Up & Coming Weekly

September 12, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/872870

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Page 9 of 36

SEPTEMBER 13 - 19, 2017 UCW 9 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM It is time to change the con- versation in this city. And to change the conversation, you must change the leadership. For Fayetteville to become a stronger more progressive city it must represent the priorities of the entire city and not just certain areas. I have worked over the last two years to reduce the inequalities that will hinder our future growth in District 2 and I am ready to work to reduce these inequalities throughout Fayetteville. We have heard across the city that the change people want for Fayetteville is not reflected in its current priorities of our current mayor. Other city leaders say they also care about the in- equalities we see but what have they done to help change this issue other than talk about what they could do. When we have 25 percent of our city living in poverty and these same leaders are barely having conversations about it, helping our people is clearly not their priority. When leaders say they are "bringing jobs" to Fayetteville, knowing these jobs pay less than a living wage, perpetuate generational poverty and forego innovative growth possibilities, then they aren't seeing the big picture because they aren't bringing the right kinds of jobs to Fayetteville. When leaders aren't working to revitalize our overlooked and blighted neigh- borhoods, they aren't focused on the right priorities. If city leaders aren't actively partnering with our military, county and educa- tional institutions to transition our workforce, they don't have the right priorities. And unfortu- nately, our current leader is not having these conversations at all. It takes hard work to create the type of change we want in our city. I have rolled up my sleeves, working alongside many of you, to improve Fayetteville and I am ready to continue. is is not rhetoric. Please look at my track record of hard work in our com- munity over the last 17 years — elected office or not. I will continue to champion the work already in progress to achieve our shared vision for Fayetteville. It is work on collaborative initiatives like our Innova- tion Corridor that positions us to leverage statewide projects like BRIGHT Futures (www.ncbrightfutures. org) and grow our economy in the markets of cyber security and innovative next generation markets in partnership with local universities/colleges and private businesses. Our work includes an initiative to address poverty called "Pathways for Prosperity" (www.pathwaysforprosperity.org) that is creating a community conversation along with a series of ac- tion steps with a goal of changing the generational poverty we see in our city. We are continuing the efforts and concepts of "My Brother's Keeper" to enhance collaboration and grow a community youth mentorship program. ese initiatives, coupled with the current city council's success in building new parks and recreation facilities, increased downtown capital investment, our new baseball stadium, use of local contracting, and Murchison Road development all align to move Fayetteville on a path toward this shared vision. We need an innovative and driven mayor that can lead our city's transformation and understands we all grow stronger when the county, school systems, and other municipalities grow with us and have a shared vision. We need a mayor who will stand committed to changing the future of Fayetteville. We deserve a leader who believes in collaboration and construction, not confrontation and obstruc- tion. I am asking for your vote and I am asking you to join me if you believe that we still have work to do in creating a stronger city. I may not have been born here. I may not have gone to high school here. But Fayetteville is my home, it is my wife's home, it is our new son's home and it is your home. Let's make it better together. Why I Am Running for Mayor by KIRK DEVIERE KIRK DEVIERE, Fayetteville Mayoral Candidate. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. CANDIDATES SPEAK City Councilman Kirk deViere Cindy Blackwell announced this week that she changed her party affiliation to Repub- lican. She plans to actively seek the GOP nomination for Cumberland County Clerk of Court in 2018. "When I first registered to vote in Cumberland County, I was a young adult working for an elected official," she said. Her family was Republi- can, Blackwell noted, but an acquaintance persuaded her not to register with the GOP — the friend was concerned that Blackwell's party registration might affect her job. Blackwell said she has always voted for the candidate she considered most qualified, regardless of party, and that she believes voters will look at her qualifications and experience and choose her for Clerk of Court. "In light of recent events in our courthouse, I just couldn't go along with the 'status quo' politics. So, I made my choice and switched party affiliations. I feel good about my decision to join the Republican delegation. It feels right," Blackwell said. "e race for Cumberland County Clerk of Court should be about who is the most qualified candidate and who has the knowledge, experience and know- how to serve the people. I intend to run a fair, hon- est, respectable, but, aggres- sive campaign to personally meet and introduce myself to both Democratic and Republi- can voters across the county," Blackwell said. "I believe the Courthouse belongs to the people. No single political party owns it, and it's no place for partisan politics that places personal political favor over competency, qualifications and an honorable and docu- mented track record." She went on to say that the average person dreads going to the courthouse in Fayetteville, because the place is slow and frustrating to deal with and that the current system just promotes the status quo. "ey're not trying to make the courthouse work better for average folks," she said. "I want people to know that things can get better — that voters will actually have a choice this time around. I want them to decide who is the most qualified to be the next Clerk of Court." Clerk of Court Candidate Cindy Blackwell Joins Republican Party a STAFF REPORT POLITICS Clerk of Court candidate Cindy Blackwell plans to actively seek the GOP nomination for Cumberland County Clerk of Court in 2018.

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