Re­vamped pan­els about ac­tion, not align­ment

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Opinion - BY VI LYLES - SPE­CIAL TO THE OB­SERVER Lyles is Mayor of Charlotte.

Charlotte is evolv­ing at a rapid pace, with more than 100 peo­ple mov­ing to the re­gion each day.

In striv­ing to in­te­grate those new com­mu­nity mem­bers, wel­come new busi­nesses, grow our econ­omy, and im­prove the over­all qual­ity of life for all, we have come to re­al­ize that the siloed ap­proach to lead­er­ship and gov­er­nance that once found a com­fort­able place in this Govern­ment Cen­ter can­not and should not con­tinue.

Our city is chang­ing. The Charlotte City Coun­cil, like other parts of city govern­ment, must work to stream­line our ap­proach to in­crease our ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­ciency in the way we serve this com­mu­nity.

It’s all about ac­tion, not align­ment.

It is in this spirit that I, just as my pre­de­ces­sors have done, re­struc­tured the city coun­cil’s com­mit­tees. Fol­low­ing re­search and de­tailed anal­y­sis, we de­ter­mined it in Charlotte’s best in­ter­ests to move be­yond the siloed ap­proach that had taken root in our govern­ment to fa­vor a more stream­lined, in­no­va­tive ap­proach that con­sid­ers holis­tic in­put from re­lated ar­eas to af­fect more mean­ing­ful com­mu­nity change.

As lead­ers, we are charged with cre­at­ing so­lu­tions and frame­works for ac­tion that will quickly and sus­tain­ably ad­dress the most im­me­di­ate life and death is­sues fac­ing this com­mu­nity: gun vi­o­lence and pub­lic safety, af­ford­able hous­ing, clean safe streets, and the cul­ti­va­tion of high-qual­ity neigh­bor­hoods ir­re­spec­tive of one’s in­come or so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus.

Some have ques­tioned this new struc­ture, but what’s most im­por­tant is what we do, not the spe­cific names and com­po­si­tions of the com­mit­tees. Now is the time for us to work to­gether and re­ally think about what we’re do­ing col­lec­tively to ad­vance eq­uity and op­por­tu­nity for every­one.

My work with Women4Cli­mate and Bloomberg Phi­lan­thropies has re­in­forced this col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach. When speak­ing as a pan­elist at the Women4Cli­mate con­fer­ence ear­lier this year, I re­it­er­ated my com­mit­ment to in­no­va­tion through sus­tain­abil­ity. I look for­ward to con­tin­ued sup­port from this vi­sion­ary group as we all work to­ward ac­tion on re­siliency and cli­mate-re­lated mat­ters.

The new com­mit­tee struc­ture pri­or­i­tizes the devel­op­ment and sus­tain­abil­ity of healthy neigh­bor­hoods.

It means that we must de­liver on the prom­ise of safe streets where lives are pro­tected, peo­ple feel con­nected, and busi­nesses feel safe pur­su­ing new job op­por­tu­ni­ties in ar­eas that have be­fore now been ne­glected or were in dis­re­pair.

The siloed ap­proach of years past brought the city many gains, but it’s al­ready re­sulted in un­even re­turns and prospects for pros­per­ity for too many of our neigh­bors. We want all peo­ple who live in Charlotte to live in safe places they love. What’s more, we want them to feel like they are valu­able, and mean­ing­ful parts of this com­mu­nity – be­cause they are.

To get there and to en­sure that every­one can ben­e­fit from a city that’s a safer, cleaner, all-around great place to live, we are re­ly­ing on a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to prob­lem solv­ing that will yield bet­ter re­sults over time.

Our new com­mit­tee struc­ture is de­signed to be a force mul­ti­plier on the im­por­tant work our city coun­cil mem­bers are al­ready en­gaged in ev­ery day. I look for­ward to their con­tin­ued lead­er­ship and to our on-go­ing ef­forts to make the Queen City the very best that it can be for all our res­i­dents.

ELY POR­TILLO

En­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cates at Mon­day’s City Coun­cil meet­ing.

Vi Lyles

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