It’s not every day you get to skateboard with the Republican candidate for mayor of Charlotte – unless that candidate is Edwin Peacock III.
The former at-large city council member has a legit half pipe behind his home on a quiet street in Myers Park.
The Tony Hawk fan invited me over to learn how to drop-in – which you’ll see I “mastered” (possibly with the help of editing and a stunt double) – and answered questions about local crime and safety, urban development and potentially being a “spicy” mayor. (We asked Democratic candidate Jennifer Roberts to do a similar video, but haven’t yet received a response.)
I talked with Peacock about many other topics that we couldn’t fit in the video, so here are his thoughts on various Charlotte issues.
On the failed LGBT-inclusive, nondiscrimination ordinance: The public accommodations ordinance failed in a 6-5 vote on March 2. It would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to protected categories, including allowing transgender people to safely use public restrooms based on their identity (that section was removed from the ordinance before the vote).
Peacock’s stance was clear: it should have been vetted in committee more, and he would have vetoed the ordinance.
“You have to have a problem and there has to be desire and there has to be a solution,” he said. When asked how he knows it’s not a problem if such an incident went unreported – and a similar ordinance has been in effect in Minneapolis since 1975 – he kept to his original stance.
Peacock has previously been endorsed by the LGBT political action committee MeckPAC for his LGBT-friendly stances. (MeckPAC has endorsed Roberts for the Nov. 3 election.)
On working with Democrats on the City Council: “I want to see them bring their agenda, what they want to accomplish, because when we start working on our shared priorities and stop reacting to what staff is bringing to you and you start proacting on things like public safety, really getting into the community … I feel like that’s where we have a lot in common. … People are for good roads, they’re for safe streets, they’re for good schools, they’re for affordable housing in all four corners of Charlotte.”
On development in neighborhoods like South End and its effect on local business: “Believe me, that doesn’t make me feel good. I love The Common Market. I love Price’s Chicken Coop — I don’t think that’s going anywhere. … Uptown Charlotte now, the No. 1 complaint is that we don’t have retail shopping. That decision was kind of made to move retail out in lieu of office space and, I’m not the commercial real estate expert, but I know that we’re now trying to undo that problem. …
“What people want is they want to feel a real local nature to Charlotte. We’re a real global city, but you really want to feel like you’ve been to actual Charlotte. … We can’t just build condos and apartments everywhere.”
I reached out to Democratic mayoral candidate Jennifer Roberts about doing a video, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m going to keep trying, but in the meantime, here’s her talking to me in bed last year …
… firing up a lightsaber …
— Jeremy Markovich (@deftlyinane) October 7, 2015
… running (for health, not office) …
— Jennifer Roberts (@JenRobertsNC) August 8, 2015
… hanging out at the Thirsty Beaver …
— Jennifer Roberts (@JenRobertsNC) July 11, 2015
… hiking …
— Jennifer Roberts (@JenRobertsNC) May 11, 2015
… and playing volleyball.
— Jennifer Roberts (@JenRobertsNC) April 23, 2015
— Jennifer Roberts (@JenRobertsNC) May 9, 2015
We have pretty cool and athletic politicians in Charlotte.
Video shot and edited by Kennan Banks.
Photo: Corey Inscoe
Joanne Spataro is a humorist and writer living in Charlotte, at least when she’s not out eating nachos, exploring the pasta scene and snark tweeting @lookitsjoanne.