A Safe City

Diversity has always been one of Raleigh’s greatest strengths. We see diversity in the various industries, people groups, and attractions in our city. We must continually nurture community relations so that all groups are welcome and feel welcome at the table as stakeholders.There is no denying the horrifying polarization and segregation occurring in our country. I believe that this must be addressed on every level, starting with local politics. Communities that work together and that are considered safe attract newcomers, new businesses, and build community bonds that impact future generations. More thoughtful community partnerships and initiatives, and professional development to support public servants, can address the concerns surrounding community relations and community safety.

How:

  • Build thoughtful community partnerships and initiatives and professional development to support public servants and address the concerns surrounding community relations and community safety.

  • Leverage the School Resource Officer position to create culture and climate training.

  • Engage Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles which are designed to prevent crime by designing spaces which make crimes difficult to commit.

We can continue to keep people safe through our policies, planning stages, and community engagement. We need to better support our officers in enhancing community relations and safety. Many of our officers are staffed as school resource officers and we can take a step as a city to offer climate and culture training, in conjunction with the current training offered.

We need to have the difficult discussion of why 67% of people arrested for low-level marijuana offenses in Wake County are black, while only making up 21% of the population. In comparison, white people make up 69% of the population and account for 32% of arrests.

We need to discuss how we will do better as a city in protecting our immigrant communities. We need to have these conversations to break down barriers in our community, so we can keep raising Raleigh. Raleigh should be a place where immigrants don’t feel scared to live their daily lives in fear of deportation. Research shows cities that are safe spaces are safer because undocumented immigrants are more likely to cooperate with police and have identification. We have to work together to find ways to keep families together and address the needs of children who have been separated from their loved ones.

We need to have these conversations to break down barriers in our community, so we can keep raising Raleigh.

Keeping everyone in Raleigh safe from forms of injustices starts from the planning stages. Our planners should be encouraged to use CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles, which prevent crime by designing spaces where it’s hard for crimes to take place; this also makes law enforcement's’ jobs easier, allowing them to focus more resources on positive community engagement.

Additionally, everyone has the right to the sidewalks and all public pathways, yet the city is slow to fix unnavigable sidewalks in poorer neighborhoods. Especially now, we need to be careful to make sure we don’t design people out of city spaces. This means no more Camden benches in public spaces (made to be uncomfortable on purpose), no more broken sidewalks, and ensuring that pedestrian pathways are well-lit at night.

I believe that the only way we can see Raleigh rise up is by focusing on the strong diversity in our community. In choosing to embrace our diversity, we must create equal opportunities for all Raleigh residents, because that is what makes us truly great. It’s time to elect leaders that understand that. We need to address the issues to break down barriers in our community, so we can keep Raleigh thriving. Because when we all thrive, we all rise.