The race for Raleigh mayor is on.
Terrance Ruth—a lecturer at N.C. State’s School of Social Work and the executive director of the Justice Love Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for social justice causes—announced his bid for Raleigh’s top seat this afternoon.
“I’m running to unite Raleigh, because what I see is a city that has become divided and defensive,” reads a statement on Ruth’s website. “I want to restore active citizen engagement, so we can find common purpose. I want to work with all of our residents to create a stronger, more inclusive and prosperous Raleigh. It is only by working together, as a united community, that we can meet the challenges ahead.”
Ruth recently wrote an opinion piece for the online advocacy group Livable Raleigh in which he criticized the mayor and members of the current council for ‘silencing’ voices from the community, including those from low-income people of color.
“These communities have been systematically shut out of wealth-building opportunities of the last century,” Ruth wrote. “Gentrification, environmental neglect, and other negative side effects of Raleigh’s never-ending growth have come at the expense of those who have been the most excluded from policy decisions on how Raleigh develops and how it cares for all of its residents.”
In the piece, Ruth calls on the city to become “more inclusive, just, and human-centered” and says city leaders need to “restore the public’s trust and allow more citizen voices to be at the table to help create solutions that reflect the needs and rights of all of Raleigh’s residents.”
Livable Raleigh, started by former city council member Stef Mendell, who lost her bid for reelection in 2019 after serving one term, is allied with Councilmember David Cox. Cox often casts the lone dissenting vote on development related issues that come before the council.
Mary-Ann Baldwin is serving her first term as mayor after she and a relatively pro-development slate of candidates swept the municipal elections just over a year ago. She recently announced she will seek reelection.
Baldwin’s critics say she handled the racial justice demonstrations that took place downtown this summer poorly and have been vocal about their disapproval of a council vote to abolish the city’s citizen advisory groups in February.
On his website, Ruth pledges to “restore fairness and transparency to everything we do.”
“I will work with the community and with our business leaders, to fix what the past year has broken, and to rise again better than before,” he wrote. Ruth also shared a short YouTube video announcing his candidacy using the same language.
Ruth will face Baldwin—and any other candidates who may file—in the election on October 5.
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