07KirkIt is time to change the conversation in this city. And to change the conversation, you must change the leadership. For Fayetteville to become a stronger more progressive city it must represent the priorities of the entire city and not just certain areas. I have worked over the last two years to reduce the inequalities that will hinder our future growth in District 2 and I am ready to work to reduce these inequalities throughout Fayetteville.

We have heard across the city that the change people want for Fayetteville is not reflected in its current priorities of our current mayor. Other city leaders say they also care about the inequalities we see but what have they done to help change this issue other than talk about what they could do. When we have 25 percent of our city living in poverty and these same leaders are barely having conversations about it, helping our people is clearly not their priority. When leaders say they are “bringing jobs” to Fayetteville, knowing these jobs pay less than a living wage, perpetuate generational poverty and forego innovative growth possibilities, then they aren’t seeing the big picture because they aren’t bringing the right kinds of jobs to Fayetteville. When leaders aren’t working to revitalize our overlooked and blighted neighborhoods, they aren’t focused on the right priorities. If city leaders aren’t actively partnering with our military, county and educational institutions to transition our workforce, they don’t have the right priorities. And unfortunately, our current leader is not having these conversations at all. It takes hard work to create the type of change we want in our city. I have rolled up my sleeves, working alongside many of you, to improve Fayetteville and I am ready to continue. This is not rhetoric. Please look at my track record of hard work in our community over the last 17 years — elected office or not.

I will continue to champion the work already in progress to achieve our shared vision for Fayetteville. It is work on collaborative initiatives like our Innovation Corridor that positions us to leverage statewide projects like BRIGHT Futures (www.ncbrightfutures. org) and grow our economy in the markets of cyber security and innovative next generation markets in partnership with local universities/colleges and private businesses. Our work includes an initiative to address poverty called “Pathways for Prosperity” (www.pathwaysforprosperity.org) that is creating a community conversation along with a series of action steps with a goal of changing the generational poverty we see in our city. We are continuing the efforts and concepts of “My Brother’s Keeper” to enhance collaboration and grow a community youth mentorship program. These initiatives, coupled with the current city council’s success in building new parks and recreation facilities, increased downtown capital investment, our new baseball stadium, use of local contracting, and Murchison Road development all align to move Fayetteville on a path toward this shared vision.

We need an innovative and driven mayor that can lead our city’s transformation and understands we all grow stronger when the county, school systems, and other municipalities grow with us and have a shared vision. We need a mayor who will stand committed to changing the future of Fayetteville. We deserve a leader who believes in collaboration and construction, not confrontation and obstruction. I am asking for your vote and I am asking you to join me if you believe that we still have work to do in creating a stronger city. I may not have been born here. I may not have gone to high school here. But Fayetteville is my home, it is my wife’s home, it is our new son’s home and it is your home. Let’s make it  better together.

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