As a Raleigh native, I feel a deep debt of gratitude for all of the opportunities this community has provided over the years. A desire to repay that debt is what inspired me to first run for Raleigh City Council in 2009 and it is what motivates me still as I begin my campaign for a fourth term.
Growing up, I had all the educational opportunities I could ever need. I had well-educated, supportive parents with good jobs and the resources to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. Eventually, they put me in Hunter and Ligon Magnet Schools when magnet schools were still just an experiment.
As it turns out, the experiment was certainly a success in my case because those were transformative years for me.
Attending the magnet schools with people from all over the socioeconomic spectrum made me realized how fortunate I was - and it made it clear that a quality education was the foundation for giving everyone a better chance at success. The educational opportunities available in Raleigh have helped attract the people, jobs and businesses that have allowed us to thrive.
All that growth brings challenges, though. Raleigh is growing at an extraordinary pace and we must manage that growth wisely and sustainably to avoid the problems that plague other cities. In order to keep Raleigh great for the people who already love it while proactively providing for the needs of the next wave of growth, we need to focus on growing up, not out. The next generation of professionals wants to live and work in dense, walkable urban environments and if we want to keep Raleigh a vibrant city we need to encourage the kind of innovative development that creates that kind of environment in Raleigh. In my next term on the city council, I want to keep advocating for smart growth policies that keep Raleigh great while allowing it become even greater.
Some of the most fun I have on city council is using new technology to find innovative solutions to Raleigh’s challenges. I’m especially proud that we brought the SeeClickFix app to Raleigh. SeeClickFix allows you to snap pictures of potholes, vandalism or other issues and quickly and efficiently report them to the city from your mobile phone or computer.
One of the most exciting new projects on the horizon is our very own Downtown Raleigh App. Raleigh hosted a regional data and tech event where I saw a smartphone app that was designed to help people find parking downtown. I loved the idea, so I brought the app to North Hills and expanded it to an interactive guidebook for all the amenities in the community. It was a huge success and now, I’m thrilled to say that the City of Raleigh will be rolling out a Downtown Raleigh app this year.
Over the years, Raleigh has given me so much and through city council and other community involvement, I’ve been giving back. As I’ve watched our city’s ascendency over the years, I used to be surprised at how successful we had become. Now that I’ve seen the innovative minds behind Raleigh’s growth, I’m no longer surprised. I always thought that I had high expectations, but now I’m realizing that as long as we nurture our home-grown talent and keep attracting the best minds from around the world, no one’s expectations could possibly be high enough.