Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 Greensboro City Council Elections: the At-Large Incumbents

     The 2017 At Large Greensboro City Council race is a crowded one.  The primary is tomorrow (October 10th) and the large list of candidates will be trimmed to 6 for the November election.  I am of the opinion that all three incumbents, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Mike Barber and Yvonne Johnson will survive the primary without much difficulty.  There are 5 challengers that "could" conceivably make it through depending on "which" voters turn out and "how many".  As with most elections featuring so many candidates I could be surprised but I feel certain that the contenders I believe will advance will be there on Wednesday.  My apologies for not reaching those folks before the primary.

Marikay Abuzuaiter

     Ms. Abuzuaiter lists her occupation as elected official.  She is a former local business owner and her husband is a current local business owner.  Her civic involvement includes Human Relations Committee Chair, International Advisory Committee, Concerned Citizens of Northeast Greensboro and the Greensboro Kiwanas Club.  As of the pre-primary campaign finance report dated 9-29-2017, she has raised $11,357.03.  The majority of her contributions appear to come from local, small business owners with no noticeably large contributions.  Her Facebook page is Marikay Abuzuaiter for Greensboro City Council at Large.
     Ms. Abuzuaiter lists her qualifying experiences as including 3 terms served on City Council, serving on several boards and commissions and her experience as a local small business owner.  She states that Greensboro's greatest obstacle is finding a way to market our assets and projects that include infrastructure and quality of life.  Regarding a living wage she states that she has served on the Economic and Development Committee and supports the 8/80 and 6/60 plans that relate to companies receiving tax considerations for hiring employees at livable wages in economically challenged areas.  She states that Greensboro's most pressing issue is poverty which creates a higher crime rate, health challenges, food insecurities and poor housing.  Ms. Abuzuaiter believes that continuing numerous initiatives by the Greensboro Police Department such as Neighborhood Oriented Policing will assist in improving police/community relations as well as "working together, not apart".
     Ms. Abuzuaiter has been criticized by other local publications as not being "active" enough or not  introducing new ideas or legislation during her time on the council.  Personally, I have come to appreciate her efforts more during the past two years.  I concur with her answers listed above and can attest to her very active civic involvement.  I am thrilled to hear a candidate refer to "infrastructure" as it is an area that has been neglected for several years.  She has demonstrated an ability to not simply follow the crowd on certain issues and has taken some abuse from her constituency for supporting the police.  She is the only incumbent or candidate in any race that I am aware of that has participated in the police department's Citizen Academy and has also participated in ride a longs.  As I have learned, she seems to be more assertive behind the scenes but in my opinion needs to be just as assertive in front.  She may be the least pretentious incumbent of the lot.

Mike Barber

     Mr. Barber is an attorney and the Executive Director of First Tee of the Triad.  His civic involvement includes serving as the Chair of the Family Children Services Annual Giving, Greensboro Sports Commission and is an adjunct professor for Elon University.  As of the pre-primary campaign finance report dated 10-2-2017, he has raised $27,800.72 that includes a $5,000.00 personal loan to his campaign.  He reports $3,100.00 contributed from other political committees.  His Facebook page is Re-Elect Mike Barber.
     Mr. Barber's qualifying experiences include 4 terms as a Greensboro City Council member, 1 term as a Guilford County Commissioner and his "ability to create compromise".  He states that Greensboro's greatest obstacle is "not recognizing that Greensboro has never been better positioned for success".  Regarding a living wage he states that the city must continue to evaluate and market PART and GTA transportation systems in challenged areas.  Mr. Barber feels that Greensboro's most pressing need is public safety as the city feels the effects of crime and drugs as well as improving the school systems effectiveness.  He feels that Greensboro has an "excellent" police department with an effective process for addressing public interaction issues.  He adds that continued community efforts as well as a "rigorous" evaluation of police candidates are also important.
     Mr. Barber originated and supported an across the board raise for working police officers, recognizing the manpower obstacles facing the department regarding a perceived lack of support from the council as well as the fact that the state's 3rd largest city was ranked 11th in salary.  The Greensboro Police Department has not been competitive.  When he speaks out it is usually with conviction.  I wish he would speak out more and I have told him so.  There is no denying that he is the most knowledgeable councilmember regarding state law and how it affects the city and understands that pissing off the General Assembly is a no win situation for a city lagging behind economically.  He is the most experienced "legislator".  Do I agree with him on everything?  No.  However, his presence on the council represents a moderate voice which we have far too few of on this council.

Yvonne Johnson

     Ms. Johnson is the Director of One Step Further.  Her many civic involvements include Concerned Citizens of Northeast Greensboro.  As of the pre-primary campaign finance report dated 10-2-2017, she reports raising $9,185.00 with a carry over from previous elections of $2,043.99.  Her significant contributors include Marty Kotis ($1000), Triad Good Government PAC ($500) and Replacements LTD ($500).  Her Facebook page is Yvonne Johnson City Council at Large.
     Her qualifying experiences are many, including 22 total years as a city council member and serving as Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem.  She has served on numerous civic committees.  Ms. Johnson states that Greensboro's greatest obstacle is "accepting and embracing our diversity" as well as improving police/community relations and reducing poverty.  She states that a living wage can be accomplished by targeting job training programs in the highest unemployment areas of the city and recruiting businesses that pay a living wage.  She states that Greensboro's most pressing need is to reduce Greensboro's poverty rate of 20% because poverty "breeds crime, drugs, gangs and guns".  In improving police/community relations  she states that continuing neighborhood policies and conducting meetings with police, faith community and neighborhoods working together.
     Ms. Johnson's well deserved reputation of being a calming influence on council is well documented.  Her position of establishing job training centers is one she has spoken of for several elections however, that never seems to be addressed to the point of fruition.  I am impressed that she has referred to one of Greensboro's worst economic indicators (poverty) and acknowledged the actual rate.  She usually carries the majority of the at large vote and her name recognition alone overcomes the need for raising large sums of money.  She may be the one candidate that seems to attract voting support from most parts of the city electorate. 

