union attributes the staffing shortages to low morale, calling for higher pay. The city responds by approving $8 million expenditures on things like military equipment and bomb trucks (Charlotte City Council approves three major purchases for CMPD (msn.com)).
The union also challenges the CMPD for spending money on initiatives that build trust between police and communities (Police union criticizes CMPD for customer-service training plan | Charlotte Observer) driving a wedge between the rank-and-file and the bosses. They seem to ignore the fact that adaptive policing policies that seek to foster resolution, not conflict, pay dividends (Mental health clinicians help CMPD officers keep people safe | Charlotte Observer).
The discord and conflict between parts of our city government is a theme, unfortunately, and it carries through to our mayor, who just recently promised reform to the CMPD (Harold Easter death: Charlotte mayor promises police reform | Charlotte Observer) - reform that was strangely lacking the last six years.
As mayor, I will help our police force transition to a true community-based approach. Cops will be respected because they will earn respect. In combination with my policies that will improve neighborhoods and foster economic prosperity, crime will decrease, and cops and civilians alike will reap the benefits.
I have been the Charlotte Chair and the North Carolina Co-Chair for the Foundation Against Racism and Intolerance for nearly two years. The organization is doing great things, some of which i have been honored and humbled to participate in. One of the things of which I am most proud is an event we put on in Raleigh last year, "On A Positive Note: Bridging the Divide With Words and Music" featuring civil rights icon Daryl Davis and North Carolina's native son and Delta Rae frontman Eric Hölljes.
I encourage you to check it out! On a Positive Note: Bridging the Divide With Words and Music w/ Daryl Davis & Eric Hölljes
Eight years ago, I lost my best friend of decades to mental illness. He struggled for a long time, but, in the end, it was too much. We have learned so much about bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, and suicide, but there is still so much to learn so that no one has to suffer from the crushing weight of wanting to escape life.
I have participated annually in community walks and fundraising for the AFSP.
We all give back in the way that best suits us. For me, I love connecting with people. I love teaching, coaching, and learning while I do it. And I love watching the joy on a child's face when she or he overcomes fear and trepidation and succeeds, whether it's a solid defensive play, a great pass, or scoring a goal after trying for a whole season.
I have coached at Strikers every fall and spring for the last 12 years. I am taking this season off to run for mayor, but I will be back.
A little over a year ago, I attended a Gastonia City Council meeting to speak out on behalf of Joshua Rohrer, a homeless veteran who was assaulted by police for existing. He ended up in jail, his beloved service dog killed as a result of police negligence. When Pastor Moses Colbert spoke out on behalf of Joshua, the city shut down his homeless ministry, resulting in the first deaths by exposure in three years.
I have been heavily involved in the party since then, as Communication Director. While I have a number of accomplishments I can point to, the greatest thing we have done is speak out on behalf of those who don't have a voice, or amplify the voices of those who need it. From Joshua and Pastor Moses, to Jada Johnson, to Monica Usery, and so many more, we will not sit idly by in the face of injustice, tyranny, and government abuse.
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