Daron R. Sellars, District 1 candidate
Residential address: 815 Daleview Place, 27406 Incumbent or challenger: Challenger Age: 35 Campaign website or blog: None Occupation and employer: Wingstop restaurant franchise; owner, Modus Multimedia (Black Pages); Triad Nexus Previous elective experience (including election campaigns): Obama campaign, 2008; Mel Watt for Congress, 2004 Civic and volunteer experience (including service on city commissions and boards): Former member, Greensboro Planning Board, 2005-2008; cofounder, 100 Black Men of the Triad; former board member, United Way of Greensboro, including chairing the African-American leadership cornerstone society of the United Way with Johnetta Cole, 2005-2008; NC Tobacco Trust Fund, appointed by Mike Easley in 2006; member, NC Black Chamber of Commerce; Democratic Party delegate for Guilford County, 2008; member, NC Democratic Party Appropriations Subcommittee; graduate, North Gwinnett High School, Suwanee, Ga. Party registration: Democrat (nonpartisan race) What is the city of your birth? Greensboro Paid consultants working on your campaign? Not at this time Campaign manager: Betty Jenkins Treasurer: Terrance Williams
Remarks from Sept. 8 candidate forum: Introductory statement Good evening. I’d like to thank the Greensboro Unity for inviting us all. My name is Daron Sellars. I reside in District 1. I’m married and have one child. I’m a business owner here. I’m the owner of Wing Stop franchises here in Greensboro, and co-owner of Black Pages USA. I’m here tonight to say that I’ve done a lot in the community, as well. I’ve served on the Greensboro Planning Board for three years. I’ve served on United Way Board of Directors for three years. Co-chair with Dr. Johnnetta Cole with the African-American Leadership for three years. I’m here to say that I really want to take control of the economic piece as well as job creation in District 1. I feel that there’s some time to look at doing some HUD revitalization programs with our US Congress and state representatives to help funnel more money to help provide job creation in District 1. Thank you. Economic growth and development has not occurred in east Greensboro to the same extent as in other areas of the city. If elected, what would you do to ensure that there is balanced economic growth and development across the various quadrants of the city? You know, success, success, success. Success on Wendover. People talk about Wendover. Why doesn’t southeast Greensboro look like Wendover? I’m sure there’s various reasons why that’s the case. But we have people that’s willing to work in southeast Greensboro. My business is in the middle — my franchise sits in the middle of that district. I think we have to look at the stigma of southeast Greensboro. How do we get away from that? And I was talking to, again, the HUD office in DC about revitalization programs, and how we need to look at some partnerships to help, you know, with the HUD programs, with housing and revitalization community projects to employ people in those areas. And there is money available. I think we need to really look at economics, economics, economics. You know, they say location, location, location. It’s economics, economics, economics. What can we do to really broaden the jobs base in southeast Greensboro? And I think some of the things we need to do is look at some of the revitalization programs, and possibly some more incentives programs. We need some incentives programs for southeast Greensboro. So I think those are some of the key things we need to look at and that I would look at on the council. Again, being a business owner, knowing the needs of — people walk into my restaurant all the time and say, ‘Why aren’t other things coming? Why aren’t other things coming on this side of town? We live over here as well.’ So I think we need to look at some other things and work with some other programs to look at bringing some other projects to that area. Because of drug activity and crime in their neighborhoods many of the city’s elderly in east Greensboro fear for their safety and do not come out in the evening or move around their neighborhoods during the day as freely as they would like to. What would you do to increase the elderly’s sense of public safety? Neighbors watching neighbors. Go back to the old way of community support. I think the officers have to be a little more visible in the communities. There’s examples of, you know, like National Night Out. We could do that more often. We don’t have to do that once or twice a year. I think having those moments when the officers come out and kind of engage with the community will kind of ensure the seniors that they’re safe, even sometimes when they’re really not, because we do have some issues. I think having the officers to be more involved in the community watch meetings; it’s just that simple: Have the cops more involved and have more events like National Night Out. And even in your churches and synagogues, maybe talk about some of the things that are going on in your neighborhood so that the elders will have a more secure sense of what’s going on in their neighborhoods. Do you favor maintaining funding for the Greensboro Police Department’s gang enforcement unit? Why or why not? Thank you. Yes, I do support continuing funding for that. And to actually increase. I mean, I think that it’s an epidemic. And I think that it needs to be a deterrent for gangs and for recruiting more gang members. I think it’s a large recruitment out there. And so, yes, I would support that. Absolutely. One of the questions in a candidate survey sent out by the