     Based on name recognition and past service I expect all three of these incumbents to survive tomorrow's primary vote.  After tomorrow we will have a better idea of which if any challengers may present a threat to unseat one or more.



next: The At Large Challengers






 





   
















           

19 comments:

  1. Re elect yvonne Johnson, fire Marikay (out of a cannon) and most importantly LITERALLY tar and feather the incompetent, arrogant racist mike barber. I hope karma comes to mike barber sooner than later. Perhaps heart disease will do what an angry mob should have done to that elitist coward many years ago.

    I notice NONE of the judgemental morons (like you) who bitch about my background have the guts to talk about it without several armed cops (or the internet) standing between us. This is because Barber is a lardass coward (like yyou) who can run their mouth all day and be under the delusion that there are no consequences.

    If Marikay and Barber are re elected there will be MANY more disruptions EVERY time they sell out the city to appease cops. I'd like that bigot Sal Leone to "jump over the dias and go after those protesters" like he was quoted. With the added bonus of SELF DEFENSE I could whip that ass for a while and be in the clear.

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  2. You were confronted on the street week before last by a retired officer while you were “picketing” the Rhino. Defend yourself? What, boo hoo to the Mayor again? Hide behind more aliases? Oh yeah, a real tough guy you are. LMAO

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  3. Some useless red neck who was too lazy to get his fat old was out of the car does not matter.

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  4. Sucks to be conservative on the city council. You have two wounds to lick.

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  5. No I dont. I no longer reside in the city. And four years from now Greensboro will be an anomaly; the only city in NC not prospering. This council will not br a friend to the poor any more than it has been. And now, they have no excuses. Greensboro just became Baltimore on the way to being Detroit. People like YOU are the big losers. I can afford to leave. Lol

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    1. Too many black people in those cities for you?

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  6. No, the black people are fine. It’s the white people like your fake ass that I dont like. But now whatever will you do? The council is loaded with your left wingers and even a couple of police haters. No excuses now. This city will continue to be run straight into the ground by YOUR politicians. Now who will you blame? We know you dont take responsibility for anything; its the left wing extremist way.

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    1. Anyone to the left of Jesse Helms or David Duke is a "left wing extremist" in your book. Once we can force the fatcats to give the stolen tuna back to the peasants things will be better.

      BOTH of us are peasants in the eyes of oligarchs like trump. Idiots think that a man who has been sued hundreds of times for treating the workers like crap will "make america great again" for the american worker.

      That is of course if the pussy graber doesn't get us in a nuclear holocaust, killing 1/2 of humanity in the meanwhile. We may all be radioactive ash in 4 years.

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  7. And anyone to the right of George Soros is a klansman as far as you are concerned. This aint about Trump. Its about a city council that has no leadership at the top and just elected three left wing extremist crackpots. Social issues dont feed poor people. This city is and has been sinking. And it just accelerated.

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  8. Because making sure people aren't beat up by the police is such an extreme thing.................................

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  9. Antagonizing police then making stuff up is

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  10. Sorta like GPD grand wizard Alvarez antagonizing black people and making stuff up for the magistrates statement and arrest report.

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  11. You know subversive, we are all in this together. You don't give a crap about other people, because they are not on your side. You talk about tolerance and open mindedness; but again if someone disagrees with your side, you think everyone needs your political enlightenment, and they are fascists. When it is you that shout down other people's side and when backed into a corner you scream the loudest, that everyone else is a racist or fascist. But what does that make you? yes the fascist.

    So check your white male privilege at the door when you show up to the next counsel meeting.

    I can only imagine what you witty response will be. I am sure you will call me all sorts of derogatory names.

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  12. I am intolerant of conservative intolerance. Using an invisible man in the sky as an excuse to be an anti gay or anti Muslim bigot. The "my invisible man in the sky is more relevant than your invisible man in the sky" bullshit is hilarious to an atheist.

    The hypocrisy of the conservative business person who says "it takes money to make money" but expects a poor person to "pull themselves up by the bootstrap" is profound and obscene.

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  13. “Intolerant of “conservative” intolerance”? So now we classify types of intolerance? And apparently that includes anyone of any faith in your “view” of allowable intolerance which would include virtually all of those poor black folks you claim to champion. Your just like Nelson Johnson. You dont give a damn about black or poor people. They are just a tool to use in yours and Nelson’s communist, anarchist agenda.

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  14. oh no the twin "nazis" strike again. they didn't read her, her miranda rights. Where does the misery stop?

    http://www.wfmynews2.com/news/local/greensboro-officers-help-82-year-old-rake-15-bags-of-leaves/497698975

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  15. In your universe cops beating up and targeting black people is washed out by raking leaves. They can rake the entire national arboretum for all I care, they cant begin to be trusted until longstanding accountability and transparency demands are met.

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