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Charlotte City Council At-Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

City Council Charlotte City Council Charlotte has a council-manager form of government with a mayor and 11 council members elected every two years in November, and a professional city manager to run the day-to-day operations. The mayor and four council members are elected at-large by a city-wide vote. Seven council members are elected from districts by voters who reside in each district.The Charlotte City Council responsibilities are Police, Fire, Water and Sewer Services for the whole County; Garbage, Transportation, Infrastructure, Zoning, Land Use, Planning and Economic Development for the City of Charlotte.

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  • Dimple Ajmera
    (Dem)

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    Julie Eiselt
    (Dem)

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    Jorge Millares
    (Dem)

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    James (Smuggie) Mitchell
    (Dem)

  • Joshua Richardson
    (Rep)

  • LaWana Slack-Mayfield
    (Dem)

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    Chad Stachowicz
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Braxton David Winston II
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

Your experience, including your 3 most important political/civic accomplishments in the last 5 years.

What are your specific ideas for revitalizing the East and West sides of Charlotte?

What are your ideas for addressing adequate affordable housing? How will you work with NCGA to obtain adequate funding to finance your objectives?

As Charlotte keeps growing, what components of the city infrastructure most need attention? How would you address them?

What plans do you have to improve public safety in Charlotte, beyond extra police officers?

How can the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools improve their support of each other?

What should Charlotte be doing to attract new jobs, particularly for young people and those with less than a college degree?

Will you urge your supporters/constituents to support or reject the proposed 0.25% sales tax increase? Why?

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Position/philosophy statement All Charlotteans deserve to live in safe neighborhoods, and have access to good jobs and schools
Current occupation Retired Banker
Age 58
Campaign Email votejulieeiselt@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (704) 578-9611
Twitter @julieeiselt
1. I initiated the Summer of Opportunity by connecting the YMCA Executive Director (new at the time) with Chief Putney, to open three YMCAs to youth to have a place to go on summer evenings. This summer YMCA program has grown with private funding and is now called Level Up. 2. I came up with the idea of the Jumpstart Micro-grant program that assists grassroots community organizations that are working on CMPD Community Engagement Initiatives, to funding, capacity building, and other partnerships. This program was started in recognition that these groups are closest to the problem, are closest to the solution, but need funding and technical assistance to grow capacity. 3. Along with my colleagues, I helped pass the largest housing bond in Charlotte's history: 3.5x's the previous bond.
1. We need to build out a transit framework that includes a modernized bus system that cuts the average trip from 90 minutes to 30 minutes, and gives people mobility options. 2. We also should look at land use strategies that include innovative housing developments such as micro apartments, housing that is connected to greenways and other projects that will attract young people in particular, and have those developments on the transit corridors.

