Citizen Engagement & Technology
Effective government is transparent and responsive government. Trust requires transparency and a willingness to truly listen to the concerns of citizens. Thankfully, technology, when paired with traditional communication channels, such as CACs and public hearings, can engage citizens like never before. In Raleigh, we have multiple recent examples of successful new citizen engagement techniques. SeeClickFix, a web and smartphone app that helps citizens report maintenance issues in their community has been called by some the best interaction they’ve had with govt ever. My Raleigh Subscriptions has provided citizens with curated email content giving them insight into city govt. My Raleigh Ideas allowed citizens to contribute their creative thoughts on how to improve Raleigh. Personally, I have used social media, e-blasts, online virtual meetings, individual and face-to-face group meetings, public hearings, and CAC meetings to learn the interests of citizens in my district.
Raleigh has been listed in many “best of” lists in recent years because this is an amazing community. We are being recognized for our business opportunities, parks, food scene, arts, and more. This recognition has attracted a lot of attention, and new people. The rapid growth our city is experiencing provides great opportunity, but also great challenges.
That is why I am running. While we have everything going for us, we cannot simply ride this wave. We’ve got to be vigilant and creative if we want preserve our amazing quality of life. I want to push Raleigh’s growth in a more sustainable direction so we don’t make the same mistakes other cities did and end up gridlocked by traffic and sprawl.
With Raleigh’s population exploding, affordable housing has become a significant challenge. As new residents move in, many are concerned about current residents getting priced out. We must add more housing, particularly affordable housing, to ensure all residents have a place in our community.
Affordable housing has been a priority at City Council. Last year, we dedicated a penny of the property tax rate to fund affordable housing. That led to an direct annual contribution of approximately $6 million for additional housing; more than had been added in the past 10 years. With this, we are tripling the number of units we are producing.
Overall, we must continue to be aggressive, and explore innovative options to get more affordable housing on the ground
Transportation management covers everything from traffic, to sidewalks, to bike lanes, to public transit. Raleigh is one of the fastest growing urban communities in the nation. While growth brings all sorts of new opportunities, it also brings challenges. We all have seen the effects, traffic just keeps getting worse. Our city needs to be ahead of the curve in transportation management so that Raleigh does not become the next Atlanta. We need to update our city’s streets for multiple uses and improve our public transportation to meet current and future urban transit demands.
In order to meet these needs, this year the City Council placed a $206 million transportation bond on the ballot this year to address future needs.
Urban communities benefit from mixed-mode transit systems. Whether it is by car, bus, train, bicycle or foot, it is all about getting commuters from Point A to Point B efficiently and effectively.