Politics & Government

Charlotte city council candidates pledge support for anti-discrimination ordinance

Candidates for Charlotte City Council say they want to improve relations with the N.C. General Assembly. Relations have been strained in recent years over several issues, including who runs Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Candidates for Charlotte City Council say they want to improve relations with the N.C. General Assembly. Relations have been strained in recent years over several issues, including who runs Charlotte Douglas International Airport. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Ten Democrats running at-large for the Charlotte City Council agreed Thursday to support an “undiluted” anti-discrimination ordinance and promised to repair the city’s often testy relationship with the legislature.

The 10 – two were absent – met for the final time before about 100 people at the Uptown Democratic Forum. They’re competing for the council’s four at-large seats in Tuesday’s election.

Asked if they would support an “undiluted” anti-discrimination ordinance, all 10 – Laurence Bibbs, Bruce Clark, Julie Eiselt, Shawn Greeson, Mo Idlibby, Vi Lyles, Billy Maddalon, James Mitchell and Aaron Sanders – said they would.

Earlier this year a proposed ordinance failed over objections to a provision that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. A weaker version also was voted down.

The 10 also promised to improve city relations with the General Assembly. Those relations have been strained by legislative actions to transfer control of Charlotte’s airport and reduce the amount of tax revenue the city gets. Here’s what they said:

▪ Lyles said she’d nurture relationships with lawmakers, but added, “I will not ever be willing to compromise Charlotte’s growth and development to support the rest of the state in a way that doesn’t work for everybody.”

▪ Eiselt said she has lobbied for court funding in Raleigh and brought lawmakers to a Charlotte high school to listen to the needs of teachers. “I know the road to Raleigh,” she said.

▪ Bibbs said he would look out for the airport while trying to bridge “the communications gap.”

▪ Clark said he would build on connections with Raleigh and the rest of North Carolina.

▪ Maddalon said he’d make sure everybody was “at the table.” “Divided government doesn’t have to be adversarial government,” he said.

▪ Idlibby said he’d ask to chair the council’s Intergovernmental Relations committee. He said he’d try to stop lawmakers from “redistributing Charlotte’s (tax) money.”

▪ Greeson said he’d try to collaborate more with lawmakers.

▪ Mitchell said he wants more regular meetings between council members and local lawmakers and have a “lobby day” in Raleigh.

▪ Sanders said he’s looking forward to working with local lawmakers and would work more closely with others.

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