Corey Branch (D)

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Age: 33
Current Occupation: Network Manager for AT&T

How long have you lived in Raleigh?
I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Outside of the four years in college and one year af­ter college, I’ve been here my entire life.

Why have you decided to run for office?
I decided to run for of­fice to give back to a city that’s given so much to me. I look at the economic con­ditions as well as the com­munity as a whole, and I look at our youth, and that’s something that I re­ally want to invest in be­cause the people invested in me, and now’s the time for some good, strong leadership.

What are the three biggest issues you think the city of Raleigh faces and how would you address those issues?
The city started address­ing some of the issues first by looking at the compre­hensive plan, so I’ve re­viewed the comprehensive plan. I’ve looked at South­east Raleigh and how it fits within that plan, and one of the main issues that they’re focusing on is the New Bern Avenue corridor.

Another one is our youth. As we look at our youth and activities and things that they have, we have parks in the area, but what activities do we have in these parks? We have or­ganizations that are doing things and they’re look­ing for places to meet, but let’s collaborate and bring those two together.

And then the last thing is just community involve­ment. At the last election for municipal positions, only 3,259 people voted for the District C candidate in all, yet there are 50,306 registered voters in Dis­trict C.

What do you think are the best and worst decisions the current city council has made?
They have made a lot of decisions that everybody is going to question. I think just overall, the compre­hensive plan is the main tool that needs to be used in order to make the city a better city and work to­gether overall.

I think when we look at the new police and fire sta­tion they’re trying to build downtown, what we need to look at is what is needed in that building and how are we going to go about building it and financing it. I think we need this building.

What do you think is the most important issue facing your district and how would you address it?
The most important is­sue facing my district is jobs. We need to look at the economic development within our community. We have Tower Shopping Center, Longview Shop­ping Center, and retailers are leaving them, and we need to find ways to bring the retailers back. We used to have two movie theaters in Tower Shopping Cen­ter. Now the closest movie theater is either in Garner or it’s in North Hills. So, we need to look at ways to utilize and keep money in Southeast Raleigh, and it helps the city overall.

What do you think the city should do to house its public safety functions?
As far as the public safe­ty functions and the hous­ing of it, I like the area dis­trict offices that they have, but we also need to make sure they have a centralized office that they can bring everything to.

How do you feel about impact fees?
Impact fees are some­thing that needs to be vis­ited. I understand the con­cept of when we’re doing construction and things of that nature; how we need to look at the impact on the community and the environment. And thus, that’s why the fee is set up, thus the name “impact fees.” So, I believe as we look at our current condi­tions, we need to make sure those fees meet our current situation.

What ideas do you have for public transportation in Raleigh?
Raleigh is growing, so when I look at my district, I have an area called Bat­tle Ridge and Chastain in which the public transpor­tation does not reach. So, we need to talk to our cur­rent Capital Area Transit system and have them look at ways to reach out to out-reach areas within Raleigh city limits, as well as with TTA to look at interact­ing with other cities and municipalities because our citizens, not just Southeast Raleigh, but across Ra­leigh, work in other cities as well.

How do you think the city should plan to meet its future water needs?
What we have to do is look at our current wa­ter supply. Where do we stand? If we were to sup­posedly get no rain going forward, how much wa­ter do we have, and then look at that plan and work backwards. So, sometimes you have to look at worse-case scenarios in order to plan properly for future growth. I think that’s the first step really in going forward and looking at our water growth and plans.

The city has been given a million dollars to do whatever it wants. What do you think the money should go to?
A million dollars for the city of Raleigh and looking at our budget is not a lot of money. So, the first thing I think we need to look at is areas in which we have moved monies around to finance to make other things happen. I think the first thing we need to do is just review what we cur­rently have, and try to find ways for that million dol­lars to supplement areas that we have actually reas­signed money.

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