Transforming Charlotte’s Working-Class Communities
A social scientist, Kendrick Cunningham knows that there are three common factors that define class: education, income, and occupation. While there is no correct way to defining class because of the heterogeneous culture of America, there is a Charlotte centric way to define what does class look like in our city. Communities in Charlotte are highly segregated based upon the amount of education a resident attains. Having an undergraduate college degree is essential to securing a house in a middle-class community in our city. It is also strongly correlated to the quality of a resident’s job and the amount of annual income within a household. That is why Kendrick defines working class communities in Charlotte as the neighborhoods in ZIP codes where majority of the households are at or under 70% AMI and/or 20% or more of their population does not have a high school diploma. As a United Nations Youth Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador, Kendrick has received the necessary training needed to lead Charlotte with equity, equality, and sustainability at the forefront of his platform. As a native of west Charlotte, Kendrick knows what it means to be resilient to hinder the curse of generational poverty.
Increasing citizen engagement with city budget
The budget that the City Council approves for the Charlotte City Hall is the guiding document that determines what projects, programs and services are funded throughout a fiscal year. As the City Council representative for district three, Kendrick “Swank” Cunningham will transparently share the process of how to influence the budget and host workshops for residents to guide him in prioritizing the projects, programs, and services they will like to see funded in our communities.
$15 Minimum Wage
The fact of the matter is that residents in our working-class communities are cost burdened paying their rent. Residents in our working-class communities make approximately between $21,000 and $40,000 per year. A racially diverse group of residents with approximately 36% of their households have children living in them. Many of our working-class families do not even make enough money per month to move into a house without pre-existing issues. A $15 minimum wage would increase the ZIP code with the lowest median household income from $21,000 to approximately $29,000, ultimately increasing their chances of accessing better housing and being less cost-burdened paying their rent.
Destructing barriers that cause socioeconomic segregation
Since the development of the United States of America, the humans that have migrated to this space have created and upheld start distinct contrasts between human beings based on sociological traits. Kendrick “Swank” Cunningham wants Charlotte to be a more affirming community where all residents look at each other as valuable as they see their own self. That is why as a representative of district three, Swank will work to alleviate heavy traffic in our area by building interconnectivity between neighborhoods and advocate for other members of the Charlotte City Council to join him in supporting more flexible, inclusive zoning policies.
Long Term and Permanent Affordable Housing
Since 2017, the Charlotte City Council has only generated revenue through grants and bonds to expand affordable housing. As great as it initially sounds, this takes an extensive amount of time and increases the amount of debt the city incurs, which will ultimately increase the amount of taxes residents pay. To ensure that people of all incomes, races, and ethnicities can continue to afford housing in neighborhoods experiencing rising rents, the Charlotte City Council must act simultaneously on multiple policy fronts to maximize their chances of efficiently and effectively solving Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis.
Reforming public safety with an “All Class Protection” vision
Kendrick "Swank" Cunningham believes that all residents in Charlotte deserve to have a safety service they can trust and depend on to protect them in every instance. All people, no matter their race or social class, should receive equal treatment from officers working in Charlotte's community. Swank wants the Charlotte City Council to redirect budget prioritization away from expanding the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and instead focus on using existing funding to reconceptualize community safety in our city. Learn more by reading the Justice for Danquirs Franklin Plan to Reconceptualize the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Promoting healthy release of rage to create safer communities with less violence
A district three native, Kendrick “Swank” Cunningham did not have access to a great park that could have served as an avenue for healthy recreational activity. Like district three youth who reside here today, his park was the streets or any large enough field his friends could find for a football match. Kendrick “Swank” Cunningham will work collaboratively with the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners and area non-profits to increase the amount of avenues youth in district three have to healthily release their rage through recreational activity.
Cultivating Charlotte’s music industry by pushing for a greater range of music-friendly policies and initiatives
Charlotte’s music scene is full of energy and poised for rapid growth. Commercial music economies grow in cities with music-friendly regulatory policies. With the closure of many entertainment venues in uptown Charlotte, Kendrick “Swank” Cunningham wants to stimulate Charlotte’s local economy by cultivating district three as the epicenter for entertainment in the Carolinas. That is why throughout his tenure on the Charlotte City Council he will push for a greater range of music-friendly policies and initiatives for district three residents to ha