Editor's Note: The content included below was submitted by each candidate to Publisher Bill Bowman, and has only been edited by the production staff for spelling and punctuation.
Publisher's Note: These views are the candidates and their's alone and do not reflect the opinions of our newspaper. Up & Coming Weekly is not endorsing these candidates. These are views from citizens who want to contribute their time and talents to the community.

melvin In 1961, Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." This statement rings true even now, 60 years later.

In 2020, COVID-19 descended upon our nation, and at the time, we moved cautiously, many of us willing to follow the guidance of the CDC amidst the uncertainty. But as we learned more about the virus, that it has a 99.75% survivability rate, somehow the restrictions grew tighter, and the mandates began to affect every aspect of our lives.

At the same time, Fayetteville faced riots that ravaged our very own neighborhoods and small businesses. Police were attacked, racial tension reached an all-time high and the citizens of our fair city were more divided than ever.

It seemed our way of life, not only here in Fayetteville but through all of our country, was being turned on its head with no one seeking to set it right. I thought to myself; I could sit idly, grateful that my family was making it through, or I could do everything in my power to make a change for all of Fayetteville. I choose to make a change.

My name is Nyrell Melvin, and I am running for mayor here in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I ask for your vote that we may stand together for the values that make our city great.

Every single American has rights and freedoms granted by God and protected by the Constitution. It is the job of elected officials to protect those rights, not to take them away. Here, today, I stand for your freedoms.

According to the Constitution, I stand for every law-abiding citizen's right to "keep and bear arms." Our neighborhoods have seen a massive increase in violent crimes in the last two years, and Fayetteville citizens need to know that they can protect their homes and families.

I believe strong families are the building block of a thriving community, but the family unit is under attack. The worst attack on the family is abortion, America's greatest injustice of our time.

We've seen injustices cast lasting darkness upon the nation throughout our history, injustices such as slavery. But slavery, unlike abortion, was ultimately abolished, and today we look back in horror at its evils, all while we continue to slaughter nearly 3,000 unborn children every day. If elected, I vow to protect those innocent, defenseless lives, all while working to make adoption more accessible (and affordable) for those in our community who are praying for a child.

I also stand for strengthening and fully funding our local law enforcement. We know that when law enforcement is active and present, neighborhoods are safer. But instead, law enforcement budget cuts and layoffs are destroying many communities in this state in an era of defund the police.

Defunding the police means fewer officers responding to calls, fewer resources to investigate high-level crimes, and fewer neighborhoods with regular patrol to protect the families who live in areas plagued with rampant corruption. Today Fayetteville sees 1,839 violent crimes each year, nearly twice the state average, and it's only getting worse. Our current mayor, city manager and chief of police's crime prevention policies have proven ineffective and are costing families their loved ones.
It's time we recognize the importance and value of our law enforcement and the risks they take every day to keep us safe. If elected, I will continue to work closely with the local law enforcement agencies to stand for truth and justice to provide safe neighborhoods for our children to grow up in.

Part of crime prevention includes a focus on quality and sound education. I will not hesitate to say that I've had a troubled past. As a young man, I attended Tarheel Challenge Academy, a dropout recovery program that helps at-risk youth earn their high school diploma. The academy helped me gain the American values, life skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as a productive citizen.

But today, our public schools are failing to produce productive citizens. In North Carolina, only 57% of public school students have proficiency in English Language Arts, and only 59% have proficiency in math. Meanwhile, educators are spending precious class time teaching white students they are oppressors and teaching black students they are oppressed. I've seen it first hand. They are teaching radical sex education to students as young as kindergarten. Someone once said that "all education is a moral education." Therefore, we must be careful what morals are being taught to our children. That's why we need to get involved with public schools.
If elected, I will continue to work closely with the Cumberland County Board of Education to ensure our kids have the best opportunities to excel in not only reading, writing and arithmetic but also the arts and music, as well as financial literacy. I will work to ensure our children have the knowledge, skills, and values for a prosperous life. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."

Part of developing true character includes acknowledging our Creator. As a Christian, I found Christ on Easter Sunday in 2014, but it wasn't until I was in a jail cell that my life was radically changed for the better. And whether or not you believe in Christ, it's no secret that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Our religious heritage is embedded in our coins and in the language of our founding documents. As Reagan said, "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under."

One of the most outrageous aspects of the COVID lockdowns is the attack on the church. Many of us were told to stop gathering together, stop singing together, stop worshipping together. And more than an attack on our religious freedom, the attack on churches hurt the struggling families and the homeless in our community who rely on the services and support of the local church. Our local churches feed people spiritually and physically at no cost to the taxpayer. When many churches were forced to close or go online, our community was cut off from crucial spiritual and physical resources.

If elected, I will stand for moving forward from tyrannical, authoritarian COVID restrictions. I need you to really understand this with me. We're on year three of "fifteen days to slow the spread," and the goalposts continue to change daily.

To this day, we have no evidence that these lock downs and restrictions have made any difference. Right now, New York, a state with some of the strictest lockdown measures, has eight times the number of COVID cases per 100,000 people than Florida, a state with some of the fewest lockdown measures. We, the people, can see what works and what doesn't.

We cannot continue decimating our economy for a virus with a 99.75% survival rate, a virus with an average age of fatality that is higher than the average life expectancy, a virus that already has an established and easily accessible vaccine. I stand for moving from COVID restrictions to restore Fayetteville citizens' God-given and God-granted freedoms, which are Constitutionally protected.

If you choose to elect me as your mayor, I can promise you this one thing that I will wake up every single day fighting for these causes and more.

I will never give up on our future because I firmly believe that we can move forward together as one when we come together as Americans. John F. Kennedy once said, "United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do — for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder." And it's time for us to move forward from covid to make a better Fayetteville for tomorrow!

Again, my name is Nyrell Melvin, I stand with Fayetteville, and I am running to be your mayor. I would be honored to earn your vote. May God bless you, and May God bless America. Thank You!

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