A Safe City

Diversity has always been one of Raleigh’s greatest strengths. Diversity shines through in the various groups of people, industries, and attractions in our city. We must continually nurture community relations so that all groups are welcome and feel included at the table as stakeholders.

With students and my mentor at the Al-Iman School

There is no denying the horrifying polarization and segregation occurring within our country. I believe that this must be addressed on every level, starting with local politics. Communities that work together and that are considered safe attract newcomers, new businesses, and build community bonds that impact future generations. I believe that with more thoughtful community partnerships, initiatives, and professional development to support public servants, we can address the concerns surrounding community relations and community safety.
 
We can continue to keep the people of Raleigh safe through our policies, planning, and community engagement. We need to better support our officers in enhancing community relations and safety. Many of our officers are staffed as school resource officers and we can take a step as a city to offer climate and culture training, in conjunction with the current training offered. I would like to leverage the School Resource Officer position to create a program around culture and climate training.
 
Keeping everyone in Raleigh safe from forms of injustices starts from the planning stages. Our planners should be encouraged to use CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles, which prevent crime by designing spaces where it’s hard for criminal activity to take place. This will also make local law enforcement’s’ jobs easier, allowing them to focus more resources on positive community engagement.
 
We must, also, discuss how we can do better as a city in protecting our immigrant communities. We need to have these conversations in order to break down barriers in our community so that we can continue raising Raleigh. Raleigh should be a place where immigrants don’t feel scared to live their daily lives in fear of deportation. We have to work together to find ways to keep families together and address the needs of children who have been separated from their loved ones. Research shows safe cities are safer because undocumented immigrants are more likely to cooperate with police and have identification. 
 
Additionally, everyone has the right to utilize sidewalks and all public pathways, yet the city has been slow to fix unnavigable sidewalks in less fortunate neighborhoods. More than ever, we need to ensure that we do not design people out of city spaces. This means no more Camden benches in public spaces, made to be uncomfortable on purpose, no more broken sidewalks, and ensuring that pedestrian pathways are well-lit at night.
 
I believe that the only way we can see Raleigh rise up is by focusing on the strong diversity in our community. In choosing to embrace our diversity, we must create equal opportunities for all Raleigh residents, because that is what makes us truly great. It’s time to elect leaders that understand that. We need to address the issues to break down barriers in our community, so we can keep Raleigh thriving. Because when we all thrive, we all rise.