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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Charlotte City Council District 3

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 entire County; Garbage, Transportation, Infrastructure, Zoning, Land Use, Planning and Economic Development for the City of Charlotte.

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  • Candidate picture

    Terry Brown

  • Caleb Theodros

  • Candidate picture

    Victoria Watlington

Biographical Information

What is your experience, including your 3 most important political/civic accomplishments in the last 5 years?

What is your district's most pressing issue and what steps will you take in response to it?

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?

Position/philosophy statement I am running to bridge the gap between opportunity and attainability in Charlotte.
Current occupation Attorney
Age 32
Campaign Email
Twitter @terrybrownclt
YouTube video
I am an attorney member of the City of Charlotte Zoning Board of Adjustment and, a Democratic Precinct Chair. In the past five years I have served as the chair of the real estate committee and board of directors for the Westside Community Land Trust providing long term affordable housing solutions in Charlotte, chair of the Black Lawyers of Mecklenburg County helping promote justice and equity in Charlotte, and founded the first Brothers Big Sisters Young Professionals Leadership Council to help ensure youth in Charlotte have good mentors and solid representation.
The increasing unaffordability of Charlotte. Many people are unable to live, make a living and raise a family in District 3. Once elected I will bolster our workforce development program and continue to build on affordable housing solutions like the land trust and ensure that infrastructure improvements are a key component of next year’s budget. The key is to provide pathways for people in Charlotte to have affordable house, make a living wage and be able to grow and thrive in our City.
I believe we need to look at the systemic and inherent problems that have led us to be in an affordable housing crisis. First and foremost, affordable housing is a fundamental right and we 100% need to build more units for our neighbors throughout Charlotte. We also need to focus on rehabbing and replacing currently existing units of affordable housing so that people in our city are not living in uninhabitable conditions. We also need to ensure that people in Charlotte are equipped with the tools to earn a living in a changing workforce to allow for stability. I pride myself on my relationships with the Mecklenburg County delegation to the general assembly and plan to advocate and work with them to help make creative solutions for our affordable housing issues.
We need to modernize our city’s infrastructure. We can accomplish this by upgrading our roads and sidewalk systems to handle an increase in traffic and use more sustainable materials. There are areas of Charlotte where sidewalks start and stop and others where they don’t exist at all. This is both a safety and accessibility issue. We also need to look at our existing storm water and pipe system to ensure that as Charlotte grows we can continue to handle our changing population.
I am an advocate for the city embracing a community-based policing model. I believe that our law enforcement officers should get out of their patrol cars and integrate themselves into the communities they are serving. We also need to ensure that we are providing adequate resources to communities across the city to ensure that people are able to succeed and prosper and not feel that they are forced to take actions that break the law. I also want to ensure that our officers are trained to properly handle situations of intimate partner violence. We also need to increase the number of officers with special skills such as foreign languages and crisis intervention.
Communication is key. The three branches of our local government need to increase collaboration to understand the needs of residents in order to best provide services for our community. I want to make sure that I have an open line of communication between the other elected officials in my District and ensure that we work together to achieve the aims of our constituents.
Charlotte needs to look at diversifying the types of business that we are recruiting and working to help further small business initiatives. A 21st century city needs to have several industries to become competitive and we need to be forward thinking about what is next and ensure that companies are able to thrive in our city and marketplace. I want to consider the companies we bring in versus the value of the investment. We need to make sure that we are working with companies that are moving into the city so that we know what skills they are looking for and bolster our workforce program ensure our citizens are equipped to obtain these jobs.
I believe in supporting the arts, public schools, and our parks. While this is not a city issue I will ask my supporters to make the best decision for their community. Valuing these investments is important but it's also important to value the timing of this tax.
Current occupation Mid-Atlantic Service Operations Manager
Age 31
Professional: Engineer, Project Manager, Operations Manager

Graduate: CMPD Citizen's Academy, Civic Leadership Academy, Aviation Academy, Community Planning Academy Board Member: Business Advisory Committee; Vice Chair, Civil Service Board; Land Use Committee Chair, West Blvd Neighborhood Coalition; former Programming Chair, UWCC Young Leaders Council; former Programming Chair, National Society of Black Engineers; Elevation Outreach

