Since moving to Raleigh earlier this year, Ashley Pierrot has quickly fallen in love with the city and the people here. It was her love of the city that drew her towards becoming more involved with the community and learning more about the decisions being made that impacts its residents. Inspired by Raleigh Activist Kristen Havlik, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and speak up for herself and the community. As a new member of Kristen’s public comments team, she advocates for making Raleigh a wonderful and welcoming city for all.

Ashley Pierrot spoke at the October 4 City Council meeting.

I really enjoyed attending the candidate forums that were held recently. Whether We were aligned or not, I appreciated getting a glimpse into the thought process behind some of your decisions and what you have done during your term.

I want to speak about the lack of other opportunities for us to hear from you and the need for more transparency.

These meetings are not structured in a way that gives us transparency and commentary behind your decisions. I acknowledge there are time constraints but without two way communication, you cannot call public comments an opportunity for engagement.

A lot of people come to city council meetings when there is an item on the agenda that they feel passionate about or impacts them directly. More times than not they leave feeling frustrated, confused, and unheard even if they did have the  opportunity to speak.

They leave feeling that way because for the most part, your conversations are happening elsewhere. Very little is usually said here before a vote. We need and deserve to hear those comments from you just as much as we need and deserve for you to hear ours.

I spent some time on the city’s website and I found the council’s strategic plan but that was last updated in 2021. I found your bios but not your voting history. If it is available, it’s not easy to find.

My question/ challenge  to you is, “how can you better utilize the platforms you have to provide updates on what you are doing and education behind your decisions outside of campaigning?”

Many of you have spoken about the challenges of governing during unprecedented times. We have heard a lot of criticism tonight on how you have led. I rely on resources such a Livable Raleigh to help explain to me why you are doing what you are doing because you are not providing that transparency.