I want to wish all of the citizens of Charlotte a very Happy Independence Day! I hope your holiday weekend is spent doing what you love with those you care about most.
I'm enjoying serving our city as Mayor. It has been important for me to spend these first critical months listening and learning, especially given the events earlier this year. This time has helped me prioritize areas of focus, based on our opportunities, challenges, and goals.
We have a lot to celebrate here in Charlotte. Our City Council is committed to making this city the best it can be.
I hope you will stay in tune with the many great things happening in our city. This is "Our Charlotte," growing, thriving, in a way we can all be proud of.
In looking toward the future of our city, I have identified the following areas of focus:
- economic development & inclusion
- strong neighborhoods
Over the next few months, you'll hear more about our progress in each of these areas. I'm looking to our citizens to help shape change. It only takes a spark to ignite a fire. We have seen it happen over and over. This is our city. This is "Our Charlotte." Together, let's continue to make Charlotte the best place to do business and live.
I have provided you with a list of projects that my office is currently working on as we embrace the "Our Charlotte" concept.
- Economic Development & Inclusion: Small Business/Entrepreneur Friendly City - Charlotte must continue to grow our small business and entrepreneurial base. My office is looking at possible entrepreneurial incubator sites for Uptown and the Applied Innovation Corridor.
- Environment/Sustainability - It is essential that our city has a strong environmental/sustainability focus. We are looking at efficiencies that will streamline our efforts with those of the community groups who are working toward this in Charlotte.
- Strong Neighborhoods: East/West Coalition - I will be working with the Eastside/Westside Coalition, a collaboration between 15 neighborhood and community-based organizations along the Beatties Ford Road/Northwest Corridor and 15 Eastside neighborhoods in the city to enhance residents’ ability to develop and guide the community development agenda for their areas and ultimately create vibrant and sustainable communities.
- Transportation: Transit Projects - The city is continuing to work through the development of the Gold Line, Blue Line Extension and construction of the Gateway Station. We will be educating the community on the Community Investment Plan (CIP) and its importance to the transit projects, both underway and proposed.
You may have heard that I recently met with the city's Immigrant Integration Task Force during which I was asked about my position on a form of local government ID. This is a question for the entire community. The city, county, school system, law enforcement, community based non-profits and other agencies need to work together on a review of the options to explore what may be feasible at the local level. My suggestion to the Immigrant Integration Task Force is that they pursue that discussion, and investigate the experiences in other cities around the country to see what lessons may be useful in Charlotte.
I had the honor of participating in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 hosted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee July 1.
It's fitting for our city to take time to reflect upon a half-century of progress and to share in the history of the courage and committment necessary to attain that progress. This landmark legislation forever changed our city and our society.
It's also important to dedicate ourselves to attaining an even brighter future built on the principles of fairness, justice, equal opportunity and access.
I enjoyed hearing from each of the speakers: Attorney James Ferguson II, Tom Hanchett from the Levine Museum of the New South, Dianne English with the Community Building Initiative, and Theodore M. “Ted” Shaw, Columbia School of Law Professor.
May we never forget how far we have come since that time, while always looking to progress that lies ahead.
I remain hopeful the dispute over who owns, maintains and operates the CLT Airport will be resolved locally rather than at the state level. I have heard from countless citizens that our airport is a source of pride.
The City Council and I appreciate the ongoing support from the community stating that the city must continue to own and manage this local asset. The proponents of the law passed in June 2014 by the North Carolina General Assembly feel it was designed to clarify the intent of last year’s legislation calling for the transfer of control of CLT Airport away from the City Council.
The city’s legal team continues to assess whether the bill clarifies anything or whether it instead introduces new legal issues. In any event, this new legislation did not end the matter and does not address all of our concerns. We will continue to reach out to state officials to see if we can find a mutually acceptable resolution.
CMPD Animal Care & Control, like most other shelters at this time of the year, is overwhelmed by the volume of cats and kittens who are entering the shelter doors.
June was declared “Adopt-A-Cat Month," and the shelter has many cats and kittens that need homes ASAP. CMPD Animal Care & Control expanded the shelter's adoption area capacity to showcase more cats & kittens and added a “Kitten Kaboodle” room to the facility. Everyone is asked to consider adopting. The selection is diverse and the adoption price has been lowered. There are two ways you can help:
• Adopt a cat/kitten (or more than one!)
• Tell your friends, co-workers, neighbors to adopt
For more information, please contact: Melissa Knicely/CMPD Animal Care & Control firstname.lastname@example.org