Cary Election

Candidate Questionnaire: Lori Bush

Cary, NC – This is an installment in our Candidate 2019 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.

We publish the responses in the order we receive them. This questionnaire is submitted by Lori Bush, running for an At-Large seat in Cary.

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 serve my community.

It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve all of our Cary citizens for the last 8 years as your At-Large Councilmember and the last 2 years as Mayor Pro Tem. I am appreciative that Cary’s citizens have seen my dedication to Cary and I do not take this opportunity to serve lightly.  I will continue to do my best to safeguard and keep our community safe, grow our economy, protect the environment and promote our continued success.

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 entire 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 my focus.

Our Town must continue to grow in a responsible and balanced manner using our citizen-driven Cary Community Plan as our guideline. We must pay attention to the needs of our residents, 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” while ensuring that all of Cary is in our sights, making certain that we have parks, greenways, and services that extend throughout our entire community.  And, most importantly, we must protect our high quality of life.

I believe we can continue on our successful path and achieve these goals. My proven record of leadership and service shows I can bring about tangible results, all while working and collaborating with others.

What are your top 3 priorities and how will you get it done?

 As we move forward, we must continue the work keeping Cary the remarkable place that it is, with great people, committed citizens and amazing resources.

Smart, Balanced Growth has been listed as a top citizen concern for decades in Town surveys, year after year.  I would continue to support the progress by our current Mayor and council focusing 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. Our continued success will be determined as we implement our Cary Community plan – which will require diligence, steady leadership and transparency.  This guiding document will help us focus and continue to grow in a responsible and balanced manner.

Adequate Infrastructure, Facilities, Roads, and Services. We must continue to ensure adequate infrastructure and facilities, roads and services are front and center, while continuing to provide our families with parks and safe ways to get there.  I continue to champion safe routes for bikes and pedestrians – finding new ways to get people out and about, safely.  Our upcoming Bond Referendum is just one way to help address the needs of our growing community in the most fiscally responsible way possible.  It helps us ensure that our roads, parks and facilities are paid for by not just the current residents, but folks that move here for our great quality of life. 

Protecting our environment is more than a priority – it’s an area where we can always improve.  And finally, we must do all of this, while not only protecting the environment, but focusing on our sustainability for the future and ensuring that Cary remains an inclusive and welcoming place for all.  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 expanded and protected.  Additional environmental programs could increase town support of water conservation, review and expand our recycling programs, and we need to continue to encourage LEED certified building practices.

I believe that 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 leveraging technology, town hall forums, and interaction with Homeowners’ Associations

Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience

I am a wife, mother of two children who have graduated from Wake County Public Schools, daughter and active member of my community.  I currently work full time at Cisco Systems in Learning and Development, building the next generation of network engineers.

I started becoming involved in my neighborhood over 20 years ago, creating a website, writing the newsletter, and eventually becoming 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.

Over the years I’ve been involved with Town government  long before I was elected as a councilmember – as a Planning and Zoning Board member, on the Cary Site Design Focus Group, and as the chair of the Cary Citizens Advisory Committee.  I’ve also been a board member in many non-profits such as  the Greater Carolinas Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Cyber Security Alliance, National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue, Institute of Political Leadership, Wake County Information Technology Advisory Committee, NC State, Hunt Library Technology Advisory Board, board member of the Friends of NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Jordan Lake One Water Association.

I’ve led initiatives to continue to serve citizens and businesses:

  • Led effort providing paid parental leave to Town employees
  • Promote Smart City initiatives to improve efficiencies and provide better services to citizens (TXT311, Alexa apps, improved website, stormwater sensors)
  • Champion data-driven decision making and engagement with Bloomberg “What Works Cities” and Mayor’s Challenge for Opioid Testing
  • Served as Council liaison for the Information Services Advisory Board, Environmental Advisory Board, Jordan Lake One Water Association, and other local and regional organizations
  • Promoting expanded bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, including our soon to be created cycle track
  • Work to build our inclusive environment, championing and promoting events such as Diwali, Eid, the Jewish Cultural Festival and our rainbow Pride display at the Downtown Fountain

We still have work to do and I’m honored to be a part of this amazing community.



Twitter: @loribush

Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.

2 replies
  1. Jackie Larson
    Jackie Larson says:

    Please stop voting for the developers – citizens are talking about you being bought off as your vote is always against the citizens?
    Take the recent Landsdowne rezoning- what were reasons for destroying the residential area here ?
    This intersection is a disaster now / slow down !!! People do not want a yes vote for all developers and just adding tax revenue to
    The Town coffers..,, why are you continuing to vote like you are?

    • Lori Bush
      Lori Bush says:

      Hello Jackie,
      I sent you an email in response to this question – as the Mayor did, as well.

      Here is the crux of the email:

      I appreciate the reasons and explanations that my fellow council members made, regarding their positions on this rezoning. Each and every rezoning gets the thoughtful consideration and detailed review, as well as an opportunity for many to weigh in on the proposal. The review is not only done by our staff, and council – but also by the Planning and Zoning board, a group of citizens that are appointed by council, to give their feedback on the proposals, and feelings regarding how the rezoning fits in our community, and aligns to the Cary Community Plan.

      My reasons were similar to the Mayor’s – but I also drove by a number of communities that look and feel just like this one – with office buildings of all sizes next to them. These were quiet neighborhoods, and offices that were empty on the weekends and most evenings. The Cary Community Plan speaks to “Neighborhood Commercial” – meaning commercial that “supports” the neighborhood. The pictures in the Cary Community Plan – describing this, showed a picture of an Aldi Grocery Store. In my mind, that type of use, at THIS location, would not be appropriate. In fact, I feel that this office would be the least impactful of all- and that is why I supported the rezoning.

      I hope that explains my position. Although you may not agree with it, I truly appreciate that you reached out, and looked for some explanation from all of us that supported this rezoning. These are never easy decisions, and not everyone will agree all the time, but we are always doing what we do, to make Cary the best that it can be.

      One last note – you can certainly look at my record to see that I do not vote for or against developers or citizens. I do my very best to look at each and every case, review its merits, flaws, and potential harmony as well as potential unintended consequences. I take this important responsibility very seriously, and understand the weight each rezoning brings with it.

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