District 2 Candidate Charles Osborne

What steps will you take (or have you taken) to ensure LGBTQ+ people are included in decision-making, including on advisory boards and commissions?

Attending LGBTQ+ events and conferences to engage with the community and listen to their perspectives.

• Building relationships with LGBTQ+ organizations and leaders to understand their needs and concerns.
• Creating a safe and inclusive environment where LGBTQ+ voices can be heard and valued.
• Soliciting input and feedback from LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations to inform decision-making.
• Providing training and resources to ensure understanding and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.

By attending LGBTQ+ events and taking these steps, we can demonstrate a genuine commitment to inclusivity and ensure that LGBTQ+ voices are represented in decision-making processes!

How would you rate the County's efforts in addressing rising cases of HIV/AIDS in Mecklenburg County? Please provide a rating of "Very Poor", "Below Average", "Average", "Above Average" or "Excellent", and why you provided this rating.
Do you support expanding the"Getting to Zero" Campaign for Mecklenburg County?

I would rate the County's efforts in addressing rising cases of HIV/AIDS in Mecklenburg County as "Above Average".

Mecklenburg County has implemented various initiatives to address the rising cases of HIV/AIDS, such as:

• Establishing the Mecklenburg County HIV/AIDS Task Force to coordinate responses and services.
• Providing free HIV testing and condom distribution programs.
• Offering comprehensive care and treatment services for those living with HIV/AIDS.
• Launching awareness campaigns to educate the public about prevention and stigma reduction.

While there is still work to be done, the County's proactive efforts demonstrate a commitment to addressing the issue. However, continued evaluation and improvement are necessary to achieve excellence in addressing the ongoing HIV/AIDS challenge.

Yes, I support expanding the "Getting to Zero" Campaign for Mecklenburg County. This campaign aims to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to treatment, and promote education and awareness. Expanding the campaign could enhance these efforts and help achieve the goal of zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma. Additional resources and outreach could be directed towards marginalized communities, youth, and those at higher risk. By supporting expansion, we can work towards a future where everyone has access to the care and support they need to thrive.

What actions do you support (or have you supported) to ensure people have equitable access (including transportation and housing) to jobs that provide a living wage, including supporting minority-owned businesses? How are you addressing the Leandro ruling to ensure equitable access to education? 

I would rate Mecklenburg County's efforts as Average. There are several contributing factors for my rating of "Average". The county's Getting to Zero campaign planning stage began during an unfortunate time--the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite that fact, I believe the county did an admirable job of pivoting to Zoom meetings to keep conversations about the strategy from being dormant. However, it does not appear from current reporting, which I believe is lacking in transparency, that the county is on track to hit their self-imposed goals of the four key indicators by 2025. There should be clearly communicated benchmarks for each of the goals in the key indicators to diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond to the HIV pandemic. I do support the Getting to Zero campaign, but a good strategy is always flexible enough to pivot on areas where forward progress is not being made. In this case, I do not believe there is enough data to support whether the strategy has made forward progress.

What will you do (or have you done) to maintain equitable access to green spaces and parks in Mecklenburg County? What plans do you have to ensure affordable housing is accessible to Mecklenburg County residents?

To maintain equitable access to green spaces and parks, I would:

• Develop and implement inclusive and equity-focused park planning processes.
• Identify and address systemic barriers to access, such as transportation or lack of amenities.
• Invest in parks and green spaces in underserved communities.
• Promote community-led initiatives and partnerships to enhance cultural relevance and programming.

Regarding affordable housing, I would:

• Advocate for policies supporting affordable housing development and preservation.
• Increase funding for programs assisting low-income residents with housing costs.
• Encourage inclusive zoning and land-use policies, allowing diverse housing options.
• Foster public-private partnerships to leverage resources and expertise.
• Support community land trust models and community benefit agreements.

By implementing these strategies, I aim to ensure equitable access to green spaces and parks and increase affordable housing options, promoting a more equitable and livable Mecklenburg County for all residents.

What actions do you
support (or have you supported) to ensure people have equitable access to jobs that provide a living wage, including supporting minority-owned businesses? How are you addressing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities to ensure equitable outcomes for students in our public schools, including through adequate funding?

To ensure equitable access to living-wage jobs and support minority-owned businesses, I support actions like:

• Providing job training and mentorship programs with a focus on underrepresented groups.
• Implementing inclusive hiring practices and anti-discrimination policies.
• Offering resources and funding for minority-owned businesses, such as low-interest loans and business incubators.
• Encouraging diversity in industries with historically low representation.
• Advocating for living wage policies and benefits for all workers.

Regarding public schools, I address disparities by supporting the local school bond and:

• Advocating for equitable funding distribution to schools in underserved areas.
• Supporting programs focused on closing achievement gaps, like tutoring and mentorship initiatives.
• Promoting culturally responsive teaching practices and diverse curricula.
• Encouraging community partnerships for wrap-around services and family support.
• Implementing restorative justice practices to address systemic racism and discipline disparities.

By taking these actions, I aim to create equitable opportunities for students and workers, addressing systemic barriers and promoting inclusive growth in Mecklenburg County.

In 2020, the County Commission declared racism a public health crisis. What steps do you support (or have you supported) to address the racial inequities that exist in Mecklenburg County? These include but are not limited to environmental racism, overpolicing, and healthcare access.

To address racial inequities in Mecklenburg County, I support steps like:

• Creating an equity office and dedicated funding stream to advance racial equity initiatives.
• Conducting racial equity assessments and impact analyses for policies and programs.
• Implementing policies to address environmental racism, like stricter zoning regulations and community-led decision-making.
• Advocating for community policing models, de-escalation training, and demilitarization of law enforcement.
• Expanding access to affordable healthcare, mental health services, and culturally competent care.
• Developing education and workforce programs to address systemic barriers to economic mobility.
• Engaging in community-led participatory budgeting and planning processes.

By taking these steps, I aim to address the systemic issues driving racial inequities in Mecklenburg County and work towards a more just and equitable society for all residents.

Any other accomplishments or priorities you'd like our Scorecard Committee to consider?

Thank you for including me in your endorsement process. I look forward to having your support.