Sam Hershey is a candidate for Raleigh City Council’s district A. Find more District A candidate responses here.
The Raleighites Agenda, a community-powered questionnaire, includes questions from Raleigh residents. For more questions on the process, go here.
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?
In 20 years, I want Raleigh to be a green city with tremendous solar output, a fully-electric bus system, protected bike lanes, and a great public and alternate transportation system. I want the city to have updated its zoning ordinances to allow more density, so that we have more mixed-use spaces and more affordable housing.
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?
Our urban core is already very walkable, and traffic downtown is largely uncongested, but there are some stretches entering and leaving the downtown area that do have congestion, especially during rush hour times. One of the easiest ways we can combat this is by expanding public transit options, building bike lanes, and putting in sidewalks to create those options where they don’t currently exist.
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?
Raleigh’s thriving arts scene is a huge draw for people moving here as well as an economic engine for the city. The city council should always work with the arts community on all relevant projects/issues to ensure that their voice is heard and their interests are taken into consideration.
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?
See my answer to the first question.
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?
Raleigh does a great job of promoting local businesses over chains, especially downtown, and we should continue to do so. A lot of that credit goes to our city’s consumers, who frequently choose to spend their money at locally-owned shops over chains. This is an issue more controlled by the market than anything, but insofar as the council can have an impact on it, as a small business owner myself, I will always work hard to ensure that small businesses and local shops have whatever tools the city can provide to compete with larger chains.
Sam Hershey is a candidate for Raleigh City Council’s District A. Find his website at samforraleigh.com.