As a current council member, I supported more than tripling the current housing bond to $50mm, and engaging the private sector to raise additional funds and sources of low return equity, to help our our region’s housing needs. In addition, we need to consider Land Trusts, which may require some form of state approval. I serve on two state commissions which takes me to Raleigh at least once a month. That makes it easier to build bi-partisan relationships in Raleigh. 
Our transit system, and in particular our bus system. I plan to advocate this coming year, for a $32mm allocation from the current budget to CATS, to allow for operational efficiencies to reduce the average bus trip from 90 minutes one way, to 30 minutes and making sure that bus stops are safe, well lit and have seating. Having adequate housing continues to be an infrastructure issue that we struggle with. In the coming term, we need to focus on buying land in the planned transit corridors, to control that price of the land for suture affordable housing on transit corridors.
I first ran for office on a platform of community safety, and have worked continuously with grassroots groups that are working in neighborhoods to try to interrupt the cycle of crime, and could in fact be predicted by looking at empirical evidence. I am working with civic leaders to bring together many of these groups under one umbrella, and to approach crime as a public health crisis. I helped initiate the Micro-grant program that was started in recognition that the groups that are closest to the problems in the community are closest to the solutions that needed to keep Charlotte safe and to keep young people on a good path. Yet they generally don’t fit the model required by most nonprofits, to receive funding. With the support of the entire council, funding has grown from $50,000 to $500,000. I’m now working on getting private sector funders to join the program.
Council members, Board of County Commissioners and CMS School Board members must insist that the managers and the superintendent work and strategize more collaboratively. This simply does not happen right now.
By investing in and broadening our skills training program (Project PIECE) to other industries, such as Distribution and Logistics. This is a high wage-growth industry that does not require a college degree, and there is lots of opportunity fo radvancement. This is also a high growth industry that has a labor shortage. We need to get to students in high school and de-stigmatize some of the notion of vocational jobs.
Yes. If the funding is used for the Arts, and there is a commitment to make the Arts more accessible to all Charlotteans. Museums should all be free (with exception of special exhibits). The Arts should be for accessible to the public, and supported by the public. The Arts can transform lives, and therefore all people should have the opportunity to experience the Arts.
Position/philosophy statement I believe that Charlotte can be a city where equity and inclusion are the norm, not the exception.
Current occupation Executive Director of Queen City Unity Committee member- Charlotte Community Relations Committee
Age 38
Campaign Email Jorge@Jorge4CLT.com
Campaign Phone (704) 604-5563
Twitter @JorgeLMillares
YouTube video
- I am the Founder of Queen City Unity- a nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive equity and equality for all. The organization is one of the fastest growing nonprofit organization in our city. Through the work of the organization I became the first Latino to receive the City of Charlotte Government’s Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Keeper of the Dream’ award in 2018, Here is a link with more information on Queen City Unity: https://www.queencityunity.org/

- I have been appointed to a 3 year team on the City of Charlotte Government’s Community Relations Committee.

- In January of 2019, I was part of a group that led an initiative within the City of Charlotte’s Community Relations Committee to revisit the requirements to serve on the city’s boards and commissions. Prior to February of 2019, you had to be a registered voter to participate which excluded legal permanent residents and those who lost their voting rights due to incarceration. Today any resident of Charlotte can serve.
The City of Charlotte must make a significant financial investment to provide resources to under served communities. We need to assist families affected by generational poverty while also cultivating entrepreneurship and job development. That means connecting our residents to existing resources and providing those that aren’t offered but that are desperately needed.

We need to provide families living in poverty with: • Career Skills assessments. • Education and Vocational Training. • Workforce development (Resume workshops, interview roleplays, etc.). • Ongoing career guidance • Credit improvement programs • Home ownership counseling and courses • Financial literacy courses and ongoing guidance • Long-term planning by teaching them how to save for their retirement and their children’s college funds

We also need to support our business community by providing more city contracts to local business owners, cultivating entrepreneurship, and attracting more businesses to Charlotte.
We need more affordable housing units across our City, but there are plenty of things we can do while we manage the building and establishing of those units.

There are currently 13,000+ people in Charlotte on the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list due to limited Federal funding, and every day, the number of landlords who accept these vouchers is decreasing. We need to provide vouchers to more people and incentive landlords to accept them by using part of the Charlotte Housing Trust Fund.

Use of land and placement: For us to create equitable communities we must be cognizant of where we are building and creating affordable housing units. Concentrated poverty is not the answer.

We need to provide immediate assistance to those suffering, provide them the long-term support and resources to escape their economic cycle, and build diverse price point communities across all of Charlotte which benefits everyone. In diverse communities, we find the social capital we seek.
In order for Charlotte to truly become the ‘world class city’ that we want it to be we must have a ‘world class’ transportation system. At the moment, it takes an average of 90 minutes to get from point A to point B through our public transportation system. There have already been several steps taken in the right direction but there is still much work to be done. We must be sure to engage our community through our boards and commissions to better understand their specific needs. There is no group of 11 Council members that should make those decisions for our residents. The community’s feedback and thoughts must be taken into consideration when designing the world class transportation system that we require.

