Getting to Five
It takes five votes, a majority, to get anything done on Raleigh's City Council. I share credit for many of my accomplishments with at least four other Council members. Getting to Five is an exercise in listening, being open-minded, and demonstrating a willingness to compromise. It is possible to move things forward if people negotiate in good faith and understand that demanding perfection often inhibits any type of progress.
Advocate for My Constituents
- Led successful effort to offer free parking in the Municipal Building Deck to public meeting attendees
- Led successful effort to have the weekly City Manager Update posted on City web site
- Led successful effort to televise and record City Council work sessions (previously only Council meetings had been televised and recorded)
- Created and host monthly public meetings to provide updates on City Council actions, answer questions, and feature speakers on topics of interest including Dix Park, CACs, transit, Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance, sidewalks, affordable housing, Raleigh Sister Cities program, and gun violence
- Personal and rapid response to constituent emails, phone calls, social media posts, and meeting requests
- Provide regular updates on City Council actions via email and social media
- Compile and share a weekly calendar of events
- Regularly attend and participate in CAC meetings
- Recruit qualified individuals to serve on City Boards & Commissions
- Respond regularly to requests for help with issues including traffic, transit, zoning, development, stormwater runoff, parking, sidewalks, bike lanes, water billing, NCODs, HODs, tree protection, garbage collection, public nuisances, and leaf collection
Involved with the Issues
- As a member of both the Growth & Natural Resources Committee (GNR) and the Healthy Neighborhoods Committee (HNC), helped advance numerous text changes in support of compatible and sustainable development, including ongoing work on Residential Infill Compatibility Standards
- Voted for compromise ordinance to allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) via a simplified overlay process after previous Councils had stalemated for years on the issue
- Voted with the majority to allow Raleigh homeowners to rent out one or two rooms in their house on a short-term basis. This finally brings closure to an issue that had been debated by Council for years without a solution. And it keeps more housing available for Raleigh residents to buy or rent in our tight housing market
- Supported residents by voting in favor of several Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCODs) to help minimize teardowns of relatively affordable houses, minimize bulldozing of trees and preserve neighborhood character
- Voted in support of Oberlin Village Historical Overlay District (HOD)
- Voted in support of several Affordable Housing projects; working with my fellow Council Members to promote increased and affordable density in Transit Corridors
- Voted with the majority to adopt a goal to reduce climate pollution by 80% by the year 2050
- Introduced a motion to authorize the Planning Department to work with the Forestry Department and the City Attorney’s Office to identify and evaluate possible incentives to preserve or replace trees where there is infill development.
- Worked with City staff, NCDOT, and neighborhood groups to facilitate communication and opportunities for dialogue about plans to revamp the interchange at I-440, Glenwood Avenue, and Ridge Road. NCDOT has subsequently announced a delay in the project as requested by area residents. Additionally, I successfully led the effort for Council to unanimously vote to recommend to NCDOT that there be no connectivity from Ridge Road to Crabtree Valley Avenue and to request that NCDOT submit any future plans that would impact the Ridge Road neighborhood to City Council for review.
- Successfully advocated for changes to Dix Park Master Plan to address concerns about development, culminating in a unanimous vote of approval
- Voted to save the Hayes Barton "secret sidewalk"
- Working with The Umstead Coalition, RDU Airport Authority, and FAA to try to resolve issues about the expansion of Wake Stone Quarry
- Worked with Hayes Barton Baptist Church and area neighbors to resolve concerns about the impact of the church’s expansion plans on the neighborhood (“Save Six”)
- Voted to fund police-worn body cameras. Ongoing dialogue with representatives of both PACT and First Responders to try to work out various issues including requests for a police oversight board and concerns about pay and benefits
- Worked with my fellow Council members and City staff to address issues around electronic scooters in order to promote safety and sustainability
- Continuing to work with City staff to improve options for citywide leaf collection by balancing concerns about safety, the environment, and cost.
- I also led an effort to change procedures so that people who are certified as permanently disabled do not have to get re-certified every two years in order to qualify for backyard garbage pick-up.
- Arranged for Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission to review options for a sidewalk in the Fallon Park neighborhood as area residents are divided over the issue. Also referred the sidewalk petition process to the Council’s Transportation and Transit Committee for review.
- Engineered a successful vote asking staff to tighten up guidelines to drive greater compliance and impose more severe penalties on individuals who repeatedly violate city ordinances, especially regarding stormwater runoff