Growing Greensboro’s Economy (Part 1)
“This is no time to declare victory on the economy. Not when one in every five of Greensboro’s citizens live in poverty. Not when we were rated the eighth most dangerous city in the country. Not when we are among the top ten cities in the US in ‘food deserts.’ And not when there is a shortage of affordable housing.”
Previously I outlined my goals for A Safer City and Effective Leadership, two of four themes of my campaign. Today and tomorrow, let’s discuss Growing Our Economy.
Thanks, in large part, to the visionary leadership of former mayor Jim Melvin, who has endorsed my campaign for Mayor, and local development groups, the regional economy has received a shot in the arm with Toyota coming in 2025, Boom Supersonic in 2024, and the new Publix distribution center. In addition, my work, along with the rest of the City Council, helped these come to fruition.
Toyota and Boom are not located in Greensboro and Publix is on the outskirts, so it is critical that we elect leaders to translate these projects into long-term gains for the residents of Greensboro.
According to federal labor statistics the Greensboro-High Point Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) alone has lost 30,000 jobs over the past two decades. To place that in perspective, the population in the MSA grew by 131,000 people over that period. Growing population and declining employment means demand for government services surging ahead of the tax base, slower than needed growth in affordable housing, and less movement up the economic ladder from poverty to the middle class.
Recently Action Greensboro and the Bryan Foundation completed a study of Greensboro’s financial capabilities and challenges. It is a snapshot saying, as a Greensboro News & Record editorial put it “We’re neither where we want to be or need to be.” According to the report Greensboro is falling behind our peer cities in job growth, per capita income, property tax base, and retention of high wage jobs within the city limits.
This is no time to declare victory on the economy. Not when one in every five of Greensboro’s citizens live in poverty. Not when we were rated the eighth most dangerous city in the country. Not when we are among the top ten cities in the US in “food deserts.” And not when there is a shortage of affordable housing.
This is a critical moment in Greensboro’s history. We must make sure the benefits of regional growth make it to Glenwood, Hamilton Forest, Smith Homes, Kirkwood, and the rest of Greensboro. Ten years from now will we be one of the region’s emerging cities or an island of decline surrounded by regional growth? This is a defining moment and, as your next mayor, I do not intend to see this become a lost opportunity.
Tomorrow we will talk about my economic agenda for Greensboro. I hope you will join the conversation and let me know your thoughts.
For Our Future,