What a year 2018 has been! As we get ready for a busy 2019 I can’t help but look back at a year of learning from the past and planning for the future. I am committed to sticking to the mission of what I was elected to do: work with the tools of Charlotte City Council to craft a more equitable, accessible, and interconnected Charlotte. Here is a small sample of the work that has been done in 2018.
In approaching issues of equity, I focused on how we spend our money as a city. In June, I joined my colleagues in demanding a change to the status quo of how we award contracts that lack the inclusion of women, minority, and small business-owned entities. This has led to new economic development efforts to build the capacity of contractors owned and operated by members of our community who are traditionally left out.
Working with my colleagues, we started off 2018 with new policy that made local government more accessible than ever before. I championed a new policy which live streams every city council and committee meeting as well as guides staff to engage constituents using innovative and responsible social media tools.
I was happy to support policy that promoted working across aisles and policies to ensure an interconnected approach to meeting the needs and concerns of Charlotteans. I voted to approve incentives to bring an innovative Amazon fulfillment center. In this deal, we worked with the county to provide funding to improve the street infrastructure in that area. This is a remarkable example of an interconnected government as counties in North Carolina generally don’t provide funding for street improvements. Through supporting heavy policy lifts like our Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP) and the realignment of our Unified Ordinance Process (UDO) to be guided by a Comprehensive Plan for our city, I am working to ensure that we have the proper policies and partnerships in place to ensure a more equitable, accessible, and interconnected community for generations to come.
We have so much more work to do in 2019. This election year we will continue to wrestle with differing and sometimes conflicting visions of what a more equitable, accessible, and interconnected Charlotte truly looks and feels like. I know you will continue to be an active participant in this democracy by letting me know what you think regardless of whether or not we agree on an issue. Your guidance and input has meant more to me over this past year than you may realize. For that, I share with you my sincerest THANK YOU!
Cheers To The New Year,
Councilmember Braxton Winston II