Sustain Charlotte thanks Meck. Co. Board of County Commissioners for prioritizing investment in an equitable and sustainable future

Yesterday, Sustain Charlotte Program Manager Elina Shepard attended the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners' public hearing on the recommended budget for fiscal year 2022-23 to thank the County Manager and Commissioners for prioritizing investment in the equitable and sustainable future of Mecklenburg County.

The draft budget currently includes $35 million for land acquisition to expand parks and greenways, critical funding for the mental and physical health of our residents, the environmental wellbeing of our county, and the economic mobility and equality of everyone in our community.

The draft budget also includes $12.8 million to fund the Environmental Leadership Action Plan, which will help our county protect the natural environment and fight climate change.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a straw vote on June 15-16 and the vote for adoption will be held on June 22 before fiscal year 2022-23 begins in July. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our recent Action Alert urging Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to support a steady, strategic and aggressive buildout of our parks and greenway network now and in the near future. This is an important opportunity for improving the quality of life for everyone in Mecklenburg County!

Read Elina's full public hearing remarks below: 

"Good evening, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. 

My name is Elina Shepard and I am the program manager with Sustain Charlotte. We are a non-profit organization that advocates for sustainable land use and transportation choices. Sustain Charlotte has been a long-time advocate for the expansion of green spaces, including parks and greenways, so that every resident of our county can enjoy them within walking or biking distance of home. 

On behalf of Sustain Charlotte, I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for prioritizing investment in the equitable and sustainable future of Mecklenburg County. The recommended $35 million for land acquisition will help Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to purchase land while it is still available in the areas where parks and greenways are most needed and before land prices increase further. 

Thank you for your responsiveness to the Park and Recreation Commission’s budget request that we supported during the first budget hearing earlier this year, and for listening to the more than 100 county residents who responded to our Action Alert to speak up for this critical funding. 

Parks and greenways are more than an amenity! They are critical to the mental and physical health of our residents, the environmental wellbeing of our county, and the economic mobility and equality of everyone in our community. 

I also want to express Sustain Charlotte’s support for the recommended $12.8 million to fund the Environmental Leadership Action Plan, which will help our county protect the natural environment and fight climate change. We are very excited to see that our priorities align, and we urge you to keep these funding amounts intact as you move the budget towards its final adoption. 

Thank you."

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  • Lauren Sawyers
    published this page in Blog 2022-05-26 11:00:21 -0400