Weekly Update: The crossroads

weekly update header

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share


Since I became mayor in 2016, I hope you’ve learned that I’m not an alarmist. I’m deliberate in the decisions I make, and I always try to be as honest and forthright with you as I can be based on the information I have.

Having said that, we are at yet another crossroads with COVID-19, and the choice to do the necessary things to slow the spread and save lives rests solely in our hands.

To demonstrate the seriousness of our situation, below is data through yesterday laying out where we are currently compared to where we were earlier this year.


Particularly concerning is our recent high number of hospitalizations as seen below:


As we approach the holidays, please consider how your plans can be modified to reduce the spread of this virus. When we get together with people who are not members of our immediate family (regardless of the group size) we put ourselves and those around us at risk.

The Thanksgiving holiday is special to many of us. Normally, it’s a time to be thankful, to spend time with close friends and family, and eat our favorite foods.

But unfortunately, this year is anything but normal.

The holidays are important—but staying home is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If you do choose to celebrate in-person with people outside your household, we are asking that you:

  • Get tested before the gathering at one of our four free sites this weekend.
  • Limit contact with people outside your household prior to the event as much as you can.
  • Wear a mask at all times around people who don’t live in your household.
  • Limit close contact by maintaining six feet or more from people outside your household.
  • Stay outdoors
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces; and
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.


If you think you have been exposed during the Thanksgiving holiday, get tested. Stay home until you get your results, and monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms.

For a quick word about the holidays from Dr. Jain, the City’s infectious disease specialist, go here.

Raleigh Springs Civic Center: After years of planning, hard work and with the partnership of City Council, yesterday we cut the ribbon for the new Raleigh Springs Civic Center bringing new life and hope to a strong Raleigh neighborhood.

I want to specifically thank former council members Bill Morrison, Kemp Conrad, Shea Flinn, Reid Hedgepeth, and current council members Rhonda Logan, Ford Canale, Chase Carlisle, and Jeff Warren. Also, a huge thanks to the members of our Division of Housing and Community Development who spent countless hours to make this happen—Director Paul Young, Manager of Strategic Initiatives Mary Claire Borys, and their team.

What were once tired empty old buildings have now become a beautifully designed new library, new police precinct and an already busy skatepark. Because of this significant investment, the project is already spurring other development in the area, including a new Patriot Bank branch and a new Starbucks. We expect even more development to come in the future with an opportunity to develop an additional 20 acres of land and activate the recently approved TIF. This investment is already paying dividends.

All that to say—the future of Raleigh is bright.

Let there be light: This past Tuesday night, we had a lighting ceremony for the new Renasant Convention Center. If you haven’t seen the new sign, it’s worth taking a drive across the river to see it.


We can’t say thank you enough to our partners at Renasant. They see the vision and the potential we have in our city, and they want to play a major role in our future.

Speaking of the future—none of us had any clue when we made the initial announcement at the end last year that we would be where we are today.

We’ve spent the last eight months dealing with a global pandemic, nationwide civil unrest, and economic uncertainty. So, for me personally, this event represented something bigger than just the lighting of a new sign on the $200 million transformation of our convention center.

It serves as a strong reminder that, even amidst all the darkness this year has brought with it, and the challenges that still lie before us—there are still very bright spots shining all around us. We just have to take a step back and look at the whole picture to see them.

One last plug for testing—if you’re out this weekend, please stop by one of our four free sites and get a test. It’s quick, it’s easy, and most importantly, it’s free.


Mayor's signature