Cary, NC – This week, we are continuing our Cary Candidate series with the Town Council At-Large Race. Yesterday, we featured Zeke Bridges, in his own words. Today, we’ll hear from Lori Bush.
All candidates have been asked the same three questions. We have not edited one word, vowel or comma of their responses. Decide for yourself how to vote on October 11, 2011.
1. Why are you running?
I care about Cary. It’s not a slogan, or a tagline. It’s who I am and it’s why I’m driven to run for office.
For over a decade I’ve been honored to serve my community in many ways – in my neighborhood on the board of my Homeowner’s Association, on Cary boards and commissions, and as an active participant on a variety of local and national non-profits and community groups. I’ve done all of this because I have a commitment to this community in which we all live, work, play, learn and grow.
Cary citizens have long known that good government does not come by accident. It takes the collective hard work of “thoughtful and committed” citizens, business leaders and the community to bring issues forward, and to address them in an open and effective way. Building consensus and charting a path for the future is what’s now needed.
As we move forward, our Town must continue to grow in a responsible and balanced manner. We must pay attention to the needs of the citizens, businesses and the environment while ensuring adequate facilities, roads and services. We must continue to support the efforts to revitalize Downtown Cary – the true “Heart of Cary.” And, most importantly, we must protect our high quality of life for our community, our children and ourselves.
I believe we can achieve these goals. My proven record of leadership and service shows I can bring about tangible results, all while working and collaborating with others.
2. What are your top 3 priorities and how will you get it done?
Smart, Balanced Growth has been listed as a top citizen concern for a decade in Town surveys, year after year. I would continue to support the progress by our current Mayor and council to review and ensure that we focus on responsible growth; ensuring infrastructure and town services will support current citizens and neighborhoods, new residents and businesses. And, as Cary begins to reach its boundaries, this growth will turn to infill, and we must find ways to balance and ensure that development is appropriate and sensitive to the neighboring communities.
Protecting our environment is more than a priority – it’s an area where we can always improve. Cary’s environmental track record is good, but we can always do better and innovate where possible. We must protect Jordan Lake, our drinking water supply, by limiting development in the lake’s watershed. Buffers must be respected and open space protected. Additional environmental programs could increase town support of water conservation, expand recycling support to businesses, and continue to encourage LEED certified building practices.
Listening and being responsive to constituents – in a number of ways. One of Cary’s greatest resources is the intellectual capital and the collective energy of its people. Cary’s own surveys show that more than two-thirds of our adult citizens have a college degree, and many more with advanced degrees. We need to continue to find new and innovative ways to reach out and engage all citizens using technology, town hall forums, and interaction with Homeowners’ Associations
3. Biography & Relevant Experience
I am a wife, mother of two children in Wake County Public Schools, daughter and active member of my community. I started becoming involved in my neighborhood more than 10 years ago, creating a website, writing the newsletter, and eventually became president of my Homeowner’s Association. It was during the widening of Davis Drive, that I realized how important it is for residents to be engaged and aware of the town’s growth and the impact on neighborhoods. I have also been involved with a number of other non-profits, much of that an outgrowth of my 16 years of work at Cisco Systems. I’ve been dedicated to ensuring citizen readiness to disasters, working with federal, state and local officials to assist them in their preparedness plans and awarded the National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue (NIUSR) prestigious “Perpetual Eagle for Leadership” for Excellence in Education in 2009. I’m also passionate about Internet Safety for all, as a board member of the National Cyber Security Alliance (www.staysafeonline.org) , teaching internet safety classes to parents and kids. I have recently become an avid bicyclist, seeing much of Cary from two wheels with my family and riding in the BikeMS ride in New Bern, NC.
- Cary Planning & Zoning Board member: advocated for citizens; voted for responsible growth
- Cary Site Design Focus Group – provide citizen feedback on the update of the town-wide design guidelines manual
- Cary Citizens Advisory Committee (chair) – led task force to develop a process for Cary citizens to become involved by initiating Citizens Issue Advisory Groups
- Preston Village HOA (member, secretary, president) – work for my neighborhood to protect property values, create community through events and communication vehicles, ensure the protection and maintenance of common areas for all, drove the creation of a reserve study to financially ensure the viability of the community
- Board of Trustee for Multiple Sclerosis Society – engaging with not-for-profit to raise awareness and funds to eradicate MS.
- National Cyber Security Alliance (board member, secretary) – promoting cyber security for digital citizens, providing information, tools and activities for businesses, families and educators to protect themselves and the cyber infrastructure. Teach internet safety classes for parents and students.
- National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue (executive board member)– as been dedicated to ensuring citizen readiness to disasters, working with federal, state and local officials to assist them in their preparedness plans.
- Institute of Political Leadership (class speaker, fellow) – working to improve and develop skills in current policy issues
- Wake County Information Technology Advisory Committee (chair) – serve as advisory group to Board of County Commissioners on technology initiatives in the county
- Leadership NC – Understanding the issues and impacts to NC and broadening my understanding of the various potential policies and solutions available.
- NC State, Hunt Library Technology Advisory Board – provide insight, advice, information for the new library on the NC State Campus