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August 28, 2018

From protestor to city council member, Winston turned his activism into action after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Winston became known as a prominent figure after a picture was taken of him during the 2016 shooting protests showing him, hand raised, in front of a line of CMPD officers. He would use the momentum from these protests to run for office in the November 2017 elections. Not only did he win a spot on city council, but received the second most votes for an at-large seat. His election win received national attention from the likes of Chelsea Clinton and Common.

In the coming days and weeks and months, as Winston’s role as a leader of the protests solidified, McColl would come to see him as someone who could talk and listen to anyone, someone who could fill a leadership void that he considered one of the city’s biggest liabilities. The two men became not just friends, but allies. 

I have never met Hugh McColl. If you’ve lived in Charlotte for a while, he seems to be both myth and legend, right? I have seen him at a few nonprofit events and I saw him in Overstreet Mall several years ago, and I remember thinking “This is the man that built Charlotte” – a descriptor used in certain circles.

December 04, 2017

“I like to think that the future of Charlotte, and North Carolina and America is ungendered, but I want everybody to look: We talk about everything new about this [City Council], but I want to call [attention to] the fact that we have four less voices of women that are going to be able to vote on this dais,” Winston said.

“We have to find ways to center all marginalized groups, but now especially on this dais, women. Women are on the lead here in Charlotte. Women are the reason that I am here right now,” he added.

November 27, 2017

Can the emergence of non-traditional candidates help revive a faltering Democratic Party that is facing its lowest approval rating in nearly a quarter century? We speak with two Democrats who won key races with support from grassroots sources outside of the Democratic Party. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Braxton Winston is a former middle school football coach who took to the streets in 2015 along with hundreds of people to protest the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott. We also speak with Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist and former Marine who unseated the Republican majority whip of Virginia’s House of Delegates.

November 10, 2017

Mr. President, @BraxtonWinston is a superb example of an actual “very fine” person. And, yes I know he won an election in Charlotte, not Charlottesville. Still, please learn more about him @realDonaldTrump @potus (My first #280charactertweet. Please understand @chrissyteigen!)

November 18, 2017

This Protester Did Something About It: He Just Got Elected

In just over the past year, Braxton Winston has gone from a prominent protester to a popular politician.

November 17, 2019

Protester Takes Police Officer's Suggestion, Runs For Council And Wins

Last September, Braxton Winston was protesting the death of Keith Lamont Scott on the streets of Charlotte, N.C. He's turned that protest into politics — as one of the city's new council members.

November 10, 2017

North Carolina man leaps from street protests into politics

Suddenly Winston, instead of challenging government, is part of it.

October 23, 2017

The exuberant African-American Braxton Winston, a union stagehand and member of IATSE Local 322, is currently running for Charlotte, N.C., City Council. Citing the founding documents of our nation, he reminded his audience that “a more perfect union” is mentioned at the beginning of our history. “Our Constitution,” he proclaimed, “is our first collective bargaining agreement.” We must aim to create “a collective economy, collective defense, and all-around collective good.”

His city of Charlotte rates 50th out of 50 cities for upward mobility. The people he hopes to serve as a city council member need wages that families can thrive on and a more equal access to technology. In a city dominated by banking and financial institutions, he thanked the Communications Workers Unions as his largest single contributor. “The fist,” he quipped, “is mightier than the single finger,” slyly implying that it’s better to get organized than to get mad.

October 20, 2017

Winston, a Democrat, is a Davidson College graduate who won attention for his peaceful but forceful role in the Keith Scott demonstrations and aftermath. He questions how police handled the Scott protests as well as the shooting of Ruben Galindo, and advocates for transparency from police. He also wants to work to help “the vulnerable and marginalized.” He is intelligent and passionate and would bring a healthy skepticism to the council.

Last fall, thousands watched Braxton Winston's livestream as he marched to protest the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, and they were watching a new community leader emerge. Winston didn't organize the Charlotte Uprising, but for days, he delivered its raw footage to a worldwide audience, with expert commentary. He developed a rapport with police on the ground and provided tactical advice to protesters to keep his group as safe as possible. When the protests ended, the fire that had been ignited within him did not.

