A message from Robert Steele. Councilman Jonathan Melton has submitted his mid-year campaign finance reports, and as expected, it’s more of the same. 50% is developer and real estate money. In almost every email the Councilman sends out, he toots his own horn on affordable housing, but can we trust him to have the interests of housing strapped residents at heart when HALF of his campaign is funded by for-profit, and not for-people, developers? I don’t think we can. That’s why I won’t be accepting developer money in my campaign. I want you, the residents of Raleigh, to be absolutely SURE that I am not bought and paid for. We can’t say the same for Councilman Melton.
This issue has been on City Council’s agenda for nearly two years now going back to Sept 2021. The Council has been very timid in their responses over this time. Council’s response to the latest wave of crime and neighborhood vandalism was all talk and no action, except to ask staff for another report in a month or two.
Apparently, it’s only Raleigh that must stay silent out of fear that the politicians on Jones Street might do something to hurt the straight, cis, white residents of Raleigh and we can’t risk that. As long as they are only attacking the LGBTQ+ community, Raleigh’s City Council is good.
Many of Raleigh’s residents have been reaching out to their representatives on City Council hoping to have a discussion about the city’s Missing Middle policies and what can be done to modify them to make them less harmful to established neighborhoods. But, they are being told no discussion can be had.
If you watched the two City Council meetings on May 16, 2023, the Work Session discussing election reform at 11:30 followed by the City Council Afternoon Session at 1:00, we wonder if you noticed what we noticed. We were disappointed but not surprised at the way city survey data was perceived differently by some councilors at these two separate meetings.
Every month Councilor Jonathan Melton publishes a newsletter summarizing the actions of City Concil for that month. In his April report, he included a bonus from the May 2nd meeting which was an explanation for his vote on the zoning case Z-54-22, Peace & West Streets. It’s filled with misinformation.
Livable Raleigh supports today’s proposal for community engagement put forward by Councilors Jones and Harrison. You don’t have to wait for your council retreat at the end of January where you will be discussing your longer-term solutions, you could act tonight to give CACs access to community centers with a simple motion and a vote directing staff to make it happen.
Council’s upcoming decision to either keep or eliminate Raleigh’s COVID-era free bus fares has been framed as making an important statement about Raleigh’s commitment to high quality and equitable bus service. Maybe so, but if you listen to the Raleigh Transit Authority’s Nov 10 deliberations on the topic, you might conclude that reinstating fees will have little impact on a system that is in decline and without an effective plan to provide high quality and equitable transit services in post-COVID Raleigh.
Jonathan Melton and Council talk about ‘getting to yes’ even though they never reach out to the public to discuss equitable outcomes. On important citywide issues where you’d expect a vigorous, inclusive debate before voting – it never happens.
I’m disappointed that while the numbers show engagement has decreased significantly, it’s being reported in a way to make the public think improvements have been made when they have not, All of this during the City Council election as a way to fool the voters. You can’t correct the lack of trust Mickey Fearn found in this Council with this type of deception.