Charlotte City Council At-Large Candidates
Charlotte will have at least two new City Council At-Large members next year. Meet the candidates here. Republicans Tariq Bokhari: Is anyone here a little tired of being scared in their own neighborhoods? Is anyone tired of seeing good people lose their jobs? Or traffic jams and endless potholes? Is anyone tired of endless promises that are never kept up? What Charlotte needs right now is not politicians; Charlotte needs leaders. While others have been talking about their promises, my campaign team and I have been acting on needs. While others have been talking about jobs, we've been organizing job fairs. While others have been talking about crime, we've been developing the Charlotte Watch, which is going to bring together neighborhood watches. While others are talking about roads, we're planning campaigns to fill potholes. While others are talking about basic human needs, we are organizing money to be raised for charities. I have an unusual name, but I have an unusual approach. Edwin Peacock III (incumbent): I'm Edwin Peacock, Charlotte City Council member At-Large, Republican candidate again here in '09. I'm a husband, I'm a father, I'm a business owner, I'm also a native Charlottean. Charlotte's facing three massive issues in front of them: transportation, public safety and economic development, particularly jobs. In my time since '07, we've faced all three of those and now we're facing the biggest one, which is keeping our economy going. I'm committed to being a leader who's going to listen to you, who's going to be open minded, who's going to be fair, and who's going to continue to bring balanced leadership to what's most important to you here. Thanks for your time. Jaye Rao: Let's work together and move Charlotte forward. I'm Jaye Rao. I want to thank each and every one of you for being here today because it's together that we will make a difference. I know that you want the same things I want, which is to have greater job opportunities, to keep our families safe and to have a government that is fiscally responsible and accountable to you. That is why I'm running. Because I care, I will listen to you. I will listen to your concerns, I will ask questions to understand; I will study the problem with an open mind. I will seek wise counsel. Together we will find solutions to your concerns. Together we can impact change that moves us forward. That is why I'm running and I do appreciate your consideration of my candidacy. Thank You. Matthew Ridenhour: Hi folks. Just a moment to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm an eight-year United States marine; I've been overseas to Iraq twice. I'm a native Charlottean, graduate of Charlotte Christian School. While I was at Charlotte Christian, I was responsible for organizing the Adopt-A-Cop program after two officers, Burnette and Nobles, were murdered. During the Adopt-A-Cop program, we raised money for 11 bulletproof vests for police officers. Went on then to earn my eagle scout in the Boy Scouts of America and then went on to get my college degree and join the United States Marine Corps. I've got a history of serving the community and always wanting to give back and that's why I'm before you today: wanting to serve my community and the local Charlotte area. There are three things that I think are important to deliver: reducing taxes and spending, fixing the roads and transportation situation in Charlotte, and crime. Those three things. If we can mitigate those and work together, that's how we're going to change things. Democrats Susan Burgess (incumbent): Charlotte is a very diverse city, as you well know, and we've changed as we've grown. We are about 55 percent Caucasian, 45 percent African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American. We must learn to harness that diversity. We were 39th out of 40 cities in inter-racial trust and if we want cohesiveness then we've got some work to do. We are working now and the city has supported the Community-Building Initiative, as well as Crossroads Charlotte, and I have insisted on diversity in appointments. I'm a big supporter of small-business opportunities and economic development to our business corridors, including Eastland Mall. That is one of our priorities and I strongly support that. Patrick Cannon: I will do, with your support, what I've been capable of doing in the past terms that I've been able to serve, in terms of making things happen. I will advocate for proper infrastructure to be put in place where it's lacking for better roads and even decorative infrastructure - like lighting, herringbone brick, wrought iron fencing where applicable - to change areas that have a negative image. I will advocate for reducing crime in our neighborhoods, along our corridors, and around our businesses, especially as it relates to burglaries that have been taking place here and abroad. I will advocate for cracking down on dilapidated structures, both residential and commercial, that cause sore eyes in our communities, making them less attractive and desirable for others to consider calling a place home, or a business a business. In closing, I will advocate for job creation and business development to occur in pockets of our city that need this type of attention in order to be stabilized. David Howard: The answer to the question is leadership. It takes leadership that is steady, that shows a steady hand. Leadership that's fair. Leadership that understands the issues. I'm David Howard and I'm running for Charlotte City Council At-Large. Prior to this I've served as chair of the planning commission and I've served in a lot of capacities that took on the hard issues. So what I'm offering is leadership to deal with these issues. Thank you. Darrin Rankin: My name is Darrin Rankin and I'm running for Charlotte City Council At-Large. I am running to make a difference. I am not a politician. I am a husband, a father, a grand parent, I'm a member of the PTA, I'm a small business owner, and most importantly, I am a concerned citizen. What Charlotte needs is something new, something fresh and something different. How will I create balance across Charlotte? It's easy. By listening. Listening to residents, listening to businesses and listening to neighborhood organizations. Our campaign, Rankin for Charlotte, it's not about me; it's about we. What do we want, what do we need and what do we deserve as citizens of Charlotte. Thank you.