2011 Letter to Constituents

Dear Neighbor,

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for a second two-year term on the Raleigh City Council. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve you these last two years. I want to continue that service, but in order to ensure a successful campaign, I need your help.

Already, candidates with party backing are planning to run against me this year. I have spent my time on council doing my best to represent you. The decisions I have made and the stances I have taken will undoubtedly raise the hackles of hard partisans on both sides of the spectrum, but in order to move our city forward I think Raleigh needs more independent thinking and I hope my record reflects that.

Over the past year and a half, I have been very busy working for Raleigh as City Councilor, member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee, member of the Public Works Committee and Council Liaison to eight boards and commissions (Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, Capital Area Preservation, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wake County Keep America Beautiful, Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh Youth Council, Wake County Growth Management Task Force, and the Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board).

Working with a broad coalition of councilors, neighborhood advocates and taxpayers, I spearheaded the effort to stop construction of the proposed 305,000 square foot, seventeen story Clarence Lightner Center while advocating for the preservation of the building we already own. This misconceived project was budgeted to cost $205 million dollars, saddling future generations with substantial debt despite the fact that the project provided no demonstrable public benefit. This was a major victory for all of Raleigh.

Despite encountering reluctance from staff and council to explore a new way to serve citizens of Raleigh and provide openness in government, I launched SeeClickFix in my district to prove it would work. I then found a way to fund the program city-wide without costing taxpayers a dime by partnering with WRAL. With all questions answered and at no cost to the city, council voted unanimously to bring SeeClickFix to Raleigh. Because of these and other efforts, I was awarded Outstanding Public Servant (see video here) by the North Carolina Center for Voter Education.

A desire to make Raleigh a premiere city in the 21st century has motivated me to engage in new ways of thinking about our government. Recognizing our city’s significant potential for economic growth in the technology sector as well as our need for a more open government, I recently partnered with others to co-found an “un-conference” called CityCamp Raleigh. This event brought three days of open sourced talks, workshops, and hands-on problem solving to re-imagine the way the web, applications, technology, and participation will shape the future of Raleigh.

I have voted and actively pushed to protect neighborhoods, provide bicycling and pedestrian facilities, protect our environment, provide adequate clean water, promote transit, create jobs, provide for the arts, provide public safety, and promote business all while fighting to keep taxes low.

On a professional and personal level, I have continued my work as General Manager of North Hills and am active in my church, Vintage 21. I regularly serve the 1st Baptist Church 21st Century Afterschool Program and have served as a regular and full board member to Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina, the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, and the Triangle Commuter Bike Initiative.  At the national level, I was recently asked to serve on the National Technology Adoption Advisory Council.

Most importantly, in October my wife Ashley, daughter Gigi, and I welcomed into this world our twin boys, Mont and Demetri. After seeing the below picture, how could you not DONATE HERE? (forgive the shameless use of children, but that’s just smart)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help move Raleigh forward. I appreciate any assistance you are able to offer, financial and otherwise, and I sincerely look forward to continuing to be an independent voice for Raleigh on our City Council.

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