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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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    James (Smuggie) Mitchell
    (Dem)

  • Joshua Richardson
    (Rep)

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    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 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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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.