Todd Kennedy, an environmental consultant and former member of several city boards, is running for the Raleigh City Council, he announced in an email Monday. 

Kennedy is running for the seat in District D, which includes most of southwest Raleigh, parts of downtown, and Dorothea Dix Park. Kennedy previously applied for a position on the city council after District D council member Saige Martin resigned amid allegations of sexual assault in 2020. Kennedy was one of the top five candidates considered for the position but it eventually went to Stormie Forte, who currently represents District D. 

In the race for city council, Kennedy will face Jane Harrison, coastal economics specialist and NC State professor, and Jennifer Truman, an architectural designer. Forte announced earlier this year that she will run for an at-large seat rather than seeking to represent District D. 

Kennedy, who works for global consulting and engineering firm, previously served as chair of the Raleigh Human Relations Commission and vice-chair of the Raleigh Environmental Advisory Board. He has also served as a member of the board of directors for DHIC, an affordable housing nonprofit. 

Kennedy received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His priorities if elected include affordable housing, public safety, and environmental conservation, according to a statement. 

“My vision of this city’s future is one where all residents can find homes, raise families, feel safe, and enjoy a full life,” Todd wrote. “That means more transit and mobility options, decisive action on housing affordability, addressing public safety issues, improving our environment, and fully realizing Dix Park and our other public spaces.”

Kennedy has pledged to advocate for better public transit, including expanded bus service along Western Boulevard and added sidewalks and bike lanes. He also wants to increase the resiliency of stormwater infrastructure as the city sees the effects of climate change, he writes on his website. 

On affordable housing, Kennedy says “we can and must do more.” He proposes implementing property tax relief for low- to moderate-income residents, strengthening the city’s partnership with the Raleigh Area Land Trust, and “better leverage(ing) density bonuses and public benefits during rezoning.”

In the recent controversy over police pay, Kennedy says he would have supported further raising pay for law enforcement officers, a proposal that was condemned by Black Lives Matter activists and Refund Raleigh, a community group lobbying to defund the police. Kennedy also advocates for expanding the ACORNS crisis intervention unit citywide, he says. 

“As your city council member, I will be an advocate for better pay and for changing the tone and conversation around our police professionals,” Kennedy writes on his website. “We have to keep our communities safe. We have to address hot spots within the city better including in District D along Glenwood South. We must get more guns off the street.”

Kennedy has been endorsed by Wake County district attorney Lorrin Freeman, former Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane, and former Raleigh city council member Eugene Weeks.

More candidates for the Raleigh City Council are expected to announce runs in the coming weeks. Candidate filing starts this Friday, July 1, and closes July 15. The election is November 8. 

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