Adding police? Moving a bookstore? Those were among the ideas that Charlotte mayoral candidates Anthony Foxx and John Lassiter outlined this morning to help overcome Charlotte's economic barriers.
The two spoke at a breakfast for the Charlotte Chamber's Inter City Visit at Johnson C. Smith University.
Foxx, a Democrat, talked about the importance of reducing crime in areas such as the Beatties Ford Road corridor, and touted a new police substation in the area to do just that. He also wants to streamline zoning and other regulations to make it easier for low-income areas to develop.
Lassiter, a Republican, threw a challenge to their host, JCSU President Ron Carter. Move the campus bookstore outside the school's fences to create a link to the community that could also spur other development.
He said such moves, along with city-aided development along Trade Street west of I-77 would help break the "noose" formed by that interstate and I-277 around the center city.
The two added their own styles to the discussion.
Foxx got personal in underscoring the racial and economic gaps in Charlotte today. He showed slides of himself as a boy with his grandmother, growing up a couple miles from the campus. He also showed a picture of the late Joe Martin, who got to know Foxx at West Charlotte High and wrote a recommendation that helped him get into Davidson College.
"Where are the Anthony Foxx's and Joe Martin's coming together now?" he asked.
Lassiter outlined more specifics -- extension of the Gold Rush trolley to JCSU, for example -- and touted his own life experience as a member of the school board and city council.
He described how he's bridged community divides by supporting renovations of inner-city schools and reaching out to minority contractors. Charlotte, he said, has to "find a way to do the kinds of things that bridge our relationships and work together."