Raleigh District D City Council Candidates
Sept. 8, 2019, 6:40 p.m.
District D has four declared candidates: Kay Crowder (the incumbent), Saige Martin, Brittany Bryan and April Parker. Crowder has been in Raleigh for her entire life and lived in District D for over thirty years. This is longer than it appears that Martin and Parker have been on this earth. Brittany Brian hails from Nashville and has lived in Raleigh for the past 13 years. Based on Parker's website, which doesn't have much towards policy proposals and does have a gallery with many shots of the candidate, her aspirations to city council are unconvincing and I won't be covering her further in this post.
Crowder has a background in the private sector, though she has been on city council for over four years. She says she tries to attend as many neighborhood advisory council meetings as possible. She also has multiple meet-and-greets scheduled every week until the election, making herself eminently available to the public. She is strongly against the RDU Authority's plan to lease airport land to a mining company, and notes that the council is hung 4-to-4 and in order to intervene needs a seat flipped. Like all of the candidates, she believes making affordable housing available is extremely important as Raleigh's economy continues to expand and develop. She is least convincing with her priorities around public transportation--though she intimates she's concerned with improving access to roads for pedestrians and bikes, her stated priorities are around improving bus service and she doesn't mention bike paths at all. She also goes out of her way to exclaim how great District D's roads are. This is disappointingly true only for those in automobiles.
Saige Martin is a 28-year-old graduate student at NC State's college of design. His background is primarily in government, having worked for the UN and then on the Obama and Clinton campaigns. His government leadership experience seems to be limited to having served as student body president his sophomore year at the University of Hawaii. He's concerned primarily with affordable housing, addressing homelessness, making city council more accessible to those of us who aren't able to attend meetings during working hours, and improving mass- and multi-modal transportation options in Raleigh. Unlike Crowder, he specifically mentions the need for better pedestrian access and more bike lanes!
Brittany Bryan appears to be very involved in Raleigh politics, through her attendance at Neighborhood Advisory Council meetings and Raleigh Neighborhood College. She has a lot of great ideas for how she believes Raleigh should develop, including detailed plans for improving public transportation, ensuring Raleigh continues to have affordable housing, engaging not just Raleigh's homeowners but renters too (who make up 48% of the population), and encouraging the development of additional greenspaces. She has regular meetings over coffee in the mornings with potential constituents at a local Dunkin Doughnuts.
I like Bryan's ideas for Raleigh the best but am holding off on deciding who I'll support until speaking with a few of them at community forums.