STEELE CREEK NEWS
Meet the At-Large City Council Candidates
20, 2019) Five candidates are running in the 2019 General Election
for At-Large seats on the Charlotte City Council. The candidates are
James (Smuggie) Mitchell, and
Winston II, and Republican challenger
The Steele Creek Residents Association
intended to provide our
residents with information on all these candidates through a candidate questionnaire specific to
Steele Creek that we provided to the candidates on October 11. We requested responses
from the candidates by October 19, but have only
received two response as of October 20. Below are the responses from
Dimple Ajmera and Julie Eiselt. Questions are in ALL CAPS. Responses
are in blue.
For more information on the 2019
including the Early Voting sites and hours, a complete candidate listing, election schedule, and other information, see
Charlotte Municipal Election Voting Guide. Early Voting begins on
October 21 at the Old Hollywood Video at 11130
S Tryon Street, and the Election is on November 5 at precinct
polling locations. Please note that the polling location for
Precinct 230 has moved to the Berewick Recreation Center. (Enter the
gym from the bus lot in the back of the building.)
Ajmera left a lucrative career to become
a public servant since 2017 (City Council District 5). Prior, she
served on the Board of Commissioners of the Charlotte Housing
Authority. Ajmera is currently Charlotte City Council At-Large
running for re-election.
East Charlotte for Five Years
CAMPAIGN CONTACT (NAME, PHONE,
Dimple Ajmera • 704.956.7114 •
1. PLEASE STATE WHY YOU ARE RUNNING
We must ensure our City Council lifts up every
resident of Charlotte no matter their zip code. I want to continue
the momentum of my historic win. I am a proven candidate running on
tangible achievements to address issues that include Public Safety,
Affordable Housing, the Environment, Women’s Equality, Economic
Development and Infrastructure. As an immigrant and woman, I have a
passion for being a leader and positive role model for individuals
whom might otherwise live in the shadows.
2. IF ELECTED,
WHAT WILL BE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES?
accomplishments include: St. John’s affordable housing development;
affordable health care for city employees; neighborhood and safety
town halls; Eastland redevelopment; entrepreneurship boot camps;
championing an equitable Cross-Charlotte Trail; and spearheading
the SEAP, the city’s first-ever framework to transition to a low
carbon future. It takes six votes to get approval on City Council.
It takes a champion to fight for the people of every zip code.
3. ARE YOU WILLING TO COMMIT TO SUPPORTING ONLY THOSE REZONING
PETITIONS IN STEELE CREEK THAT MEET THE GUIDELINES OF THE MOST
RECENT 2012 STEELE CREEK DISTRICT AREA PLAN AND/OR THAT PROVIDE
TANGIBLE BENEFITS TO RESIDENTS?
Just two decades ago, Steele
Creek was practically rural. Not that long again, an Uptown commute
was 30 minutes; now upwards of an hour. With an influx of
approximately 21,900 people annually to Charlotte, we as a Council
must support smart, sustainable growth as presented in the Steele
Creek District Plan and adopted by City Council. As a member of the
Transportation Committee, I am well aware of traffic issues in
Steele Creek and throughout Charlotte. I support the 2030 Transit
System Corridor Plan. I also believe in the short and long-term
policies accommodating vehicles, transit, bicycles and pedestrians.
4. WHAT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE FOR ADDRESSING TRAFFIC CONGESTION
SPECIFICALLY IN STEELE CREEK AND THE GREATER CHARLOTTE AREA IN
As stated, I am a member of the Transportation
Committee and continue to have my finger on the pulse of the
critical issues surrounding smart, sustainable growth. While I feel
this has been addressed in previous questions, I am happy to
discuss further with any members of your association. Reach out to
me at Dimple@DimpleAjmera.com and I will contact you personally.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT NECESSARY
INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS FOR SCHOOLS, ROADS, AND PARKS ARISING
FROM RAPID POPULATION AND BUSINESS GROWTH?
Many of these
issues are not in my purview but am proud to have championed
equitable transportation and recreation options, especially for the
Cross-Charlotte Trail. I was steadfast in my belief that “the city
should fulfill its obligation to voters who approved bonds for a
comprehensive trail through the whole city. We are in the business
of equity." Part of Phase I is to help Charlotte reach its vision
of becoming a true "City of Bikes." This aligns my beliefs as an
environmentalist. All of these are “quality of life” issues that go
hand-in-hand with economic development.
