ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Smart on Growth

Mecklenburg County has the potential to lead the 100 counties that make up North Carolina. We need to be smart on growth and manage expectations for existing residents and newcomers. We can protect the sanctity of neighborhoods, increase density, and improve walkability. We can also support financial vehicles to help us recruit and retain top corporations, but we must advocate for our local labor force and tie those investments into the companies’ hiring decisions. 

Mecklenburg County should complete a full State Of The County report to include not only programs and operations under the county’s purview but also those under the City of Charlotte (including Charlotte Douglas Airport and CATS), the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville, and Stallings, and our major universities. The full State Of The County report can act as a Master Plan to assist existing residents, developers, recruiters, stakeholders, and staff as we move toward smarter growth.

Breaking Down Silos

Communication is key, and to me, that means breaking down silos that exist simply because, ”It has always been done that way.” I want to be a County Commissioner who shows up to support our council and town boards. I want to be a Commissioner who will drive or fly to Raleigh or Washington, D.C. to advocate for the agenda of our delegation, raise the voices of the people, and lobby for our needs. And I want my colleagues across the Board of Commissioners and every other board to feel comfortable and empowered to do the same. 

There are more than 100 elected and appointed officials who serve the people of Mecklenburg County. There is strength in our numbers, and we are stronger when we work together while communicating often. I’ve started that work on the school board, and I plan to continue that work on the Board of Commissioners. I have proven my commitment to our towns in addition to the City of Charlotte, and I will continue to show up to represent all 1.1M residents of our county.

MWBEs

Right now there are many state and local resources to support Minority & Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), but I believe we can do more. Mecklenburg County can and should be a leader in supporting and strengthening MWBEs. The diversity of our towns and city require local leaders to think beyond single line items of funding and toward a more comprehensive approach to the success of MWBEs. 

As a small business owner, I know how important it is for owners and creators to be heard and supported. The talking point is, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” but in my conversations with these innovators, I'm hearing that they feel left out of policy and financial decisions. Surely the small businesses which make up the backbone of our local economy should have a dedicated space and committee to discuss plans and ideas and to submit requests directly to their board in full public view.