Name: John Autry
What office are you running for? District 5
Neighborhood: Coventry Woods
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Political Experience: Elected to the Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District Bard of Supervisors in 2006, re-elected in 2010. Elected to City Council from District 5 in 2011, re-elected in 2013.
Family: Married to Rebecca Wyndham with 4 adult children Jennifer Ann, Sara, Jennifer Camille and Christopher. 3 grandchildren, Keara 13, Koal 11, and Jude will be 3 in October.
Work Experience: Currently serve as Chief Technology Office for eMitigate, Inc. Previously with W.A.R.N., Inc. TrainOne.com from 2005 to 2010. GCi creative from 2000 to 2005. Director of Creative Services for iXL, Inc. from 1998 to 2000. Staff director, editor and camera operator at Silver Hammer Studios from 1987 to 1998.
1) Why are you running for office?
I am seeking a third term to complete the work begun in East Charlotte. To continue to champion policy that will positively impact East Charlotte and the entire city.
2) What would be your top priorities if elected?
▪ Complete the plan to redevelop the Eastland property.
▪ Improve community safety by working with neighborhoods and CMPD.
▪ Work with neighborhoods in East and West Charlotte on policy that benefits both sides of the city. East and West have more in common that some might recognize. Power in numbers.
▪ Ensure city resources are distributed equability.
▪ Work to spread employment opportunities in East Charlotte. District 5 has 110,00 residents but only 16,000 jobs. That is an unsustainable situation by burdening the working poor with long commutes that increase congestion and hurt air quality.
▪ Build a transit system that server all of Charlotte.
▪ Work to provide a vibrant city that offers opportunity for all our citizens.
3) Would you support the city's proposed expansion of its non-discrimination ordinance to include the LGBT community, including a provision that would allow transgender residents to use the bathroom of their choice?
In March 2015 I was the only identified straight member of council that voted against the exclusion of protection for transgender residents. I will continue to advocate for adding LGBT citizens to the protected classes in the city's non-discrimination ordinance.
4) Do you support the N.C. DOT's plans to add express toll lanes to Interstate 485 in south Charlotte and U.S. 74? Or would you prefer to widen the highways with general-purpose free lanes?
I am ambivalent to toll roads or lanes. The purpose of HOT is to manage congestion. NCDOT representatives have visited neighborhoods in District 5 and discussed the plan.
5) Would you support spending hospitality tax dollars to renovate or rebuild the county owned Memorial Stadium in hopes of the city winning a Major League Soccer franchise?
I would have to see the proposal. I am open minded until the details move me differently.
6) Would you support an increase in the general sales tax to support more transit projects, such as additional miles of streetcar and a commuter train to Lake Norman?
7) There has been a significant amount of redevelopment in neighbors close to uptown, with older, sometimes historic buildings being demolished for new apartments. Would you support more restrictions on tear-downs?
Charlotte will not be growing out anytime in the foreseeable future with the preemption of involuntary annexation by the NCGA. The only way the city can grow is to grow up. I am concerned with the concentration and volume of apartments being constructed. I am also concerned with preservation along with property owner rights. Each case must be scrutinized with all voices being heard.
8) A goal of the city is to increase affordable housing. In some instances, however, the City Council is asked to approve rezoning requests for low-income apartments, even when an area plan says single-family homes should be built on a site. Should the council follow the area plan recommendations or approve multi-family projects to increase affordability?
Al lot of our area plans were developed for a different city than what Charlotte is today. If a plan is less than 10 years old I try and respect the plan. The working poor must have a place to live anywhere in the city especially close to employment opportunities. Otherwise would could experience what the suburbs of Austin have where the poverty rate in the suburbs is up 125%.
9) Should the city change its guidelines for offering Business Investment Grants for companies considering expanding or relocating to Charlotte?
I am always challenged on this issue. I don't want to be someone who rejects adding employment to the city. But, I am also interested in seeing these companies setting up in East Charlotte where we are hungry for better employment opportunities.
10) What makes you the best candidate?
Commitment to our city and a history of standing up for neighborhoods. Experience with working with all council. For example the unanimous vote to purchase Eastland. As the chair of the Environment Committee I have strived for better protection of our environment.
11) What else should voters know about you?
▪ US Navy Veteran 1972 thru '76.
▪ Board of Directors for my neighborhood association since 2000.
▪ Did I mention that I am a grandfather?