David Knight made the Oxford Road Sidewalk Project the centerpiece of his 2019 campaign. Watch this video for details of Knight’s failures.


Watch video here:

A clipping from INDYWeek reports that the sidewalk for Oxford Road was what pushed Knight to run for City Council. It’s been three years now and the sidewalk is still not there.

If you want to read more about David Knight’s record on City Council, we have reprinted his Report Card here:

Image Raleigh’s Rising Cost of Living

Rising Cost of Living

  • The cost of gas, food and housing in Raleigh is rising much faster than incomes, forcing families with service wages and fixed incomes out of Raleigh. Since 2019, Knight has raised Raleigh taxes by 22% while increasing Council pay and benefits 82%. [1]
Image: Community Meeting

Civic Engagement & Grassroots Democracy

  • In one of the most undemocratic moves made by City Council, in addition to moving the October 2021 election to November 2022 and giving themselves an extra year in office, all done with no public input and no public vote, they also changed the format of all future elections to no longer allow a run-off. The top vote-getter wins, no matter what their percentage of the vote is. This favors incumbents. [4]
  • Campaigning in 2019, Knight pledged to strengthen Raleigh’s Citizens’ Advisory Councils (CACs). [24] Once elected, he quickly voted – with no public input – to disband the CACs without any replacement process for citizen input. [19] He did this a few days after meeting with the RCAC Chair to discuss improvements to the CACs without ever mentioning the planned vote to her.
  • Knight proposed violating speakers 1st Amendment rights by limiting what they could print on the signs they bring to public meetings. [28]
Image Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing Supply

  • Campaigning in 2019, Knight pledged to make it a top priority to increase Raleigh’s supply of affordable housing. [24] Raleigh is rapidly losing – not gaining – affordable rental housing. Council’s total Affordable Housing production, from all funding sources including the $80M Bond, is fewer than 600 units / year. [33] Despite losing more than 4,000 affordable units each year, Council policies and rezoning votes overwhelmingly produce high-profit, market rate and luxury units favored by developers.[5]
  • Knight changed Raleigh’s Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) rules to promote profitable short-term rentals over affordable long-term rentals.[6]
Image Diverse Residents

Residents’ Needs

  • Since January 2020, Knight has accepted $102,706 dollars in campaign donations, 69% of his total, from wealthy developers [8] while approving a lucrative developer tax break program and millions of dollars of high-rise upzonings for his developer donors. [9] In return for his upzoning largesse, he has negotiated zero affordable housing units benefitting the rest of Raleigh. [10]
  • Knight campaigned in 2019 with assurances he would NOT end single-family zoning. [25] Despite this promise made to make his policy sound reasonable, he implemented a missing middle policy city-wide that does end single-family zoning. Unlike truly progressive cities, Knight’s Missing Middle rules actually hurt modest income families two ways: His rules don’t require that added infill density include affordable or accessible units. Instead, his rules promote developer-friendly, maximum-profit units that drive up the cost of all housing and drive modest income families out of town. [11]
  • Knight effectively eliminated residential zoning throughout Raleigh by allowing commercial businesses to operate in residentially zoned neighborhoods. [12]
  • Knight has increased density allowances in neighborhoods without any regard for neighborhood character or the environment. [13]
Image Diverse Residents


  • Although Knight did not vote to move the election to November 2022, he did keep the secret plan of City Council to himself and did not warn his constituents of what was coming without public notice or public input. The secretive actions were criticized by the N&O, State Senators and even Governor Cooper, and was called “deplorable” by clean government experts. [14] 
  • Knight has yet to acknowledge that his Council redistricting vote disproportionately reduced the voting power of minority voters, even after he was told by multiple voting rights experts that the city’s process was flawed, and the results were biased against minority voters. [15]
  • Knight has yet to return a $3,000 campaign donation from a group profiting from evictions. [17]
  • Knight has taken campaign cash in both 2019 and 2022 from Anti-LGBTQ+ bigot John Kane [30]
Image Diverse Residents

Environment & Equity

  • Raleigh’s adopted 2021 Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) has no teeth and no Council Champions: The CCAP acknowledges that the plan has no enforcement powers for reducing 98% of Raleigh’s GHG emissions. The Plan also acknowledges it has no metrics for measuring progress toward Carbon Reduction Goals.[27] No one on Council has stepped forward to champion significant Climate Protection action.
  • Raleigh’s Climate Plan says current growth hurts vulnerable populations most: Raleigh’s adopted Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) says growth and development under this Council is “increasing the social vulnerability of low-income individuals and communities of color … Many socially vulnerable populations lack access to affordable housing, jobs, and other resources and services.” [27]
  • In the most important rezoning cases, Council undermines CCAP Equity Goals: Council voted unanimously for the Downtown South rezoning despite the fact that the Planning Commission said the rezoning made a mockery of Raleigh’s Equity Mission Statement referenced in the CCAP. [31]
  • In the most important rezoning cases, Council makes a mockery of Raleigh’s Climate Protection Goals: Council approved the Azalea Falls rezoning despite overwhelming evidence that it violated virtually every environmental protection, carbon reduction, sustainable growth and equity principle contained in the CCAP. [32]

Find footnotes here:  Reference source materials 

Livable Raleigh Editorial Team