Raleigh Elections 2022: Terrance Ruth AMA

We’re hosting an AMA for one of the mayoral candidates in the 2022 City of Raleigh elections. The Terrance Ruth campaign has agreed to answer some questions right here on the Community on Sept. 29, 2022 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT.

Feel free to post questions ahead of time right here.


Some questions to start us off:

  • If elected, would this would be the first city-wide elected office you’ve held? If so, how have you been learning about the city’s bureaucracy and responsibilities of the mayor?

  • What in your opinion are the most effective and practical solutions the city has to increase affordable housing and prevent displacement? What are the biggest challenges with those?

  • Do you have any simple “day 1” changes that you think would have an outsized impact?

  • What policies or solutions of the current mayor do you support? Or, what trends would you want to continue?

  • What are some ways we as citizens could contribute to the city beyond voting and showing up at meetings?


What are your takes on the recommendations from the 2021 Study Group on Council Terms/Salaries and Voter Engagement/Participation? Specifically, what are your thoughts on their recommendations of:

  • Change from 2-year terms to 4-year terms (staggered)
  • Increased compensation
  • Adding a district seat (increases council size from 8 to 9 members)

The expansion of voter engagement, which the same group made numerous recommendations, can be it’s own question. What ideas/actions might you prioritize to expand voter engagement?

For those reading, I’m pulling all this from the Sept 7, 2021 council meeting.

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My question:

  • Do you accept/appreciate the endorsement from the “Livable Raleigh” group? If YES, what about their org. do you agree with and side on? If NO, why do you believe they felt confident in endorsing your campaign?
  • How, specifically, will you work to gain the trust of your constituents and involve them in decision-making? Now that boards and commissions convened by the Office of Community Engagement, will replace the CAC system, do you support this approach?

  • Should Raleigh work together with neighboring cities like Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill more closely to tackle regional issues like housing and transportation? How will you do that?

  • Do you support Raleigh’s efforts in BRT and commuter rail? What are your thoughts on their studies’ analyses on housing affordability and business cases? What would you do differently?

  • What is Raleigh doing that other cities could learn from? What specific things are other cities doing that Raleigh could do?

Note: if you felt like these questions are familiar, it’s because I suggested them last month when @annamjohnson of the N&O fielded questions for all candidates in the Raleigh elections/City Councils thread last month.


to stem from your questions;

  • Would you support a major pay-raise to both Mayoral and City Council positions to encourage these positions becoming full-time jobs, rather than something someone who already has loads of money/full-time paying jobs would do on the side?

Would you prefer to see the CAC system brought back?

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I’m looking forward to this tomorrow! It really seems like public opinion of MAB has soured to the point that it may not be a slam dunk she’ll win reelection, therefore it’s actually very possible Mr. Ruth may end up becoming our next Mayor, so I’m quite curious to see his responses!
One not-so-serious question I’d love to hear his thoughts on:

  • Raleigh seems to be losing/missing a lot of “weird”/more niche stuff that isn’t just geared toward families. Do you think we should broaden our horizons on the type of events/attractions/businesses we seek to get some more weird stuff back in motion? What kinds of “weird” fun stuff would you like to see pop up in Raleigh?

Thanks for doing this AMA! My question is, “What is your position on the 17 unit development being proposed in Hayes Barton? Should developments like this be by right or should they need to go through a rezoning where the neighbors feedback needs to be taken into account?”


The current council did a lot to increase density in traditional low density neighborhoods (ADUs, tiny houses, missing middle). Is it a path you want to continue on? If no, do you plan to rollback some of the previous decisions? If so, which ones?


Housing seems to be a hot topic. Is there anything else people SHOULD be talking about and you plan to present to the greater council if elected? What issues are we not seeing perhaps?


Do you agree that retail rents are priced WAY too high in downtown, ultimately discouraging more locally owned businesses/start-ups from trying to make space in the city? What could you and the CC do to help lower retail rent rates and encourage more locals to start businesses downtown? I am aware of the DTR Alliance retail grant program (if it’s still active), any interest in a city-led grant program?


There is also a Community and Small Business Development group within the City that provides Building Up-fit Grants, facade grants and other info/grants to assist downtown businesses (and other areas). This is in addition to DRA’s existing programs.

I have a simple question: do you believe Raleigh is growing too fast? Do you believe the City should look for ways to slow down growth via policy changes? If yes, are you OK with development and growth spilling over to neighboring municipalities and counties?


Hey there! As everyone here knows, my name is Terrance Ruth, and I’m running for mayor of Raleigh. I wanted to take the time to thank all of you for having me on here, and I want to thank the admins, mods, and Samuel in particular for helping us arrange all of this. I wanted to find every avenue in which I can talk to residents, and I was glad to hear that DTRaleigh Community was willing to hear us out.

We’ll start answering questions in a few minutes. Thanks again!

I will be in virtual class for their Q&A from 2-2:30, and asked my communications team to post a couple replies just finished on my behalf. They are waiting to post anything I did not write, in observance of full transparency.


Although I haven’t had my name on a ballot before, the duties involved in learning about our city’s bureaucracy and responsibilities and consequences of leadership are not new to me. I’ve had the privilege of being able to utilize my doctorate in social work to work on issues that involve Raleigh as a whole, including my most recent work with the United Way of Triangle that resulted in a $1M community investment strategy. Additionally, my past projects improving community support and investment with Forward Cities gave me perspective on several varying city bureaucracies like Kansas City, Chicago, etc. and how to strategically utilize available resources, as opposed to levying new taxes.
As a long time resident of Raleigh, I’ve focused on finding ways to utilize my power as a citizen to help others in need. And if there’s one thing I learned, you certainly don’t need to be in the government to help others. Sometimes it’s just organizing a trash pickup around the city, or volunteering at local non-profits.
At this point, I’m not sure if ‘affordable’ is a word I would use to describe housing here in Raleigh. That would insinuate that housing is presently affordable in Raleigh as a whole. Instead of utilizing subsidies to keep people in homeless shelters, we should examine research that has been demonstrated as effective. Prioritizing strategic housing assistance addresses the root of the problem, being little to no access to transitional and longterm housing solutions. Yes, we need to get someone in need into shelter, and we also should ensure it’s something a person can work to keep themselves.


At the end of the day, Raleigh is made up of nearly half a million residents, and a bounty of groups with political interests. We received over 50 questionnaires for endorsement, and many of them were sent a specific statement or platform outline in response. The decision to endorse me after being given statements that only include what I am committed to as Mayor tells me that basic shared interests such as policy supporting strategic development, small business viability, and engaging experts to qualify data before making a decision are all something they must believe in. As far as I would think, those are issues we as a city would all care about, seeing as we have grown in part due to our entertainment and hospitality industries.

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Curious what this is in reference to? And how ‘strategic housing assistance’ is different than the current programs that exist? Thanks!

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