The Raleighites Agenda: Your questions for your Raleigh city council candidates

Updated: scroll down for the questionnaire sent to candidates.

Raleighites will soon decide who will represent us on the Raleigh City Council. Instead of traditional campaign reporting, or horse-race type elections coverage, the Raleigh Convergence will be adopting a Raleighites Agenda approach.

With the Raleighites Agenda, you decide the questions the Raleigh Convergence will send to candidates in a questionnaire published on this site and distributed in the Raleigh Convergence newsletter.

It’s modeled after  the idea of a “citizens agenda.” In the blog post on the other side of the link, journalism thought leader Jay Rosen writes: “the citizens agenda approach puts the campaign press on the side of the voters and their right to have their major concerns addressed by the people bidding for power.”

This is somewhat different — as one person, I’m hardly “campaign press,” but it is an approach that’s most in line with the type of media organization I’m building, scaled to what’s possible — for now. (I’d also refine it philosophically to a residents agenda.) 

For the Raleighites agenda, I’m going to ask you what questions will be on a questionnaire for city council candidates from the Raleigh Convergence.

It’s central to the mission of the Raleigh Convergence that your voices are the ones asking the questions and determining the conversations — that this newsletter serves as facilitator of a community in conversation with itself (find our values here).

How it will work: I’ll be collecting questions and listening to you on the conversations you think are important to ask the candidates, the people who would be representing you in local government. 

You can email questions to raleighconvergence@gmail.com anytime, but I’ll also be out in the community to chat with you.

The first Raleighites Agenda pop-in: I’ll be working at Dove & Olive Merchantile from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2. Note: this is a kid-friendly place, so if you’re someone with a child in tow, this space is good for you! 

The next Raleighites Agenda pop-in: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 5, at Raleigh Union Station. If you work downtown, stop in during your lunch break and let’s talk!

Future pop-ins will be at a variety of locations and times so those with different work and family schedules. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram to stay updated.

UPDATED: You can also find me at Monday, Aug. 26, WakeUP Wake County’s District E Town Hall at Temple Beth Or, and Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Moore Square Market.

If you’re involved with an event or own a business that has high foot traffic at certain times and you’d be willing to host me, please message me and let’s talk!

A little more on how I’ll be using your questions: 

  • Your questions don’t have to be worded perfectly. Questions sent will be edited for grammar and similar questions might be combined. 
  • Questions that fall outside of the realm of what Raleigh City Council can do won’t be included (for example: Asking if they would make a law that’s already prohibited by federal or state law) or anything that falls outside of our general community engagement guidelines. 
  • I’ll be collecting questions throughout August and finalizing the questionnaire around early September. Because early voting begins Sept. 18, I’ll have the questionnaires posted on the forthcoming website by that time. 

Have other questions about the process? Send ‘em my way. 

More resources:

Who’s running for Raleigh city council?

Early questions from the Innovate Raleigh candidate forum

QUESTIONS FROM RALEIGH CONVERGENCE READERS (sent to candidates Wednesday, Sept. 11.)

Please keep answers under 300 words.

QUESTION 1: 

For district candidates: What is your vision for your district and the city as a whole? (What will Raleigh look like in 10-20 years?) Once in office, what actions will be your priority to achieve that vision?

For at-large and mayoral candidates: What is your vision for the future of the city? (What will Raleigh look like in 10-20 years?) Once in office, what actions will be your priority to achieve that vision?

QUESTION 2:

What’s the impact on traffic of the rapid high-rise development in downtown, and what are you doing to avoid the gridlock we’re seeing too often? How would you improve walkability, especially in the urban core?

QUESTION 3:

According to the Arts & Economic Impact Study 5, the nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Raleigh generated $532 million in economic activity, representing 95% of the total activity for Wake County in fiscal year 2015.  The creative economy also supports over 8,00 full-time equivalent jobs in Raleigh and generates $26 million in tax revenue for local government.  

What is your vision for the arts and the role they would play in Raleigh’s overall economic development strategy?

QUESTION 4:

What is your vision for Raleigh 20 years from now? Development will happen whether you support it or not — so what is next? What is the big idea? What is YOUR big idea?

QUESTION 5:

With rising costs for parking and rent, what will you do to help keep independent, locally-owned shops in downtown Raleigh from being swallowed up by larger chains?

NOTES TO CANDIDATES: Candidates, please return by 5 p.m. Sept. 17 so that answers may be posted before early voting begins.