Marjorie Molina - Charlotte City Council District 5
Candidate's Questionnaire Answers:
How will you ensure LGBTQ+ people are fairly represented on advisory boards and commissions? Do you support the creation of an LGBTQ+ Liaison on staff to better communicate and represent LGBTQ+ issues within the City Manager's office?
We are fortunate in the City of Charlotte to have two members of council that are outstanding advocates representing the community. They have been essential in driving initiatives that support the community forward and have gained substantial support from other council members, including myself. We took and important step recently as a body to include the Chamber’s representation, which I was proud to support and participate in the subsequent celebration. I have so much respect for so many of the leaders out front and I admire your work, your embrace of community, and your willingness to be visible and present for the work to pull Charlotte forward.
What will you do (or have you done) to address the affordable housing crisis that plagues Charlotte? What plans do you have to ensure Charlotte develops sustainably for future generations?
This fiscal year the current council has approved approximately 1200 incremental new affordable housing units through actions. In November of 2022, the City of Charlotte obligated $20 million in support of 705 units that previously received Housing Trust Fund awards but had yet to close their financing and commence construction. This action preserved financial viability of the projects. In 2023 we worked to establish infrastructure internally and externally to reduce displacement through modifications of existing programs and establishing new ones. I know we can not build our way out of the affordable housing crisis, but it is my personal belief that we deploy every resource in our toolbox to address the issue as efficiently and effectively as possible with the resources we’re allocated.
What actions do you support (or have you supported) to ensure people's jobs pay a wage sufficient enough to live and thrive in Charlotte? What next steps and investments do you support to strengthen the Corridors of Opportunity?
This council recently approved the $3.4 billion annual budget that included up to an 11% increase in compensation for our lowest paid hourly staff for the City of Charlotte. The City is also kicking off an initiative called HIRE Charlotte that seeks to support the growth and development of a strong workforce and create a path for upward mobility. Most importantly, in June 2023, we announced Daniel Frazier, previously CEO of Charlotte Works, will be joining our team as a member of the City Manager’s office, to sharpen our iron in targeting areas of opportunity in the Charlotte workforce. The Corridors of Opportunity program is, I feel, one of the most important programs in the City’s recent history to address the lack of emphasis on communities of extreme need across our city. The program’s design encourages the ongoing identification and implementation of business districts - to which I am a big fan, supports safety initiatives, infrastructure needs, projects, and so much more. It’s a bright jewel in our toolbox and I look forward to the deployment of resources in the Albemarle Road Corridor where I represent.
What specific actions do you support (or have you supported) to address the racial inequities and lack of economic mobility in Charlotte?
I am a bilingual, black woman raising multi-racial, multiethnic, and multicultural children. My life is my strongest message and pinnacle in how I show up in leadership, in life, and our community. I have had the great honor to be welcomed with love in cultures that aren’t my own and be gifted experiences that can’t be translated without a relatable experience. Experience is key. I also represent a district that is over 60% Black and Brown with long standing areas of opportunity around economic mobility. Some highlights in his that’s shown up in my work on council is through a few funding highlights. We increased the support 3Xs for organizations that serve or are led by ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American).
What actions do you support (or have you supported) to create a transportation network that provides people with efficient, affordable, and timely options to get around the city? What steps do you believe are necessary to address the inefficiencies and safety issues with CATS?
Through the transition from the former CEO to the current interim CEO challenges and issues within CATS have come to light over the past several months since I’ve joined the council. The problems will take time to resolve and I am prepared to work with council and over time to address the challenges around safety and inefficiency. The most recent announcement, particularly beneficial to East Charlotte, is that the rapid transit bus lines, closed since 2017, that stretch down Independence Blvd will reopen. That’s an encouraging first step considering several of the residents I represent travel outside of the district to work.