Robert Steele

For Raleigh City Council at Large

Representative government. A government composed OF the people, and FOR the people. It’s hard to have that when your government is composed of people who make more money in a few months than most of us make in a year…

Vision, Issues, & Values

Following the tragedy of October 13th, 2022, I began working to make changes at the city level addressing issues I had seen throughout the city during my time here. Streets and sidewalks that are full of trash and debris, a bus system that doesn’t service enough neighborhoods, and a lack of a violent crime alert system that could have, and probably would have, saved the lives of my fiance and at least one other victim of that day, to start. I was told later that these issues were being worked on. That wasn’t true. That made me start digging deeper, where I discovered how little input we, the citizens directly affected by the City Council’s decisions, have in their decisions. We have a representative government that is not doing a good job of representing us, or giving us much of a chance to advocate for ourselves. My vision for the city is a truly representative government, where you are given meaningful opportunities to have your desires heard and acted upon.

Raleigh is continuing to lose affordable housing faster than it’s replacing it. Text changes implemented by the city are currently being challenged in court, rightly so, as they don’t address the issues. The city council is hearing and voting on rezoning requests by developers without getting input from the citizens that would be affected (Citizen Advisory Councils), and while half the Council’s campaigns were financed by developers. I won’t be taking developer money, I intend to bring back a new and better Citizen Advisory Council system, aggressively seek public-private partnerships to build and manage affordable housing, and to lobby the state government to change the law so that Raleigh can control what developers are building in our city.

City Council abolished the Citizen Advisory Councils two years ago, without input from citizens. This decision was a travesty that was passed off as being good for the city. In reality, all it did was take power from the hands of the citizens and put it into the hands of the Council. The CACs were not perfect… Some were too large, representing tens of thousands of people and being less focused, and others looked like gerrymandered districts designed to reduce their effectiveness. However, having more of them, representing less people in smaller, more centralized geographical areas, will increase their focus and effectiveness.

Violent crime continues to plague our city, and there is no way for us to know when or where it’s happening. Simply put, Raleigh needs an alert system. No person should be a victim of a violent crime simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and were unaware. Technology makes this easily possible, the same way we get Amber Alerts and weather alerts on our devices.

About Robert

I moved to Raleigh in October of 2020 when I moved in with my then girlfriend, Mary Marshall. We rented a house together in the Hedingham neighborhood. I proposed to her in that house the following July. We set our wedding for October 29th, 2022, but I lost her in the tragic mass shooting of October 13th. After the shooting, people from all over the world, but specifically the city of Raleigh, banded together to help me and the families of the other victims. Even those who couldn’t really afford to donated money to us, and would apologize that they couldn’t give more. People cooked meals for my family and I and dropped them off with just a quick knock. I’d get hugs from complete strangers when I left my house. I met and made friends that I probably never would have met otherwise. All of you are the reason that I am running for City Council. To give back to this city, that gave so much to me in my time of need, and pay forward everything that was done for me. You took care of me when I needed it. I want to do the same for you.

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