1. It is challenging to address public safety without touching on the fact that the CMPD continues to be understaffed, it is struggling to hire new officers, and has employee attrition issues. The City of Charlotte is currently the 16th most populated city in the United States. Here is how we measure up when it comes to how we compensate our officers when compared to similar size cities. a. Columbus, Oh (15th most populated city- Est. Population 890,228). Officers’ entry level salary is $57k annually. b. Charlotte, NC (16th most populated city- Est. Population 889,019) Officers’ entry level salary is $44k annually. c. Indianapolis, IN (17th most populated city- Est. Population 863,771) Officer’s entry level salary is $51k annually.

By properly compensating our officers we would be properly staffed. Doing so will allow them to focus on community policing, increase their level of accountability, and invest more time into training and on-going assessments.
In everything that I have done I have incorporated collaborative and participatory leadership. Serving on the Charlotte City Council would be no different. I firmly believe that for us to properly serve the residents of Charlotte all three of these governing bodies must work closer together than they do today. It starts with communication. I would propose to host a monthly public meeting between all three governing bodies. The purpose of the meeting would be to discuss the upcoming initiatives, issues in our community, share resources, and explore how they can support each other.

Without an open line of communication there is no collaboration. It all begins with everyone coming to the table in unison.
We must place a heavy focus on vocational training across our city. College is not for everyone and nobody should be left behind. We must also cultivate entrepreneurship which will in turn create new jobs. There are many local organizations that are doing amazing work to tackle this issue and the City of Charlotte Government must provide financial support to these organizations in order to maximize their impact.
In order for me to decide whether I support the quarter cent tax increase for arts, parks, and education I would need to see the governance model. As I understand it, the Board of County Commissioners is in the midst of solidifying the governance model within the next few weeks. Once it is in place and there is clarity around where the incremental funds will be allocated to within each entity, I will be able to make an informed decision on where I stand on the issue.
Position/philosophy statement Charlotte City Council At-Large I believe serving others is in my DNA.
Current occupation Business Development Manager
Age 57
Campaign Email Jamesworks4clt@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (704) 576-0429
Twitter @jamesworks4clt
1). Secured $50,000 funds in this year budget for the Women Business Center. 2). Supported the $50 million Affordable Housing bonds. 3). Increased city contracts opportunities for Women Owned Business
Continue to support the funding of the Gold Lynx or street car that will connect the East and West. Continue to work with the Developers to bring a regional destination project to the 69 acres at the old Eastland Mall site. Serve as the coordinator for Johnson C. Smith University, neighborhoods, and developers to bring new construction projects to the West Trade and Beatties Ford Road Corridor. We need to take advantage of this corridor being in an Opportunity Zone to spur new growth. Make sure businesses in the East and West sides of Charlotte take advantage of tools that the City has to provide access to capital, and increase their capacities to hire more employees.
We need to reserve city owned land for affordable housing, especially city property along the blue line. Additionally, we need to put on the ballot in November 2020 another $50 million for affordable housing, and increase funding for the Housing Trust Funds. The City should develop it's own housing vouchers program. I will continue to work with our North Carolina General Assembly to ask more funding for affordable housing developments.
Our roads needs the most attention. We need to ask Developers to provide funding to improve and road network, and provide funding to relief traffic on some of our major intersections. The city should establish a 511 hotline so that residents have a means to report roadways that require maintenance. We need to develop a dedicate funding source to upgrade our farm roads into 4 lanes roads.
I will continue to support funding for De Escalation training for our police officers. Develop a new strategy for our neighborhood community officers to foster more trust in our communities. We need to continue to fund non-profit organizations that promote peace, and work to stop the violence in our City. And I know my position as an African-American male elected official I need to set the example of the correct behavior. That's why for the last 2 years I have asked City Council to fund My Brother's Keeper program.
We need to make our Planning liaisons a top priority for all 3 elected bodies. The Planning liaisons are comprised of at least 2 elected officials from each elected body to meet on a quarterly basis. My suggestion is that the group meet more frequently, on a monthly basis. We need to agree to work collaboratively to address issues such as affordable housing, and public safety.
I think we have been very successful in attracting new jobs for young people, especially high tech jobs with our announcements of Honeywell, Avid Exchange, Lending Tree, and Lowe's IT Center. We need to focus on developing a new Upward Mobility strategy for the City Council. For individuals that choose not to pursue a college degree, I want to strengthen careers pathways for the Trade Industry. Our Partnership for Inclusive Employment and Career Excellence (PIECE) program has been very successful. We allocated $1 million dollars to develop skills in the industries Commercial and Residential Construction, HVAC, and Highway construction for citizens who have multiple barriers to employment.
I will continue to encourage constituents to support the 0.25% sales tax increase that the County Commissioner have placed on the ballot for November. I'm a firm believer that funding for the arts, and increasing teachers pay are very important to make Charlotte a better City.
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Current occupation CEO, Cloverhound
Age 35
Campaign Email cs@chadforclt.com
Campaign Phone (980) 333-8415
Twitter @chadstachowicz
I am the CEO of a successful technology company that recently celebrated its 5th anniversary. I’m proud of the fact that all of my employees are paid a living wage, receive health care and great benefits, and that we offer paid maternity and paternity leave. I personally added charitable contribution matching as a benefit, so our employees’ donations in the community are doubled.