September 18, 2017

Voices From The Aftermath: Reflection On One Year Past The Keith Scott Shooting

David Boraks from WFAE sits down with Braxton Winston, protester-turned activist-turned politician, as he reflects on how the shooting of Keith Scott altered the course of his life and on his run for city council.

September 08, 2017

The Post's endorsements for Charlotte City Council primary

Mr. Winston, who gained notoriety last year as an activist during unrest that erupted after the Keith Scott shooting, brings youthful enthusiasm and a sense of social justice to the campaign. The Scott shooting slapped Charlotte out of its collective slumber regarding very real gaps between haves and have-nots. We welcome the possibilities of Mr. Winston’s candidacy.

August 28, 2017

Charlotte looks at affordable housing funding options

This will nearly deplete that fund but activist and City Council candidate Braxton Winston said it is the smart thing to do.

"We have to think differently," he said. "The way we do things has to change."

August 25, 2017

Charlotte City Council primaries: The Observer's endorsements

Winston is a Davidson graduate who won recognition for his peaceful but forceful role in the Keith Scott demonstrations and works in the entertainment production field. He says he wants to help the city act on the Opportunity Task Force report, including better public transportation and getting high-speed internet into more homes.

August 23, 2017

LGBT groups make their picks for Charlotte mayor, council

For the at-large races, they selected four Democrats: Julie Eiselt, Braxton Winston, James Mitchell and Ryan McGill.

August 08, 2017

What It Really Means to Be a Charlotte Native

There are a lot things that need to change in Charlotte. Being proud of who you are and where you come from is not one of those things.

July 27, 2017

NoDa redevelopment highlights Charlotte's affordable housing problem

"If we’re displacing people outside of our community, is that development?" said Braxton Winston, a resident of District 1 (which includes NoDa) and City Council at-large candidate who spoke at the council's citizens' forum on Monday. "I'm up here pleading for my neighbors. Please figure out a way to step up and bring our resources together."

July 04, 2017

5 Things to Watch as Charlotte Election Seasons Heats Up

Braxton Winston, a Democrat, is among a crowded at-large race on city council. A Davidson graduate, he became an unofficial leader of the protests that followed the September police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

March 28, 2017

Report Lays Out Approaches To Tackle Poverty

Charlotte activist Braxton Winston says he’s glad to see officials acknowledge that two very different Charlottes exist but, “These are issues I didn’t need identified and a lot of people that are living in a position where they don’t have upward mobility I don’t think this report is needed to tell them what the problems are but if the folks that can help with resources need it then so be it, but it’s time now to put those assets and resources to good use.”

December 30, 2016

Fist Raised, He Faced Off with Police. Here's why this Davidson Grad Protests.

We followed a tip.

We heard that the shirtless man, fist clenched to the sky as he faced off against the Charlotte-Mecklenburg riot team in a photograph that went viral, was Davidson College graduate Braxton Winston.

November 17, 2016

Braxton Winston ’06 Fights for Charlotte

Braxton Winston, at ease in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood, looks back on the last few months with a wry smile. Long, dark dreadlocks envelop his face, and his 6’2” athletic frame barely fits in the coffee shop’s small chair. In a deep voice, he calmly and eloquently explains how his life, personal motivation, and sense of agency have changed over the most tumultuous months of his life. His poise and articulation contrast the general public’s perception of Winston confronting police officers in the protests that ensued following Keith Lamont Scott’s murder.

October 27, 2016

One North Carolina County Shows The Cracks In The GOP’s Defenses

A 20-minute drive from Gaston County and Millard’s civics class reverence for the possibilities of American democracy, Braxton Winston, 33, sat in the backyard of The Thomas Street Tavern in Charlotte nursing a beer and talking about the weeks since the shooting of Keith Scott Lamont. Winston attracted attention during the demonstrations that followed for his livestreams of the street scene between police and protesters.

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