Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Update or Tornado Response Efforts

It has been just two short weeks since Raleigh experienced the devastating storms. In that time, a tremendous amount of work has been done. Raleigh suffered more than $115 million in damage. 138 homes were destroyed, along with 8 businesses. Many roads were closed, and thousands of residents went several days without power, cable, or telephone.

Also, four young lives were lost as a result of the storms. I extend my sincere condolences to the families and friends of these four children.

Citizens of Raleigh have done an outstanding job in the recovery efforts since the storm. Neighbors have worked together, various volunteer groups have formed, and the City has put together more than 25 cleanup crews. More than 100,000 cubic yards of debris have been collected. In just two short weeks, many places are nearing normalcy.

For those who still have work to be done, please contact the City. There are several groups prepared and waiting to help! Also, the City's Yard Waste Center is waiving the standard fee for Raleigh home owners.

The City is also hosting a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the Chavis Park Community Center. Staff is available for assistance seven days a week, from 7am-7pm. For more information please send an email to

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Candidacy for Mayor of Raleigh!

This morning, I announced my candidacy for Mayor of Raleigh!

I have lived in Raleigh for 27 years. I have raised a family, and started and grown a business here. During that time, Raleigh has experienced a lot of growth and change. We have seen Raleigh emerge as a place that consistently tops the rankings of "Best Places to Live," "Best Places for Business," and "Best Places to Raise a Family."

What sets our city apart is a tremendous collaborative spirit that unites our diverse interests to create this outstanding community. But even as great as we are, we can be even better! We are not the incredible city we are today by accident. It was careful planning that brought us here.

As we grow, we will face challenges. It is important that we plan carefully to accommodate our expected growth, so that we continue to enjoy the safe, beautiful, prosperous city that we love.

I have a vision for Raleigh as a true world class city that provides choices as to how we live, work, and play. I want to make sure that we always retain the beauty and charm that makes us Raleigh! I am ready to lead Raleigh and chart a successful course for tomorrow and the next twenty years.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Raleigh. I am proud of what Raleigh has become, and I am excited to lead Raleigh into the future!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Recognizing Raleigh!

In the last few weeks, our City has received two awards that I wanted to share with you all! The first I would like to share with you came from the United States Chamber of Commerce. Raleigh has been recognized as the 2011 Siemens Sustainable Mid-Size Community of the Year! The award recognizes a commitment to cultivating a green economy. US Chamber Executive Vice President, David Chavern was on hand, along with Alison Taylor, Vice President of Sustainability to present the award to Mayor Meeker, and Harvey Schmitt of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. This award is a great honor to our community!

From left to right: Julian Prosser, assistant City manager, Mayor Meeker, Harvey Schmitt, Paula Thomas, the City's sustainability manager

Raleigh has also been recognized for our Petro Reduction Policy. The award was presented as part of the fifth annual North Carolina Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy (CARE) Awards. The CARE Awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts that are advancing alternative fuel and transportation technology activities in our state. In 2008, Raleigh passed a resolution mandating a reduction in consumption and put into place a fuel consumption budget. The City has also done a great job of encouraging and facilitating the use of electric vehicles.

I am happy to be a part of a community with such a focus on sustainable initiatives, within our local economy and energy consumption policies!

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Weekend's Tornadoes

Raleigh City Staff has recovery efforts well under way after the tornadoes over the weekend, and lots of progress has already been made. If you would like to help, please click here to find out more about various volunteer opportunities going on throughout our area.

My thoughts are with all of those who have been affected by the storms. Thank you to everyone who has already pitched in to help neighbors and friends with damage!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dream Big, Little Pig!

This week, I was invited to the Guilded Lily Gift Shop at Duke Raleigh Hospital for Kristi Yamaguchi's book signing. Kristi recently released her first children's book: Dream Big, Little Pig. The book tells the delightful story of Poppy the Pig, who is chasing her dreams of being a ballerina, singer, and model! It was a pleasure to meet Kristi, and it was great to see so many families enjoying her book!

A special thanks to Laura Raynor for putting the event together!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Upcoming Events!

There are several exciting events coming up around Raleigh that I wanted to let everyone know about!

The first is the Viva Raleigh Festival, taking place this Saturday at the Spring Forest Road Park. The Viva Raleigh Festival intends to connect local Spanish-speaking residents with public programs and services. There will members of the City's Community Services Department on hand, along with representatives from more than fifty local non-profit organizations. There will also be live music and plenty of activities for children! For more information, please contact Aracelys Torrez in the Community Services Department at 996-5717. Another upcoming event that I wanted to let you all know about is the WakeUp Wake County Forum being held on Thursday, April 14 at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. The forum centers around Wake County's water and sewer needs as the County continues to grow. There will be several staff members from the City and County on hand to answer questions and discuss the future of Wake County's water supply. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the challenges and complexities of maintaining a high-quality water and sewer system in a rapidly growing community. In July, Raleigh will host the Plug-In 2011 Conference and Exposition. This is the first time that the conference is not being held in California, and we are thrilled that they are coming east! The conference is being held at the Convention Center, July 18-21. It will include four plenary sessions, sessions on component and infrastructure technologies, pilot programs, PEV/PHEV readiness plans, and discussion of future opportunities for the plug-in industry. Raleigh has been recognized as a national leader in preparation for PEV/PEHV vehicles, and I am excited to learn more about how we can continue on the same path!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

DWWC Luncheon

This week, I had the opportunity to join the Democratic Women of Wake County for lunch. I was invited to be part of a panel, along with fellow Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin and former Councilor James West, to discuss the future of the Triangle region.

It was a great discussion, with lots of fantastic questions and input! Thanks again to the DWWC for inviting me to join you, I enjoyed it very much!