9/18/19

Think Local Act Local with Eric Rowell

Eric Rowell discusses how he got involved in local politics, and how thinking local and acting local has helped him as an individual have a greater impact.

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Mentioned in this Podcast:

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twitter: @ericwrowell

Think local, Act local list - Notes for Conversations That Matter podcast

- Eric wrote back in Sept. 2016, - "The most depressing aspect of the presidential election isn’t
the candidates we have to choose from, but how many individuals seem to believe the next president will have a greater impact
on their lives than the impact each individual can have on his or her own life. Start learning more about your local
government prior to municipal elections next year if you want to make a difference in an election with real impact on your life."

- First Think Local efforts - Cheraw
- Spoke out against town's plan to buy local golf course (course has since been purchased by private developer, transformed into
great course and club)
- Questioned premise of multiple issues coming from town hall - taxpayer subsidized gym memberships, land swaps with friends of politicians

- Charlotte
- Worked to bring attention to problematic pedicab regulations, helped to protect ability for small companies to compete
- Even in a city the size of Charlotte, one person can still bring needed attention to various issues

- Huntersville
- Small items that otherwise would have gone unnoticed / big picture - town knows someone is watching now
- I regularly share town board agenda and town board meetings / sent out candidate questionnaires in 2017 and again for
2019 local election
- I helped push for greater transparency from town board - live streaming of meetings
- Worked to bring needed management change to local athletic facility, finally brought about a competitive bid process
- Helped expose corrupt former town board member
- Helped to slow growth of forced charity/charitable spending by town politicians
- Open govt successes - town board stating why going into closed session, HPD incident reports, crime stat reporting
- Brought attention to local police officer using town resources for personal benefit, resulted in his resignation
- Helped stop town's public art commission from getting public monies - for now
     - And helped stop town from partnering with social justice activist on public art commission
- Started a fb group focusing on local politics only, grown to 475 members
- Helped get a local politician to drop frivolous suit filed against a citizen
- Questioned local Fire Dept. enough that they sent no-contact letter to me from their attorney - bc I was seeking more transparency
- Brought to light property owned by the town being rented far under market value to boyfriend of town staff member

- Served on three board appointed advisory boards - great way to get involved with local government and ensure a common sense
viewpoint is provided for future planning

- Town employees are often also town residents so they don't want to see tax dollars wasted either, but they often can't speak
out because of fear of retaliation, I've done my best to give those town employees a voice at my website

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