The Wall Street Journal weighed in Monday on last year’s makeover of the Charlotte City Council, where there are now six of 11 members of under 40 years old.
The Journal’s story – “Youthful set takes City Hall, but don’t call them Millennials” – focuses on the first three months of the new council, specifically a decision earlier this year to resume broadcasting the public forum portion of meetings on TV and to stream them on the web.
The article had a photo of the six members posed on the steps of the Government Center. They are Democrats Matt Newton, Braxton Winston, Larken Egleston, Dimple Ajmera and Justin Harlow. Republican Tariq Bokhari is also there.
All but Ajmera were first elected in November. She was appointed as a council member in January to replace John Autry, who had left for the N.C. General Assembly. She won an at-large seat in November.
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The article focused on the January vote to livestream meetings and the public forum. Last year, council members turned the cameras off for that portion of the meeting after they were cursed and threatened during protests over the Keith Lamont Scott shooting and the immigration debate.
Egleston, 35, who defeated Patsy Kinsey in the Democratic primary for the District 1 seat in September, said in the article that they don’t want to be called millennials. He jokingly told writer Valerie Bauerlein they would rather be called “agents of destruction.”
The article also mentioned a podcast hosted by Egleston and Bokhari, “R&D in the QC.”
In last seven years, the council’s two Republicans have usually been closely aligned on most issues. But so far Bokhari has at times differed from fellow Republican Ed Driggs.
The article raises expectations for the new council members, who have pledged to work quickly on problems such as affordable housing and economic opportunity. But the council hasn’t yet taken any major votes on those issues. Will they be able to make changes faster than past councils?