Name: Paul Leon Anderson
Date of Birth: March 17, 1962
Home Address: 6212 Bramblewood Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31785 Raleigh, NC 27622-1785
Campaign Website:
Occupation: Pastor, Baptist Grove Church, Raleigh, NC
Home phone: (919) 845-2563
Work phone: (919) 787-9784
Cell Phone: (919) 280-7827

1. If elected, what are your top priorities?

My top priorities will be to return a sense of government ownership to the citizens by being open to ideas with an effort to make informed decisions that consider multiple options. I am particularly concerned about equity, preservation of the environment, planning for appropriate growth, and being a good steward of the public trust that will be placed in me as an elected official.

2. What is there in your record as public official or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be effective on Council? This might include career or community service; but please be specific about its relevance to this office.

My service as a member and as Chair of the City of Raleigh Human Relations Human Resources Commission demonstrates my ability to forge working relationships for effective results in diverse populations. My work as a Pastor demonstrates my ability to respond to the demands of a growing community, along with my skills as an effective communicator. My service as a member of the City of Raleigh Planning Commission demonstrates my ability to synthesize technical data and develop public policy that addresses the needs of Raleigh’s citizens. My work with Wake County’s Ten-year Plan to End Homelessness demonstrates my ability to serve as an advocate for those citizens who may not have a “voice” in the Council chamber. My volunteer service on numerous nonprofit boards demonstrates my ability to keep abreast of pressing community issues.

3. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I am a citizen, first and foremost. I believe that effective public policy is based on citizen input and fiscal responsibility. I am guided politically by actions that I believe build a sound future for our city and opportunities for our citizens. My work on the City of Raleigh Planning Commission has demonstrated my belief that City policies should be implemented consistently and equitably, leaving little room for special treatment. When exceptions are made to policies, they should be made with the consensus of the governing body. Through my activities as a community leader, I maintain the belief that there is a role for government to play in improving citizens’ quality of life. My present campaign platform reflects my belief in responsive government “for the people.”

4. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

I believe in the right of public workers to engage in collective bargaining.

5. The Independent’s mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

I have committed my life to this shared mission. My profession and my volunteer activities have been focused on building hope and opportunity for those our society may have forgotten. My work with relocated Hurricane Katrina families, my advocacy work on behalf of the homeless and persons living with AIDS speak to my conviction and commitment. I will bring this experience with me to the Council table as we deliberate on important issues.

6. In the next two years, Raleigh will complete a revision of its comprehensive plan. If elected, will you seek to influence what it says? If so, how?

At the current growth rate, it is forecasted that we will run out of space under the current zoning rules in 20 years. I will work to ensure the process of evaluating the current comprehensive plan has plenty of public input. In addition, I will insist that it include smart growth principles and accommodation for growing transportation demands.

7. The issue of tax-increment financing (TIF) is before the Council because of developer John Kane’s request for a $75 million tax break in connection with his North Hills East project. Do you support or oppose Kane’s request? In general, so you think TIFs are needed in Raleigh? If so, under what circumstances?

I would first want to review the specific request proposed by John Kane to the Council. The Council should consider what, if any, precedents have been set related to other development-related tax breaks in Raleigh. I am in favor of an equitable TIF policy in Raleigh. There should be clear benefits to the city from its implementation and it should not be a tool that is overused.

8. Raleigh’s impact fees for parks and roads were increased 72 percent last year, but they remain far below what state law allows. Do you support increasing impact fees further, and if so, by how much?

I am open to the annual review of these fees, with any adjustment to be determined subsequent to an analysis of Raleigh’s economic conditions. If it is determined that an increase in impact fees is required, the amount of the increase should be related to an established measurement index.

9. CAC leaders are asking the Council to help them strengthen citizens’ involvement in city government matters. Should the CACs be strengthened? If so, what specific measures would you support to assist them?

CACs vary in their effectiveness. The City should consider a review of the CACs’ geographic boundaries, as well as redefine the role of CAC leadership teams. Our city may have outgrown the current CAC structure.

10. Public transit is a huge issue in Raleigh, but there’s little consensus on what to do about the local bus service, or about regional rail or bus connections. What are your goals in this area?

Given the rapid expansion our city is experiencing, establishing a well-coordinated local and regional transit system should be a priority. We should keep transportation as affordable as possible, and provide access to our developing areas for jobs and leisure activities.

11. Several city or county governments in the Triangle extend employee benefits to domestic partners (including gay and lesbian partners) the same as to married spouses. Raleigh does not. Should it? Is this something you’d support if elected?

I would have no problem supporting this measure.