Between the lines

Below are the first remarks that I prepared and delivered when declaring my intention to run for Charlotte City Council At-Large. We know our city is growing and changing rapidly. While we have come a long way, we now need to look forward and understand where we are going. I am working to engage communities across Charlotte, and am also looking to leverage mediums (pun intended) like this to directly and easily share my point of view with everyone.

If you find we have similar points of view and are interested in helping with the start of something new, you can plug-in at

My remarks as written:

Good Evening!

Thank you for being HERE. With everything else going on — you are here, and I am grateful.

You were invited today because I am excited to share with you that I am running for an At-Large seat on the Charlotte City Council.

I am running to close the gap between the choices of the past and the choices that will lead us forward.

The choices of the past have made us:

  • 2nd largest financial center in America
  • one of the fastest growing cities in America

but also

  • the nation’s worst big city for economic mobility
  • and one of the nation’s most segregated

While all at the same time — those like Hugh McColl, the Observer, and others have challenged us to identify the leadership of the future. A leadership that will answer this call and bring a fresh perspective to closing the gaps in our community.

Which brings us right to this moment, here, now — I stand before you answering that call.

Now we are here;

  • here making the choice to create a city that provides opportunity for all its people
  • here embracing what has made CLT our home and the good that exists in our city
  • here ready to unleash the power of our diverse and worldly community with much to share.

Some of us were born here, and some of us were reborn here. but together we are all here now.

I arrived here almost 10 years ago to help set-up and grow a new business. When I arrived in Charlotte it was clear this is a city on the move. While my work was rewarding, I was unable to develop a connection to the city. I couldn’t figure out where I fit in.

This angst led me to become more involved in my community volunteering for and eventually working with the ’08 Obama campaign, Secretary Foxx’s first mayoral campaign in 2009, and the United States Senate Democratic primary in 2010 for Attorney Ken Lewis.

These years continue to have a profound impact on my life. Having had an opportunity to meet people from every corner of our city and many places around this state — I began to realize how I fit in — why Charlotte is the place for me.

While Abby and I do not yet have children — Charlotte is where we are going to raise our family. We care about the decisions that are being made today that will impact us 10, 20, 30 years from now. Not only will they impact us, they will impact our children.

We realize how the decisions of today have big consequences in the future. On my families future, on your family’s future, on OUR future.

Which is why I am here today — ready to lead us forward together.

However, a leader is only as good as those who support them — which is why I am committed to earning your trust and building a broad coalition across this city throughout this campaign.

Our campaign is made up of three phases;

Phase one starts now. Our goal in this phase is simple, listen and be present. Growing up in the information age, I crave data. And what better data than straight from the source. Between now and July we will be creating and attending opportunities to engage people from across the city.

Phase two begins when the board of elections opens filing in July. From shortly after that point until the September 15th primary day our goal is simple — activate! A majority of voters only begin to pay attention in the last 60–90 days. This is the time when the city will begin to feel the energy of our campaign. Building on that every day through the primary on September 15th.

After we win one of the four At-Large Democratic primary seats, and we are going to win, we will then begin Phase Three of the campaign. While we have already planned for this — we are squarely focused on Phase 1 — today — now — here.

Today as a small committed few — we turn a page and together start to write the next great chapter of our cities story. One that closes the gap by creating economic mobility for all parts of our city, one that creates sustainable growth, and one that celebrates the richness of our culture.

Together we will close the gap.

Thank you.

Join us

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