Larry Helfant is a longtime Raleigh resident and chairs the Midtown Citizen Advisory Council (CAC).
Larry submitted the following comments to the N&O as a Letter to the Editor in response to their endorsement of David Knight for re-election despite their own statement saying “we would like to see a focus on improving community engagement and finding the best possible ways to make sure people feel heard.” It’s impossible to square that circle with their endorsement of Knight when he has made multiple public statements singling out those who he refuses to listen to and whose input he refuses to consider.
David Knight takes pride in the fact that he helped “disband” CACs. In fact, although funding and the role of CACs in City government were removed, CACs were not disbanded, yet he continues to foster this myth. As a result, he neither listens to nor acknowledges CACs, cutting off communication with the same populations that he is elected to represent. I don’t see where he has a record worth endorsing – do you?
He was wrong in voting to remove CACs from community engagement. He was wrong to single out groups that don’t support him. He is wrong if he thinks there are only two groups that single him out as being unfit for re-election.
Ironically, the Mayor just thanked the Mordecai CAC for working with developers in their successful efforts to save the train station at Seaboard station.
The right to vote and the exercising of that right is an important step in putting the voice of the people back into City government. I just hope that the majority of the electorate exercise that right wisely, choosing a candidate that truly supports all the people all of the time.