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.