Education, city’s crime rate have Douglas’ full attention

Sep. 16, 2013 @ 08:48 PM

When he volunteered at Area Christians Together in Service, Charles Douglas got the bite for public service.

He lives on his investments. He’s furthering his education at Vance-Granville Community College. And he’s got a goal of law school.

He’s also eyeing the Henderson City Council. Douglas is a candidate for the at-large Ward 1 seat, where he is challenging Sara Coffey. Early voting begins Thursday and Election Day is Oct. 8.

“Sometimes the check comes late, and my water or electricity goes off,” Douglas said. “But I’ve come to understand what people go through. It’s time for me to step forward to show my brothers and sisters a way of living life.

“All the hope isn’t gone. You don’t have to walk like you don’t have a chance.”

Douglas was an interrogator with the U.S. Army. The Shreveport, La., native moved to Kittrell with his mother before he turned 18. He returned to help care for her, and subsequently got involved with her at ACTS.

Douglas serves in the Human Relations Commission, the Vance County Appearance Commission, the Henderson Planning Board and the Downtown Development Commission.

He said two important issues the City Council can affect for Henderson are education and the crime rate.

“The board of education has rightful dominion over the crisis we’re facing, but when education lags in the county, it affects our ability to attract new business in the city,” Douglas said. “We’ve got to find cost-efficient means to find solutions to improve our graduation rates and quality of education in the county.

“Local leaders, when it affects the entire community, we should start the conversation not with what we can’t do, but with what we can do.”

Douglas said his research shows for communities with population 15,000 to 20,000, Henderson is No. 2 in the nation in property crime.

“I think it falls back on youth boredom and educational quality,” Douglas said. “I don’t think that’s a problem. I think that’s a crisis.”

Douglas said hard-hitting questions need to be asked, and the City Council needs to respond as the community wishes within reason.

“While they have great wisdom and history of the past, in any situation you need to view a problem from many perspectives,” Douglas said of a veteran City Council. “Right now, we’re having a problem with crime and young people and education. A young person needs to step forward with ideas on how we can address these issues.”

And the 24-year-old is ready to be the one to do so.

 

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.