Julie Eiselt knows she can get things done.
In 2007, after being threatened at gunpoint in the Dowd YMCA parking lot, she started Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte, a grassroots group that would become one of the area’s largest anti-crime organizations. Pressuring government leaders, it fought for and won more public funding for the police and courts.
Now she wants to bring that drive to areas such as transportation, housing and economic mobility. To her they all have a bearing on improving public education, which has emerged as an unlikely issue in the city race.
She says the city can work with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools by making it easier for students to get to class on public transportation and by looking at housing options. “To move the needle on segregation, we’re going to have to look at what we can do quickly,” she says.
The lesson Eiselt learned from her brush with crime: “It was really true that one person can make a difference.”
She moved to Charlotte in 1998 for an international finance job. She has a long list of volunteer experience including mentoring and tutoring programs, Crisis Assistance Ministry and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School Friends.
Eiselt finished third in last month’s Democratic primary.
“I know how to bring pragmatic solutions and build coalitions,” she says. “I think I could do a pretty good job of bringing people together from different sides.”
Hometown: Elm Grove, Wisconsin.
Family: Husband, 3 children
Education: Bachelor’s in Spanish, 1983, Indiana University; Master’s in International Management/Finance from the American Graduate School of International Management, 1984.
Occupation: Formerly in international finance for the Bank of America.
Politics: First run for office.
Community service: Includes the board of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation, Latin American Coalition; HopeSpring mentoring program for college-bound adjudicated youth; Urban Ministries- Room In The Inn program; Crisis Assistance Ministries WISH team, helping a homeless family transition to stability; Barringer Elementary ESL program (reading tutor); tutor for Hispanic teens; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School Friends