I have been a longtime supporter of equality and non-discrimination, and was a vocal opponent of House Bill 2, the “bathroom bill” that disgraced our state on the national level.

I was honored to be the Democratic nominee last year against Dan Bishop, and to have been endorsed in that race by numerous political and civic organizations, including Planned Parenthood and Charlotte’s teachers.
The biggest, most transformative single project we can accomplish is the Silver Line, which would run from Matthews through the Eastside into Uptown, and from Uptown through West Charlotte to the Airport.

Too many of our neighbors have been living with the realities of segregation and intergenerational poverty because of our current systems, institutions, and policies. Unfortunately, the solutions haven’t been big enough, and the divide in our community - affecting the Eastside and West Charlotte the most - continues to grow. That’s why I proposed the Queen New Deal: a comprehensive policy plan to increase economic mobility in every neighborhood.

The Queen New Deal includes a participatory budgeting initiative to involve Charlotte residents in how their money is spent so our budget reflects every neighborhood’s priorities. That would give East and West side residents a chance to advocate for funding specific projects in their neighborhoods.
Housing is the keystone of my Queen New Deal plan. One goal is to create 30,000 new homeowners by investing in down payment assistance, increasing access to existing programs, and building homes. Home equity is economic equity.

I’d increase our investment in the Housing Trust Fund by $25 million every two years, and use some of this investment to make sure people in volatile housing situations have a bed. There are over 4,000 homeless CMS students, and we can transform their lives and their schools by giving them shelter. Increasing our investment in the housing trust fund doesn’t require approval from Raleigh.

We need to track existing affordable housing (naturally occurring affordable housing or NOAH) that is being lost to gentrification and work to preserve it. The Queen New Deal establishes an Office of Housing Advocacy to educate more people about new and existing programs, and fight for good affordable housing policy in city government and in the NCGA.

In addition to funding and building the Silver Line, Charlotte has to address our traffic and the infrastructure we need to fight climate change. The current city council has voted to add over 150,000 cars to Charlotte streets every day through the rezoning process. We can’t solve the traffic problem with roads alone; we have to invest in our transit system. My plan makes the necessary investment to cut the average transit time from 90 minutes to under an hour.

Additionally, we should pursue the first-ever city bond for renewable infrastructure. The bond could pay for us to transition to clean electric buses for the first time, and to help more city departments afford the transition to a zero-carbon footprint while making Charlotte a leader in green jobs. Solar infrastructure could help the city lower long-term energy costs and meet the goals set forth in our Strategic Energy Action Plan.
We’ve had more homicides in 2019 than we did in all of 2018. We have to work together with our partners in every part of the criminal justice system - CMPD, the District Attorney, the public defenders, the judges, the magistrates, the Sheriff, and others - to make sure we’re keeping Charlotte safe. Victims and survivors can’t wait.

I am against the suggestion that we should divert critical police training funds to increasing council member salaries. Having the best trained police is important so they know how to build trust and engage with our diverse communities. Our city won’t succeed unless we’re doing the hard equity work to undo decades of structural racism.

