I’ve had the opportunity and the privilege of living and working in the beautiful town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Over the years this city has forged my sense of identity. It has welcomed me into its arts, allowed me to establish myself and my business, and given a home to my family.
The call to be involved in helping direct Wilmington’s future has come to me on several occasions. I have participated as a supporter, volunteer, and director of nonprofits and groups. I’ve worked to understand and influence policy integral to our sustainable economic future. Whether engaging with businesses, adults, or children, I’ve always appreciated the blessing of being able to play a part in the community narrative.
In this narrative, I’ve learned that there is no one hero. We are all heroes, all working together on our individual quests but all for the same boon: the well-being of our families and for the best interest of the city at large. I’ve thrown in my hat to run for mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina for the sake of this narrative. It has become clear that at some level of government, our city has lost its vision for the greater good. That our citizens’ needs aren’t being addressed equally, and that the majority of our development projects support a minority of our people.
While we lack sufficient jobs and affordable housing, we are struggling to employ local tradesmen to build luxury dwellings most of us cannot afford. While our creative communities and film talent seek to contribute to our culture, we stifle their performances through abusable noise ordinances and underutilize our Arts Council. While we tout our identity as a beautiful beach town, our tap water remains contaminated and we’ve yet to address the flooding and drainage issues experienced during hurricane Florence due to our abuse of ecological resources and our readiness to pave paradise to put up parking lots.
I have made the decision to run for mayor so I can more closely address and solve these issues. I am not running against our incumbent, however. I’m running against the status quo. I am running against the mentality that the solution to all of our problems begins with mixing cement. I am running for a Wilmington with programs, policies, and businesses that regenerate what we’ve lost and preserves what we have. I am running for innovative thinking to modern problems. I am running for the communities I’ve lived in and I have served. And I am running for the belief that we can trust our communities to heal themselves if we give them the tools and the opportunity.
The path ahead of me is daunting. My experience as a business owner and a volunteer prepares me for many challenges, while many remain yet unknown to me and beyond my expectation. I have received tremendous support from both friends and from strangers alike and I am immensely thankful. Your encouragement validates our shared vision and drives me to work in your most sincere best interest. I believe that together we can build and maintain a Wilmington that we continue to love and that does justice to our rich history and diverse population.
I appreciate all of you, and I look forward to joining you on the path ahead as we make way for the future that we believe in.