Editor’s note: Arthur Griffin gave these remarks Jan. 10 at the Matthews Board of Commissioners meeting.
For 17 years, I served this community as a member of the school board. Five of those years, I served as chair.
My community service includes court-appointed Guardian at Litem. Big Brother and Big Sister program here in Mecklenburg County, the Head Start Policy Council, I was a member of the Mecklenburg County Board of Social Services, one of the current responsibilities of the present county commission, board of directors of the Charlotte Area Fund, founder of the Charlotte chapter of the National Black Child Development Institute, on the Executive Council of Mecklenburg Boy Scouts just to name a few of the many community organizations served. Currently, I serve as chair of the Student Success and Strategic Initiatives Committee of Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees.
I also serve on an advisory council of the Legal Aid Society, and school leadership council of the Renaissance West Community Initiative.
I’m a Vietnam veteran and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. My corporate experience, I retired as a senior vice president at McGraw-Hill Education in New York, where the year before retiring. I achieved 101 percent of a $670 million revenue target.
So why am I running for an at-large seat on the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners?
As you have heard, my life has been one of service. Today, I see a real and present need for experienced leadership and I want to serve again. I want to help my community achieve some of its quality of life goals.
Laura Clark, the current CEO and president of the United Way of the Carolinas, said the Chetty study and national study about upward Mobility found Charlotte can be dead last for Upward Mobility. It was nothing new that she didn’t already know and that many others living here knew this fact prior to this study. She said of our community efforts are not research-informed and our ability to fund legacy programs often don’t demonstrate desired outcomes.
As a community, we can absolutely do better. These are challenging times in a time when experienced leadership is needed to improve real upward mobility opportunities. Not only as a parent and grandparent but as a trustee at Central Piedmont, I know and see firsthand how important a great education is to obtain a good job with living wages. How important family stability is affordable housing. And speaking of housing, I spoke to all seven of the mayors of Mecklenburg County and affordable housing was a common theme – not just workforce housing but housing for our seniors to age gracefully in place near their grandchildren and families and communities they have come to love.
The county commission also sits as board of health. COVID clearly pointed to a need for access to great health care. I support increased access to greenways and parks, and a strong, resilient local economy. You should know that approximately 75 cents of every dollar, the county spends comes from residents like you and me through real estate and sales tax revenue.
I Pledge to be a good steward of the funds entrusted to me. To learn more about me, you can visit my website at Griffin4MecklenburgCoun
ty.com. I hope that I can earn your consideration and your vote.