Our neighborhoods are the glue that bond the larger Charlotte community together. We need to balance high-density development across the city and protect our single-family neighborhoods as much as possible. Strong neighborhoods are essential to help Charlotte remain a safe, livable and vibrant city.
District 1 is home to some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city - neighborhoods that have seen many generations of children play, learn, and grow. Belmont, Chantilly, Elizabeth, Dilworth, Myers Park, Grier Heights, Colonial Village, Eastover, Cherry, Druid Hills and Plaza Midwood are among the communities in District One that are steeped in rich traditions. As former chair and long-time member of the Council's Housing & Neighborhood Development Committee, I have been very involved in the preservation of and investment in our older neighborhoods.
As Charlotte grows we need to plan and budget for the infrastructure that is necessary to handle the traffic generated by the large developments being built today. Charlotte Water has for some time been working within the region to address the future availability of water and they continue to update wastewater plants to handle future needs.
I strongly support the neighborhood policing concept that promotes partnerships between neighborhood residents and CMPD to address crime issues. Police officers assigned to neighborhoods get to know the residents of these areas and the residents, in turn, come to know and trust the officers assigned to their community.
Creating new jobs for Charlotte is an urgent need. Many of the priorities we have for Charlotte and District 1 work together to help attract companies from outside the area to locate to or expand in our city.
These same priorities also promote an environment that is conducive to the founding and growth of small businesses in our communities. By strengthening the core of our community through a low crime rate and strong, safe neighborhoods and schools, we will help grow our economy and bring jobs to Charlotte.
Public safety has been a top priority in District 1 for many years. Whether we are promoting neighborhood watch efforts or budgeting for new police officers, members of the city council work with citizens to improve public safety.
As a council member, I hear crime reports at each neighborhood meeting I attend and listen to your concerns so that we can work together to take action. Communicating with and looking out for each other are key to keeping our communities safe.
I have strongly supported and will continue to support the addition of police officers and needed equipment to have the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department continue to be one of the best in the country. I have ridden with our officers, flown in the CMPD helicopter and toured the crime lab all to better understand the needs and challenges of the department.
In past budgets, I supported additional funding for the criminal justice system to ensure offenders are processed or face trial and sentencing in a fair and timely manner.
Charlotte firefighters are also responsible for keeping our neighborhoods safe. All neighborhoods in Charlotte deserve emergency response times that are six minutes or less. I support the construction of new fire stations to meet this goal.
Air quality is a regional issue and local governments must work together to address the problem. In Charlotte, we are adding hybrid cars and buses to our fleets and CATS has expanded its use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel in buses.
During droughts in the past, we became all too aware of the importance of a supply of clean drinking water. This too is a regional issue and requires cooperation among the many municipalities along the Catawba River.
As city facilities are built, green building and LEED principles and sustainability are incorporated into the plans. All of these issues are important to ensure a safe environment for future generations.
As chair of the Environmental Committee, I support the city's goal of having a 50% tree canopy coverage by the year 2050 by continuing to plant trees and working to protect our existing tree canopy.