Our police and our firefighters put their lives on the line every day. As a city council, we have to support our city employees and make sure that we’re an employer of choice that creates an attractive work environment. My employees have fantastic benefits - our police and firefighters deserve the same.
My first priority is pressing our city council - hopefully with support from the county - to approve a plan and funding to end student homelessness for over 4,000 CMS students.

Ask any educator and they’ll tell you how much this will help outcomes, both for the shelter-insecure student and for the rest of the students in their classroom. Ask any member of the Leading on Opportunity Council how much of a game-changer this is for upward mobility.

As a parent, I can’t imagine having to explain to my daughters that some of their classmates are homeless; not only that, they’re homeless because we didn’t do anything to fix it. If we can’t do something as fundamental as getting shelter for our kids’ classmates, why are we even running for office?

Finally, Charlotte can involve the county and CMS in the creation of our Comprehensive Plan. This is the most important guiding document Charlotte will create in a generation; the county and schools should be at the table.
As a CEO, I can tell you the problem isn’t attracting jobs - many jobs are here, and I built my company without a college degree. Instead, we need to make sure our young people and our residents who can’t afford college degrees have the skills they need to do the jobs of the future.

My plan, the Queen New Deal, expands technology training programs so women and students of color can learn skills and get access to better paying jobs that will still be here by the end of their careers. It makes sure that economic incentives - a.k.a. our tax dollars - go to companies that pay a living wage with good benefits.

We will dramatically expand Charlotte’s Sustainability Office and train students and adults for good-paying green jobs so their families can have better, financially secure lives. If we do this in addition to building green infrastructure, we’ll not only create jobs, we’ll have a workforce with the skills to keep on attracting these jobs.
I will urge them to reject it unless the County Commission promises to change the allotment formula. Many voters don’t know that once this tax increase is passed, it’s the last one. The county commission can’t do it again.

The president of the Blumenthal described the idea of an arts emergency in Charlotte as “total BS.” While I love the arts, I agree. We have over 4,000 homeless CMS students, Charlotte is 24,000 units away from meeting our affordable housing needs, and CATS has no funding to build out transit corridors.

Why, then, are we pushing a regressive tax on Charlotte’s poorest? As Charlotte has done for years, we have to ask our wealthiest residents to continue to step up to fund the arts.