As the Land Use Chair with WBNC, I am leading 2yr community effort with City staff on West Corridor Playbook, the strategic plan for this area. We have completed a market study, defined project priorities, developed a strategy set of documents, and have gain alignment from City executives to champion our plan as part of the Charlotte Future 2040 plan. We had successfully advocated for 2020 budget funds for improvements specifically in our community. WBNC has established a platform for collective power, and we want to take our approach to the dais.
Given the rapid change in District 3, community-led strategic planning has become a necessity for existing residents’ survival. Without it, many who have grown up in this city will find themselves without a viable housing option, and with fewer long-term employment prospects. As outlined in the previous question, I am eager to reapply our successful approach in partnership with the City to educate and empower community leaders to create a Comprehensive Plan that addresses affordable housing, transportation, and economic mobility. To do this, we, the City, must engage the residents, grow their knowledge of local and state government processes and understand the market opportunities in our community. This allows us, the community, to identify and develop leaders to advocate for affordable housing, transportation, and economic mobility via neighborhood associations, City boards and commissions, non-profit groups, and businesses.
When it comes to Affordable Housing, ownership is the name of the game. Protect existing NOAH: invest in tax abatement and rehab programs, as well as estate planning education for homeowners. Support the expansion of the land trust model. Leverage public resources to pursue vacant and for-sale parcels through newly created programs. Consider the impacts of changes to the Minimum Housing Code on displacement. Convert renters to owners: grow down-payment assistance programs to enable new homeowners. Support financial literacy and homeownership education. Explore ways the City can partner with financial institutions. Enable new affordable housing: streamline zoning and development processes. Align our incentive structure with affordable housing goals, and pursue policies that enable increased density and more efficient use of space.

With NCGA, we must tie affordable housing to our competitive advantage for job recruitment, expanding NC's tax base.
We are in need of safe, reliable, complete public transit options, including metro/intercity rail, buses, air travel, and alternative transit options. In addition, electricity, broadband must keep pace with growing demand. With a focus on connecting existing infrastructure, I intend to help connect neighborhoods to existing grants to improve connectivity in their communities (crosswalks, sidewalk repairs, lighting, signage, etc). On a larger scale, I am very interested in the outcomes of the Envision My Ride studies, and will ensure suggested route optimizations are administered equitably. Finally, I will explore additional ways to alleviate congestion in Steele Creek through developer partnerships, leveraging our incentive program to negotiate for road improvements in lieu of state projects. In regards to mass transit, we must continue to build a regional coalition from which to plan and fund future rail line, including approaching Washington with a collective voice.
As the Vice Chair of the Civil Service Board, I have worked with CMPD and CFD evaluating new hires, promotions, and disciplinary action for both departments, as well as reviewing the recruitment strategy, hiring practices and training. I support efforts to recruit and retain more officers invested in the communities in which they serve.

Infrastructure: I seek to help neighborhoods and businesses in high-crime areas get safety improvement grants to prevent crime via lighting, cameras, community watch, etc. In addition, we must invest in diversion youth programs to connect people to opportunity.

Community: We must invest in diversion youth programs to connect people to opportunity. Much of the increased crime in Charlotte are crimes of opportunity, and often related to acquisition of goods: larceny, theft, etc. I plan to work with public and private partners to connect teens to community and workforce development opportunities to enable economic mobility, and a sense of purpose.
It starts with building relationships. We must be intentional about connecting regularly to create better working relationships so we can collaborate on budgets and upcoming plans that have inter sectional impacts (new schools, zoning, development). At all levels within our local government, we must create a culture of collaboration by identifying cross-functional "natural work groups" and build those connections into our standard work. As part of professional development, we should provide employees education on the other agencies, and adopt a unified approach to constituent services.
In order to attract new jobs, we must build a strong workforce. I support expanding project PIECE by identifying training/certification programs that align with targeted sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Technology, Logistics and Distribution, Financial Services, Health Care, International Business, Headquarters, Automotive Industry. To fill our pipeline for the future, we must partner with CMS, CPCC, and vocational schools to connect students to businesses and programs that can prepare them for life after high school. We must also consider how to enable returning citizens to re-enter the workforce, by identifying local business partners with whom we can work to match opportunities with our neighbors who are making efforts to rebuild their lives and provide for their families in productive ways.
I will urge them to decide for themselves. I support putting the decision-making back in the hands of the voters. We have many complex and pressing issues facing our community, and we must do the work of prioritizing our efforts. In addition, it is our local government's responsibility to maximize effectiveness and efficiency, ensuring we steward existing revenue in a fiscally responsible manner. We must remain engaged in the budget process, advocate for our priorities, and, when it is necessary, cast a vote to direct our resources toward the things we need most.