Mayoral election to be held next month

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The race for the 49th mayor of Greensboro is underway. The primary election will be held on Oct. 10 and the general election on Nov. 7. With Nancy Vaughan’s announcement that she will be running for reelection, the mayoral race is between Vaughan, Diane Moffett and John Brown.

Vaughan is the incumbent mayor running for her third term. She is a democrat and wants to create a safe atmosphere for people from all walks of life.

During her most recent term, Vaughan established Greensboro as a “Stranger to Neighbor City,” which is similar to a sanctuary city.

“Our police officers are not ICE officers, and we are going to welcome people like we always have. The city of Greensboro needs to be a safe haven,” said Vaughan during a protest in downtown Greensboro on Jan. 27, according to the Carolina Peacemaker.

In order to make the city safer, Vaughan also installed over 700 free smoke alarms, worked to improve interactions between Greensboro and the police force and established community and youth programs. Vaughan has also attempted to combat Greensboro’s crime rate, as the city is more dangerous than 91% of cities across the U.S, according to Neighborhood Scout.

“(Vaughan) knows that it is important to take steps to ensure public safety so that everyone’s health and everyday lives are secure,” says Vaughan’s campaign website.

If reelected, Vaughan plans on continuing to fund public safety and focusing on properly staffing police stations and equipping officers. She also has ideas for improving the economy of Greensboro.

During Vaughan’s second term in office, the city borrowed $126 million to spend on parks and recreation, housing development and transportation projects.

“These projects will contribute significantly to economic growth and job creation for Greensboro,” says Vaughan’s campaign website. Diane Moffett is another democratic candidate with similar economic plans as Vaughan. She wants to create more dignified jobs with livable wages.

“I believe a $15 an hour minimum wage is the minimal we can do,” said Moffett in a phone interview.

As another aspect of her economic platform, Moffett plans on creating what she calls a Mayor’s Business Roundtable, which will work with the Chamber of Commerce and other agencies to improve economic growth in Greensboro.

In addition to her desire to increase wages and improve economic growth, Moffett also feels that having a talented workforce is important.

“Some people never go to college and still have great skills to offer,” Moffett said in a phone interview. “I want to sit down and talk about what jobs we can create.”

Even though she believes that college is not the only way to develop skills, Moffett has a pro-education platform.

Moffett plans on improving the quality and funding of education and hopes to increase the number of people who remain and work in the Greensboro area after graduating from schools in the area.

As a member of the Greensboro community, Moffett has been involved in a number of community projects, including some sponsored by her church. She is a doctor of divinity, has had three sermons and one book published and is a guest lecturer at a number of schools such as Winston-Salem University.

Moffett wants to create a strong Greensboro community and improve relationships between the police and people of all races and ethnicities, which she believes involves hiring police officers and public safety officials that reflect the diversity of the city.

“The safety and morale of all citizens impact the spirit of the city,” says Moffett’s campaign website. “Every resident should expect equal protection under the law.” An overarching goal of Moffett’s is community.

“(I want) to create a healthy city,” said Moffett in a phone interview. “A place where we are breathing clean air, water is free of contaminants. (I want) basic morale and energy, and I’d like to see it evenly dispersed.”

John Brown, the republican candidate for mayor, has been a Greensboro resident for 30 years and has worked for Jessup Service Company for 16 years. He has a stance on police and community that differs from those of Vaughan and Moffett.

Brown plans to remove Greensboro’s “Stranger to Neighbor City” status and increase ICE patrols and presence. Brown also hopes to remove many restrictions on police and to increase funding that flows to public safety institutions.

In order to promote public safety, Brown wants to decrease Greensboro’s crime rate.

“Violent crime rise is not just a blip, it’s not a cycle, it’s an ongoing problem,” said Brown in a phone interview.

While Vaughan and Brown both want to decrease crime, on the subject of taxes, the opinions of the two differ.

Brown wants to overhaul taxes and to cut the budget of the city by 1 percent, except in the area of public safety. He believes that the city’s budget is too high.

“Durham is nine percent smaller than Greensboro. Their government is 28 percent smaller,” said Brown in a phone interview. “Spending $10 million a week with a (declining) population. It just can’t continue.”

For more information about each of the candidates and their platforms, visit their websites.