However, I would support the tax if it became a participatory budgeting fund where the public had a voice in the distribution formula. I believe the public would support key priorities like affordable housing and transit, and those are much more urgent needs for our city.
Position/philosophy statement Working for a more equitable, accessible and interconnected city to eat, work & play in.
Current occupation Community Connections Manager at Levine Museum of the New South
Age 36
Campaign Email braxton@votebraxton.com
Twitter @votebraxton
As the child of a Marine and a school teacher, the importance of education, public service and a solid work ethic are ingrained in me. My educational foundation is in the New York City public school system and enrolled in the PREP 9 program. I graduated from Phillips Academy Andover. At Davidson College I earned a BA in Anthropology. I am a union stagehand and a member of our region’s robust sports television and entertainment production community. I seek new models of engagement for communities who have been left out of the Charlotte decision-making process. I amplify and uplift voices from Charlotte’s most challenged communities by providing a lens that focuses on the impacts of injustices in our city. My inspiration comes from the events in September of 2016. I was first elected to Charlotte City Council At-Large in 2017 on a platform for a more equitable, accessible, and interconnected Charlotte.
Most of my efforts are aimed at the residents of our crescent of marginalized populations which permeate East & West Charlotte. We specifically need to ensure East & West Charlotte have access to the growth environment that Charlotte is experiencing as a whole. Access is both physical and digital. We must lead in making investments in bridging the digital divide as well as invest in transportation infrastructure. Fully implementing the 2030 plan for public mass transit which focuses on enhancing east-west connectivity. The plan will spark economic development. In some areas of West Charlotte up to 40% of homes don't have access to high speed internet. This puts students at a disadvantage and limits access to good paying jobs. Internet access is no longer a privilege but essential infrastructure to ensure upward mobility for all. Through public-private partnerships we can transform Charlotte public spaces into internet-connected hotspots igniting entrepreneurship and creativity.
We should up-zone parcels of land wherever available. We have the ability to do this now. This would allow for more public-private-partnerships to create market solutions when building diverse price point housing. We need an aggressive land acquisition policy which focuses on rapidly changing neighborhoods and areas that strategically connect residential areas with job centers. We we need to ensure that we are involved in as many development deals as possible to compel the type of development we want to see. We need to work with Raleigh on programs that specifically incubate home ownership in gentrifying neighborhoods for families that need affordable housing. The source of our inadequate housing situation is the intentional destruction of generational wealth and prevention of economic mobility amongst minority communities, chiefly amongst black residents. Home ownership is the most direct path to acquiring generational wealth and long term stability in neighborhoods.
The City needs to continue to prioritize investing in transportation infrastructure. Modernizing our street networks, bus lines, rail networks, and making sure neighborhoods are more walkable will spur economic development in the short and long term. The City should continue to build public-private partnerships in developing housing deals. Combining HTF with CHOIF has leveraged public investment in ratios that some said was impossible just a few years ago. If we continue to combine public investment with market solutions, we will find ways to reduce costs of labor, increase access to transportation options, and locate housing near job centers amongst other barriers to affordability.
We must look at law-enforcement & crime prevention. Our criminal justice system is broken & made up of different organizations with competing interests. We need a new system based on restorative justice. The most important thing City Council can do is focus on enacting policy that aims to prevent crime. Crime is a function of the same policies that created Charlotte's wedge of affluence & crescent of marginalized populations. We need long-term policies that disrupt cycles of violence that grow out of systemic inequities. We need short-term solutions for domestic disputes and the inability for individuals to resolve conflicts without violence. We must continue our county-wide effort of family justice center(s). We must support individuals and organizations like we have done over the past two years with our microgrant program. We can resolve that gun-violence is a public health epidemic to our city and work with our partners to address it & advocate for changes on state & federal levels.
City Council must work in an interconnected fashion & build bridges across our city’s diverse communities & branches of government. In order to build an equitable and accessible city we must work with government partners that support comprehensive strategies. I push our staff to engage staff from the CMS and the county as we develop policies like our SEAP, Comprehensive 2040 plan, UDO process, and criminal justice reform. These efforts will not be as effective as they can be if we don't have comprehensive buy-in across government entities. I have pushed to make that happen in committee work. I continue to engage elected officials to work with us. I am Vice-Chair of the Neighborhood Development committee and we are currently considering updates to our minimum housing code ordinance. For the first time we have the County's Health Director helping us write policy that would help us to remediate mold in housing units. This has been a major issue in addressing the affordable housing crisis.
Charlotte has been defined historically by economic growth but, Charlotte continues to become a less affordable place to live for young working families. We must encourage more business to hire Charlotte residents while providing good paying, career-path jobs and ensure that workers bring their paychecks home to safe and secure communities.We have to push development of mixed-income neighborhoods with access to jobs, schools, services and entertainment. We must bridge both the physical and digital divides in our community which disconnect where people live from jobs and opportunities. We need to invest our social capital in one another by working with partners to support comprehensive strategies, encourage mentoring & apprenticeships to nurture relationships in the community that connect Charlotte residents to opportunities, information and resources. I continue to rally behind the call for workers rights and ensuring that all people are paid the same wages for the same work.
I support the sales tax initiative. The MBOCC must create a governance framework for how the revenue will be spent. We need an array of stakeholders to build the framework. The priority should be on creating an ecosystem where ARTISTS AND ART thrive. The $ cannot get tied up in large non-profits or donor-based institutions. Public support of the arts is an investment in local workforce. Arts help support thousands of middle-income households. Public investment in the arts is an investment in public education. State policies continue to make art inaccessible to public school students. It is important that we find ways to provide equitable access to the arts because art saves lives. It provides pathways to self-expression, conflict resolution along with expanding pathways to jobs in the long term. People will stay here and choose Charlotte as a destination to visit if we are able to cultivate a strong cultural ecosystem. This will broaden our tax base and help ensure long-term stability.