Elections

Charlotte’s District 2 City Council candidates give their views on 4 key issues

Staff reports

DEMOCRATS

J’Tanya Adams

Age: 54

Education: Central Piedmont Community College Computer Operations Diploma Human Services Technology, Associate of Applied Science

Professional experience: EveryoneOn, Digital Inclusion Regional Manager (current) Historic West End Partners Founder, President (current) Hearst Corporation, Operations Manager (20 years)

Previous public offices held (if any): N/A

Family: Father - William S. Adams (deceased) Mother - Betty J. Adams Son - Jonta Adams Son - Brandon Adams (Dr. Tempestt Richardson Adams) Granddaughter - J’Aia Adams

Website: www.jtanyaadams4D2.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

I support the addition of “free” lanes which were needed years ago. The original project contract was terrible and irresponsible business decision. The expansion of these highways should be managed no different than that of I-85 the expansion and should have been thought through and implemented as such over the years.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

Additional affordable housing should be implemented expediently without clustering. It is a reckless idea to cluster affordable (low-income) housing together because it increases other systemic issues normally faced by underserved communities developing unmanageable ghettos. Behaviors and attitudes that follow frustrations from lack will lead to higher crime, further disinvestment and require more resources than are available.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

I DO NOT support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed MLS stadium. To do so is a example of poor leadership. Our Council has struggled with and failed to sufficiently fund job training, after school programs, housing, sidewalk and other infrastructure in underserved communities for a city that is growing rapidly across its geography. Our Council should not invest in any more stadiums until they get their priorities in order and address policies and budgets that hinder swift implementation that level sets are City. We are no greater a City than the citizens and communities we have left behind who built it and welcomed all.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

Humans that are stripped of their dignity despite their role in our society will not participate positively but will become hopeless and destructive to that community.

To reduce crime I would work to ensure that we restore and create well paying jobs and fund job training programs for youth and adults in our City across the occupational spectrum to ensure that those who are known to offend can self actuate and contribute to our community. A citizen must be able to take care of him or her self and their family by positive means. Otherwise, drastic measures will be taken.

I would also focus on mixed income housing ensuring that quality living is available across economic ranges should life happen an a person need to scale up or down in rental or homeownership living quarters .

Our Council has not done these things nor required that police officers are adequately paid, trained and assessed to protective and serve as community allies. Citizens and neighborhoods can partner on maintaining order vs. a combative relationship when they together become their brother and community’s keeper.

As Council, I would work among these groups to bridge the divide and assist with fostering healthy camaraderie. Stiff measures for the defiant officers and offenders should be applied when alternatives are readily available and known.

Eric Erickson

Education: Master’s Degree in Organizational Change Management and Leadership

Professional experience: 21 years in public safety

Previous public offices held (if any): Public safety Officer

Family: yes

Website: www.voteericksonforclt.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

If there is a need due to all the construction and economic development and it needs more research.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

Needs more research, however, I am for affordable housing.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

No, I do not support public monies being allocated toward MLS Stadium. I am not opposed to private funds going toward Hotel-Motel, and MSL Stadium.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

I want to be that conduit between law enforcement and the community to aid in establishing a rapport between the two, through open dialogue and conversations at community forums. Trust is a two way street and law enforcement must rely the community for information in solving crimes. The community must rely on law enforcement to impartially protect and serve the community. City Council members need to be in the community more and show up when there is a homicide in their district and the community as a whole.

Justin Harlow

Age: 29

Education: Bachelors of Science - Emory University. Doctorate of Dental Surgery- UNC Chapel Hill

Professional experience: Dentist/Owner - Harlow Dental at Steele Creek

Previous public offices held (if any):

Family: Kiara Harlow - Wife. Attorney and Chair of Young Professionals Board for Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Remington Harlow - son , 1 year old.

Website: www.votejustinharlow.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

No, these projects should end immediately. I support breaking the 50-year Cintra contract with NCDOT, with full knowledge that it will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars today. We should stop these projects now to save taxpayers millions (maybe even billions) of dollars later. Building express lanes with a binding 50 year deal does not solve our growth issue, but neither does adding free lanes. Ultimately, we need to take more cars off the road and stay true to investing in our CATS 2030 transit corridor plan to ensure we have a connected transportation network with rail, bus and streetcar. Many projects like the tolls on I-77 have ultimately ended in default with the state having to pick up the tab once it is realized that the project doesn’t alleviate congestion. The revenue from these projects will go directly to the pockets of Cintra’s investors. It is cheaper to cancel the contract now (hundreds of millions) and stop the projects rather than to knowingly allow revenue (billions) to go overseas. If we stick with these projects, the state is likely going to be forced to pay much more to fix the issues that the express lanes were meant to solve, thus taking away funds for future needed transit, road and infrastructure improvements.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

We need a balanced approach to affordable and low income housing relying more on public-private partnerships to help meet our needs. Brightwalk is an example of where Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and the city were able to create a great mixed-income, moderately dense community on relatively cheap land. Charlotte is growing at a rate where we can’t build enough units fast enough to support the new population shift. However, the City Council should maintain its locational policy and try to spread affordable housing across the city. Studies have shown that above a certain threshold of units, areas with clusters of poverty, low income housing or subsidized units end up more barriers to upward mobility and see less private investment in the long term. I support using the waivers that we’ve seen Council use in the past, but using a waiver to override the existing locational policy should be a rarely-used exception and not the rule. It is not a good idea to move away from the policy.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

No, not at this time. Major League Soccer can be a great amenity for the city in the future. Right now, we have to be proactive and intentional about making sure that our residents and those that are moving here have safe and affordable places to live. Being prepared for the continuous growth of Charlotte should come first. We also have to invest in a transportation network that can get working families to their jobs in a faster, more efficient manner. Soccer would be great, but not at the expense of breaking our promise to the community of making housing a priority.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

Reducing crime requires a multifaceted approach from all of our local governing bodies, the public, and CMPD. Standing against violence must be a priority and must be considered a public health issue. We need a strong workforce training program, coupled with strong investment in our schools and social services to enable our urban, growing population to feel more connected to the resources that can help uproot many from poverty. Better education of children and parents, as well as better access to services to build quality lives will help reduce crime. We also need to invest more in community based approaches to policing; things like more bicycle beats on larger corridors and walking beats in neighborhoods. The Council, Count Commission and School Board have worked in silos on this issue. Since issues of social services, health, housing, education and jobs are not mutually exclusive, we need our local governing bodies to be unified and consistent in solving our crime issues together.

REPUBLICANS

Pete Givens

Age: 57

Education: Ashbrook Sr. High School Graduate Gastonia, NC, Gaston College Dallas, NC

Professional experience: National Sales Manager Encapsulite International, Inc. Rosenberg, Texas

Previous public offices held (if any): Elected to City Council Bessemer City, NC 1997-1999

Family: Single and no children

Website: www.petegivens.org

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

With “Express Lanes” being an option for the driver to pay a toll and use for faster service it is a good option which can help reduce the slower traffic flow in general purpose lanes. As long as it is an option and not a requirement to pay the toll yes these projects should be continued.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

Affordable housing provided by the city with taxpayer funds should always be equally constructed throughout the city and not be clustered together. The citizens that would live in these homes works in areas all around the city and may also need public transportation. So they would want to live as close to where they work as possible.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

Absolutely not. I have asked our citizens their opinions and have not found one that thinks out tax dollars should be used for privately owned professional sports team facilities.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

As a council member the police chief and entire force will always have my full support and I will have their back. More community police visibility and more responsibility from each family to do a better job being involved in their children’s lives is a start I believe to a long term lower crime solution.

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