6. WHAT MAKES YOU
THE BEST CANDIDATE TO SERVE CHARLOTTE AND STEELE CREEK COMMUNITY
As an At-Large candidate, I represent all of
Charlotte, not just certain zip codes. I am consistent in my
7. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE THE 75,000 RESIDENTS OF
STEELE CREEK VOTERS KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Environmental issues are
near and dear to my heart. I chaired the Environment Committee and
helped Charlotte become a global leader in sustainability with
bipartisan support. We won the American Cities Climate Challenge
and receive $2.5 million from former Mayor Bloomberg’s foundation.
I am a fighter. I vote my values, not special interests. Our
challenges remain great, but our determination is greater. We will
For more information see
Currently serving a second term as City Council as an at-large
representative, and as Mayor Pro Tem.
I spent career in international banking and corporate
international treasury primarily in the Latin American and East
of Dilworth neighborhood for six
1. PLEASE STATE WHY
YOU ARE RUNNING FOR OFFICE.
In 2007, I was nearly abducted
at gun point, which led me to found the community advocacy group
Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte. Since then, I have worked closely
with the police department, the District Attorney, and the courts
as both a community member and an elected official to try and
combat the rise in violent crime in our community. This work
brought me closer to city government and exposed many of the deeper
systemic inadequacies that require thoughtful policy-making. I
bring the same energy and determination to helping solve these
issues as I brought to the work that first got my involved in
advocacy and organizing.
2. IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL BE YOUR
I am committed to making sure that citizens
have a voice in the 2040 Comprehensive Vision Plan. We need to be
strategic in locating development density along planned public
transit corridors and limit it along corridors that have limited
mass transit potential. In those quarters such as Highway 160, we
need to consider bus rapid transit routes and other such pilot
programs to alleviate traffic congestion. We also have to work
towards reducing the time of the average journey on public transit
to increase economic mobility and give people hours back in their
day. And we must ensure that Charlotte’s growth is managed in such
a way so as to be sustainable for everyone, not displacing
long-term residents but instead making our city an equitable and
inclusive place for everyone to live.
I will continue to
work closely with grassroots neighborhood organizations to empower
them with the resources and the tools they need to prevent crime
before it happens through services like the Jump Start Microgrant
program, which I initiated during my first term on City Council.
3. ARE YOU WILLING TO COMMIT TO SUPPORTING ONLY THOSE
REZONING PETITIONS IN STEELE CREEK THAT MEET THE GUIDELINES OF THE
MOST RECENT 2012 STEELE CREEK DISTRICT AREA PLAN AND/OR THAT
PROVIDE TANGIBLE BENEFITS TO RESIDENTS?
I have been a vocal
advocate for approving rezonings that fit what is called for in an
Area Plan, unless there is a public good or benefit that warrants
4. WHAT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE FOR ADDRESSING
TRAFFIC CONGESTION SPECIFICALLY IN STEELE CREEK AND THE GREATER
CHARLOTTE AREA IN GENERAL?
We need to make our bus system
more efficient and modern so that people choose to ride the bus as
a mobility option, rather than depend on a single-occupancy
vehicle. However, the current average one-way bus trip in Charlotte
takes 90 minutes, so those who have a choice are not likely to take
the bus. We ought to be get that travel time to or below a half
hour, on modern buses that provide Internet access. By investing in
modern and efficient bus service, we create a system that meets the
needs of working people across neighborhoods, income levels, and
types of employment, making transit options more diverse and more
5. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT
NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS FOR SCHOOLS, ROADS, AND PARKS
ARISING FROM RAPID POPULATION AND BUSINESS GROWTH?
to assess our entire regional transit needs and come up with
various financing scenarios such as what we could expect from state
and federal sources. If we were to truly be visionary, we would
start the discussion of a multi-county bond, along with
public-private partnerships for capital projects, and more
innovative tax and fee systems to be able to support increased
service provision should it prove to outpace the growth of the tax
6. WHAT MAKES YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE TO SERVE
CHARLOTTE AND STEELE CREEK COMMUNITY RESIDENTS?
When I see a
need, I take action. I bring a unique attitude and determination to
solve problems to my role on City Council, rooted in my own
experience in making government work for the community, and in the
many conversations I have had with residents all across town and
making sure their concerns are heard by staff and by my colleagues
on Council. I also bring a much-needed professional background in
banking and finance to City leadership as we continue to explore
options for how to pay for increasing capital improvements.
7. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE THE 75,000 RESIDENTS OF STEELE
CREEK VOTERS KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I am married to a great guy,
and we have three wonderful kids. We have lived in Charlotte for 21
years. I look at the work that I do on Council as foundational to
building a city where my children will want to live and raise their
families. The work we do now is for the next generation, and we
have a duty to make it even better than what we leave behind.
For more information see
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