A clarion call for voters

It’s time. Here in Greensboro, all the candidates for the 2011 municipal election have filed — 32 candidates in all, and it’s an exciting field.

We have five people running for mayor of Greensboro, including incumbent Bill Knight, longtime councilman Robbie Perkins, former councilman Tom Phillips, a genuine African-American Republican in Chris Phillips and Bradford Cone, scion of one of the city’s oldest families.

The at-large contest boasts 14 candidates for three spots, including former mayor Yvonne Johnson, perennial candidate Marikay Abuizuaiter, incumbents Nancy Vaughan and Danny Thompson and a slew of other interesting hopefuls.

In the districts, there is not a single candidate running unopposed.

District 4 incumbent Mary Rakestraw will have to defend her seat against two challengers, and in District 5, Councilwoman Trudy Wade is running against the North Carolina leader of the Latin Kings street organization and David Crawford, who seems to have masterminded a victory in a county Soil & Water Conservation District supervisor election for a candidate who may or may not exist, but nevertheless disappeared from the county before he could claim his seat.

It’s the time of year when we amp up our election coverage in YES! Weekly, our blog at and our campaign website at We are posting candidates’ answers to our questionnaire as they come in, maintain a calendar of political appearances and keep tabs on the candidates as their positions shift and morph to the will of those whose votes they seek to get.

We’ll wrap it up in a neat package on the cover well before the primary, which takes place on Oct. 11..

We will seek to meet personally with each candidate, subjecting them to questions about the issues we and our readers care about. Then we’ll provide a handy election guide, complete with our endorsements, before the Nov. 8 General Election.

We love this stuff. And you should too. Believe it or not, your city council reps have way more effect on your daily lives than anybody in Washington DC — we’re talking bedrock issues here: garbage collection, drinking water, police and fire, libraries, real estate development, parks and swimming pools, the Greensboro Coliseum, public transportation, economic incentives… trust us: The Greensboro City Council is all up in your business. And you are constitutionally guaranteed a say in who gets to be on it.

And if you’re not exercising this right, you’re a sucker. If you’re not registered to vote, go do it today. Everything you need to know to be an informed voter is at finding out what district you live in, the candidates’ takes on the issues, important election dates and more. If you have any questions call us directly at 336.316.1231 or e-mail And if you’re a candidate, expect to hear from our endorsement committee soon.

YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration