“Thank you, Rachel, for those kind words. It is true I do keep busy, but of all the things I have done and accomplished I am most proud of and thankful for my family. My husband Manley is an attorney and he is a tremendous supporter and the backbone of our family, and I appreciate him more every day.
My daughter Montana is graduating this Friday and will be going to college in the fall. And our son Manley Jr. is now a freshman at Myers Park High School and that is where he is this morning studying for his final exams next week. And my father, Randy Watson, who is here today, is a Navy veteran, a small business entrepreneur, and a pretty terrific Dad!
Thanks to my family and friends for being here today. This morning, I am pleased to announce my candidacy for Mayor of Charlotte in 2015.
I am running for Mayor because I feel strongly that this community needs someone who will work tirelessly to bring people together and build the team we need to make our city more transparent and accountable. I am fully committed to letting the sun shine on how the city functions.
That is why I wanted to have this announcement outside today in the sunlight here in this beautiful park next to our Little Sugar Creek Greenway.
Greenways are a great symbol for connecting people. Greenways bring people of all walks of life together. Greenways are for health, for enjoyment, for play, and even as a way to get to work. They connect our neighborhoods and our community.
It has been a tumultuous year in Charlotte and now, more than ever, we must put aside personal agendas to work together for the good of the whole city. And I believe that this group standing with me here today represents exactly the kind of spirit…the kind of leadership and energy we need to rebuild trust and move our city forward.
I am so proud to have with me here today this group of neighborhood leaders who work hard to make our city a better place every day. Today we have representatives from small business, we have people here that support clean air and clean water and folks who are creating jobs through green energy. We have entrepreneurs; we have one of the founders of the new Entrepreneur High School, and even entrepreneurs who have started a business incubator to help other entrepreneurs in their job creation efforts. We have folks who have fought hard for quality schools in all our neighborhoods…and people who are focused on civic engagement and voter participation so that everyone has a voice in our democracy. We have people who have fought hard to end discrimination and bring equality and inclusion to all people. We have people who have fought to bring women to the table to get equal pay in the workplace and to be treated equally before the law. We also have folks from our immigrant community, bringing their energy. Latinos and Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans working hard to create jobs and move our community forward.
Truly I stand with all these community leaders, and we, as a team, know that there is much more work to be done. I am excited for the opportunity that lies ahead, to have the honor to work shoulder to shoulder with you and with all the people of Charlotte to make our city an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Thank you all for coming here to hear my announcement today.
I have time for a couple of questions…”