Working for a better future

I am working to ensure your Raleigh City Council prioritizes our shared values of economic, social, and environmental sustainability for all. By bringing diverse voices to the table and focusing on our future, we can build a Raleigh that is inclusive and beneficial for everyone.

Here are the issues I’ve prioritized while serving on City Council:

  • Housing affordability: It’s no secret that it’s becoming more and more expensive to live here. Raleigh’s affordable housing challenge goes beyond providing subsidized housing. We need to look at the lessons from other communities and best practices around the world when planning our way forward.

Raleigh City Council adopted a plan in 2015 to create 5,700 new subsidized affordable housing units over the next 10 years. In 2017, we voted to spend $22 million to create 1,000 subsidized homes.

However, we can’t just spend our way out of our housing challenges. We must do more to make housing more affordable for everyone. That’s why I’ve been having many conversations with leaders in the development and building community to understand their challenges, such as dealing with a nationwide labor shortage and unpredictability of our local regulations. I’m also encouraging them to find solutions we can work on together.

One example is to allow or incentivize granny flats, or accessory dwelling units. We also need to look to increase density in our urban core and along transit corridors, and make it easier for people to age in their own homes. If we’re focused on the future, then we can build a Raleigh that takes care of people who have lived here for generations, decades, and a few months.

  • Our Environment: Growth in Raleigh is straining our natural resources. We see the effects daily, including polluted stormwater runoff, more frequent flooding, and increased air pollution from idling traffic. As the environment continues to be attacked and regulations relaxed, it’s critical that our local government stand up to protect our quality of life.

One of the most important things our city government can do to protect our environment is invest in our aging infrastructure. I’m pushing for us to build a more resilient community so that as we continue to experience more intense storms and frequent flooding, we will not just recover but we’ll improve our infrastructure. For example, I’ve asked the stormwater commission to look into what it would mean to no longer develop in the floodplain.

We also need to take responsibility for reducing our community’s climate pollution. That’s why I’ve successfully pushed for City Council to pass a goal of reducing climate pollution by 80% by 2050. This will help make sure we’re leading our state in the right direction.

I will continue to be a leader and advocate for our environment. In fact, I've built a 16-year career working to protect and improve our natural resources and public health across the state.

  • Transportation: Whether you’re stuck in a traffic jam, looking for a bike lane, or still waiting for the bus, you’ve felt the strain of our transportation system as it tries to keep up with growth and shift to more sustainable modes. While our region is planning for the future, we must also meet our needs now.

Nicole Stewart was instrumental in getting bike lanes in Cameron Village. The approved bike lanes had stalled in a political gray zone, and despite calls from the public and community organizations, not much traction occurred with their installation. Councilor Stewart mobilized all the necessary parties for a face-to-face discussion to get the project moving again. In a fast-growing city with many interests and perspectives, Nicole works hard to ensure all voices get heard through a democratic and supportive process. Councilor Stewart loves Raleigh and is the best person to have at the table to ensure all citizens are represented, especially during difficult decisions.
— Tory Gibler, former Board Member, Oaks & Spokes

To help create equal access, I’ve pushed for fare capping - a practice that makes sure all bus riders get the same financial benefit of multi-day passes. I’m also working to create more bike lanes and infrastructure. I helped bring stakeholders together to test adding bike lanes to a main road in the busy Cameron Village shopping center.

We need to continue improving our transportation systems (such as adding more bus shelters) so they serve the needs of our communities now and in the future. I’m committed to making sure we have viable modes of transportation for all our residents.

We can accomplish all of this by ensuring everyone’s voice is at the table. Raleigh is a diverse and growing city, and government leadership should reflect not just who we are, but also where we're going. I support a robust citizen engagement program - one that recognizes that we need different approaches to engage people and creates a sustained two-way dialogue.

I’ve prioritized building relationships with various groups in our community, including accessibility advocates, immigrants, environmentalists, bicycle advocates, nonprofits and businesses that build housing, business and community leaders, and many others.

The benefits of this are clear and result in policies that meet the needs of our residents, not just a vocal minority. For example, we engaged with stakeholders to create the first accessible parking spaces downtown. We also are working with mobile retail and food truck vendors to open up more access for them to operate, and consulting with environmental leaders to implement a climate pollution reduction goal..

Working together, we can build a future that creates opportunities for everyone.

Watch this video to find out why a vote for Nicole Stewart for Raleigh City Council at Large is a vote for access for all! Special thanks to Jenny Bonchak, DeAntony Collins, Leah Greene, Justin McReynolds, Abby Nardo, and Angela Salamanca for voicing why access is important to them!