Triad Real Estate & Building Industries Coalition is, Do you think that sprawl is a problem in Greensboro? How did you answer this question, and what are your reasons for your answer? I served on the planning board for three years. That’s kind of a tough question. There’s pros and cons to that question. You know, I’m more for the pro-residents, but with an emphasis on owning a business. Advocating for businesses. So I guess my answer to that is, no, not at all. But I think that we really need to look at the way we do some of our planning. In terms of when I was on the planning board, some of the things that I opposed in terms of the way things are laid out in terms of the city. But no. What is your vision for a strategic, sustainable solid waste management system for Greensboro? First of all, before I get into the White Street Landfill issue, I’d like to thank the mayor for leading us in going green because I think everything is not about the landfill. Some of the things we’re going to talk about are other environmental issues other than what’s going on on northeast Greensboro. She’s done a great job on trying to get Greensboro to go green, and I want to thank her for that because that’s where we need to go. That’s the new technology of what we need to be doing. As far as the White Street Landfill, I think we need to look at — being a restaurant owner too, as one of my opponents was saying, we do waste a lot. Some things are recycled; some things are not. We need to look at cutting back waste. My view on the White Street Landfill: It’s not an option to open it back up. It’s not an option. If I’m elected on council, it’s not an option for me to reopen it. I think the people over there are taxpayers too. We’ve already decided. It’s been voted. That’s not an option. We have to look at the people over there. You know, you can often wonder what it’s like if it was in your neighborhood. You can’t imagine what it’s like in your own neighborhood. It’s easy to take something and dump it somewhere else in someone else’s neighborhood. Would you want that in your neighborhood? It would deter business. It would deter future growth for that area. So no, I will not support that at all. To me, that’s not an option. And I can’t believe it’s still on the table to be an option. I think it’s already been decided. If elected, what project would you like to have completed by the end of your first term? You know, I’ve thought about this. It’s kind of tricky. I sit on a board where we look at franchises come into an area. I’ve thought about my wings business. I said, “Will people stop eating wings?” I thought about that. I don’t think so. But I think that we need to look at more things… to help kind of grow southeast Greensboro. I was thinking another thing to, is how to get citizens involved. This room should be packed. This room is not full. I wonder why. You guys have done a great job, but this room should be packed. We’ve got to figure out how to get citizens more engaged in the process. This is so important. During the Barack-mania when the presidential everyone was just gung-ho with everything. This room should be packed running over with people and constituents with issues and try to help resolve issues. Young people — I’ve gotten a lot of calls from young people that want to help on my campaign, I guess because of the age. But young people need to get more involved so people would stay. So what do I say? Yeah, by the time I leave I would want to get more young people involved in the political process and help grow and help constituents decide what really goes on in the city. Would you support giving subpoena power to the Greensboro Police Department citizen review board? Why or why not? That’s a good point, because after talking to a lot of constituents I would support it. Because after talking to a lot of constituents they want it. They’ve been fighting for it and they want it. So yes, I would support the police review board with subpoena power. Absolutely. Because that’s what the people want. Closing statement Thank you. I’d like to thank the Unity Effort, as well, for putting on this event. I really do appreciate it. But, as I stated earlier, I think this room should be full and I don’t understand why it’s not. But I think we need to find a way to get the people engaged so they can hear from these candidates. My name is Daron Sellars. I do want your vote for District 1. Being a small-business owner, it’s tough. It gets real tough sometimes. But I think that we have to look at the betterment of the community in terms of what we need to do to grow other small businesses, other minority — we need other minority small businesses. Being the chair of the state Black Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina, there’s a couple things that we’ve talked about, some other initiatives that we’ve talked about in Greensboro, as well as in the whole Triad area. Greensboro is in the middle of the state; it’s a jewel to a lot of people around the state. But I really need your support. I think we have some other issues we haven’t talked about tonight. We have some issues in the police department that has to be addressed. It’s gonna have to be addressed. It’s gonna have to be addressed. Because there are some crucial issues in the police department. And I think we need to talk about that. It’s been tip-toed around. But it’s gonna have to be addressed. It’s gonna have to be addressed. So I think that if I could get your support I would greatly appreciate it, to help stir up minority businesses as well.
Stories about this candidate:
Blog posts about this candidate: