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2017 Raleigh Election Calendar

Sept. 15 : Voter registration deadline

Sept. 21-Oct. 7 : Early voting & same-day registration

Oct. 3 : Last day to request absentee ballot

TUESDAY, OCT. 10 : ELECTION DAY
(polls open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.)

 

 

 

 

 

Raleigh City Council (District C)

James G. Bledsoe

campaign website

Background:
(submitted by candidate)

Tested leadership from 10 years in the U.S. Army with a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan, 3 years as a Correctional Officer for the NCDPS, & holding the position of Vice Chairman of the NC Chapter - Veterans Party of America.

Click to see question responses from James G. Bledsoe

How important is affordable housing to Raleigh’s future and how do you propose ensuring that the city maintains an adequate stock of affordable housing?

Affordable housing is necessary for many who cannot afford the constant rising prices of housing in Raleigh, however, adequate stock must be maintained without raising taxes or taking out additional bonds. If the city can acquire homes without the former, then an investment can be made.

What are your ideas to create more jobs for young people, especially those groups with traditionally higher unemployment rates like young African-Americans?

My plan is to work with the food truck industry in Raleigh and push for legislative change to allow for food trucks to operate more openly when brick and mortar restaurants are closed or at special events. Many of the food trucks offer over $12 with benefits and train on site with little experience.

What are your views and plans regarding police-community relations? Should Raleigh establish a police-community oversight board with investigatory and disciplinary powers?

I would like to see more "meet the badge" programs to help build bonds and remove stigmas. I am firmly against any oversight board with non-LEO members. Those who have not served or trained have little or no experience in the great stresses of day to day service of LEOs.

What can or should Raleigh do to provide access to efficient, reliable public transportation for all citizens?

Through proper contracting and planning for the future, road maintenance or reconstruction costs can be kept low with high quality. Technology will advance and we must plan for its inception. Doing so will lower costs and allow for more access points and vehicles or to upgrade them.

What can the city do to promote more grocery store and healthy food options in food-insecure communities?

The city can reach out to companies to seek development of more grocery stores which will create more jobs in the area. The city can also hold more food drives or help local charities establish them.

What issue is NOT getting the attention it deserves from city government? How would you address it?

Greater future planning and veteran outreach. The RPD & RFD shouldn't have had to wait a decade for raises & should have been foreseen. There are also many veterans in Raleigh seeking employment, the city should send more representatives to local hiring fairs for vets & transitioning military.

Corey Branch

campaign website

Background:
(submitted by candidate)

I am a Raleigh native, a married man and I have 17 years of experience in the IT field, currently managing. I’ll continue to be a positive role model for our youth and a voice for all citizens of District C.

Click to see question responses from Corey Branch

How important is affordable housing to Raleigh’s future and how do you propose ensuring that the city maintains an adequate stock of affordable housing?

Affordable Housing for Seniors, Low Income, and work force housing are extremely important. I was one of the voices for the city to dedicate money for affordable housing. The city must look at incentives, location of current zoning and increase community engagement to produce housing.

What are your ideas to create more jobs for young people, especially those groups with traditionally higher unemployment rates like young African-Americans?

Increasing internships within the city to extend beyond the summer, providing free bus transportation for youth 18 and under to access jobs, and partnering with businesses and the Raleigh Chamber to create more job opportunities focused on young African-Americans are ways to create job opportunities.

What are your views and plans regarding police-community relations? Should Raleigh establish a police-community oversight board with investigatory and disciplinary powers?

Engaging citizens and police to develop ways to address police-citizen relations is something I plan to continue to address. I believe in being proactive; focusing on preventing negative encounters is crucial. I’m undecided on an oversight board with investigatory and disciplinary powers, but I’m willing to have the conversation on how one would be set-up.

What can or should Raleigh do to provide access to efficient, reliable public transportation for all citizens?

Raleigh is working with Go Triangle to improve and increase access to the public transportation system. I continue to ask staff for bus service to Roger’s Lane and Barwell Road communities, which currently do not have service. The city is purchasing new buses to replace older buses to increase reliability.

What can the city do to promote more grocery store and healthy food options in food-insecure communities?

The city must review zoning of property in underserved communities. The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the city must work to promote and seek grocery stores and healthy food options in food-insecure communities.

What issue is NOT getting the attention it deserves from city government? How would you address it?

The city must promote community block grant funds available for beautification of some communities. Working with our Home Owners Associations and Citizen Advisory Councils are opportunities to promote this fund. We need to ensure all areas of Raleigh look desirable and are clean.

Crash S. Gregg

campaign website

Background:
(submitted by candidate)

25 years small business experience, 11 years publishing Triangle Downtowner Magazine (where I developed many contacts in city, county, and state government as well as in the private sector), and a combined 15 years serving on boards for local non-profits.

Click to see question responses from Crash S. Gregg

How important is affordable housing to Raleigh’s future and how do you propose ensuring that the city maintains an adequate stock of affordable housing?

High density, affordable housing is more important than ever. Without it, Raleigh’s working class, lower and lower-middle income, and some senior citizens will not have a place to call home. We need to work on new ideas to help pay for housing, perhaps including developer pay-in, bonds, and/or a percent of certain taxes.

What are your ideas to create more jobs for young people, especially those groups with traditionally higher unemployment rates like young African-Americans?

I would like to organize and hold educational job fairs throughout impoverished areas of Raleigh that young and old alike can attend and learn how to find internship jobs, mentors, and educational opportunities. One such job fair theme could focus on the rapidly growing development sector, with others in hospitality, and other busy markets.

What are your views and plans regarding police-community relations? Should Raleigh establish a police-community oversight board with investigatory and disciplinary powers?

There should be more positive police-community events where neighbors can meet and interact with local law enforcement, and officers can meet and talk to the public to hear their concerns, issues, and ideas. Many larger cities have civilian complaint review boards and police advisory boards, and if done correctly, can be helpful in police-community relations.

What can or should Raleigh do to provide access to efficient, reliable public transportation for all citizens?

Clean, dependable, and well-planned public transportation is paramount to connecting a growing metropolis. Dependence on cars should lessen as density rises. Buses, hopefully light rail, and even bike paths (both urban and suburban) are all important.

What can the city do to promote more grocery store and healthy food options in food-insecure communities?

Food deserts are far too common in poorer neighborhoods. Grocery stores are less common and healthy food options are almost non-existent. Small convenient stores do not carry healthy food and what food and dairy they do carry is very often overpriced. Mobile farmers markets, healthy educational outreach programs, and community gardens can be helpful.

What issue is NOT getting the attention it deserves from city government? How would you address it?

Gentrification is a prevalent problem in southeast Raleigh that is not being properly addressed. Exorbitant tax rate increases and multiple offers from developers are issues that concern residents. Partnering with the private sector, the City could offer real estate consultation services for homeowners as well as creating tax relief systems for older and/or low-income residents.

Jeff Stewart

Background:
(submitted by candidate)

I don't come in with as much political or civic experience as some of the other candidates, but I am eager to learn and get started giving back to the community. Public service has to start somewhere.

 

Click to see question responses from Jeff Stewart

How important is affordable housing to Raleigh’s future and how do you propose ensuring that the city maintains an adequate stock of affordable housing?

Affordable rent for residents and businesses is my top priority. People who live downtown should be able to keep their homes, people who work downtown should be able to afford to live close to work. Local entrepreneurs should be able to afford to open businesses and current businesses should be able to stay open.

What are your ideas to create more jobs for young people, especially those groups with traditionally higher unemployment rates like young African-Americans?

Bringing more retail downtown will offer more employment opportunities.

What are your views and plans regarding police-community relations? Should Raleigh establish a police-community oversight board with investigatory and disciplinary powers?

I think Raleigh Police should consider "walking beats." Personal contact with residents and police will result in personal relationships. I think this will nurture a healthy positive environment in neighborhoods where antagonism may exist. It's difficult to be antagonistic towards a friend.

What can or should Raleigh do to provide access to efficient, reliable public transportation for all citizens?

I think the bus system has improved recently but not enough. I feel they should extend their hours and increase the frequency of their routes.

What can the city do to promote more grocery store and healthy food options in food-insecure communities?

I think encouraging more local mom and pop bodega type businesses will help. These types of businesses can have fruit stands and sell fresh produce. Food co-ops are an option. A farmers market and/or fish market. Food Lion and Harris Teeter are not the only options if people think outside the box.

What issue is NOT getting the attention it deserves from city government? How would you address it?

Affordable rent.

Olen Watson

campaign website

Background:
(submitted by candidate)

My life has been spent doing the good I could find. As a special educator and Marine, even my degree in Biblical studies, I've always worked to find the good I could do. Recently elected to the board of Passage Home.

Click to see question responses from Olen Watson

How important is affordable housing to Raleigh’s future and how do you propose ensuring that the city maintains an adequate stock of affordable housing?

Affordable housing and homelessness are the different points on the same spectrum. I've said that affordable housing has reached crisis levels. The next stage is a dramatic increase in homelessness. I've posted a specific series of policies on my webpage to address the issue from the direction of taxes, zoning, construction standards, and emergency preparedness.

What are your ideas to create more jobs for young people, especially those groups with traditionally higher unemployment rates like young African-Americans?

Groups like Black First Network seek to connect and empower group economics in my community. The people create and sustain jobs. Zoning and accessory dwelling unit changes I've proposed will permit new opportunity in construction at low entry cost for entrepreneurs in the southeast. We must make the General Assembly reduce occupational licensing hours.

What are your views and plans regarding police-community relations? Should Raleigh establish a police-community oversight board with investigatory and disciplinary powers?

Many large organizations vested with responsibility to the public have an Office of the Ombudsman, separately funded and independent, that handle complaints and controversial cases. Operating independently of the politically appointed chief, the office should have limited disciplinary powers including dismissal, and the ability to refer for further judicial review.

What can or should Raleigh do to provide access to efficient, reliable public transportation for all citizens?

Bus service should be free to children school age and below, and for seniors, paid for by removing the R-Line's free services.

What can the city do to promote more grocery store and healthy food options in food-insecure communities?

Eliminate property tax on organizations that provide healthy food in the identified food deserts. Work with the State and County to eliminate food tax and employment tax credits in those same areas. When you remove the negative aspects of beginning a food-based business in the food deserts, private industry will fill the void.

What issue is NOT getting the attention it deserves from city government? How would you address it?

Vanity projects come at the cost of important projects. Council budgets vanity projects and devise bond referendums for important things. The bike paths, bike share projects and civic center plans are examples. They are not needed but get funded prior to transportation. Each standard budget item should be priority coded and only allow bonds bottom up.

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Election Day is Tuesday Oct. 10
(polls open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.)

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Common Cause North Carolina
907 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27605
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