Thursday, February 9, 2017
Mayor Jennifer Roberts discusses the State of the City, the on-going HB2 confrontation, Major League Soccer and more. Plus, a look at the impact of the president’s travel ban on Charlotte's refugee community.
President Trump's executive order temporarily banned travel to the U.S. by people from seven Muslim-majority countries and stopped refugee resettlement here. The executive order immediately faced legal challenges and last week a federal judge temporarily blocked part of that order. Attorneys general from across the country, including in North Carolina, have opposed the ban.
Now the Department of Justice is defending it. While the issue is being fought in the courts, we'll step back from the politics to take a closer look at Charlotte's refugee community and find out how refugee resettlement agencies have handled the president's order. Who makes up our refugee community? Where did they come from? How do they get acclimated to their new home? That's in the second half of the show.
First, we'll talk with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts. In her state of the city address on Monday, Mayor Roberts loosely referred to the ban, indicating the city will oppose moves that run counter to its values, saying Charlotte "welcomes people from across the country and around the world."
We'll ask her about that and whether the city would consider future proposals to fund a Major League Soccer stadium. Roberts and the city council opposed funding a stadium under a deal that asked for $43.75 million each in city and county funds. She continues to push for LGBT protections in the ongoing battle between Charlotte and the Republican-controlled legislature in Raleigh over HB2. Mike Collins talks with Mayor Jennifer Roberts about all of that and more.
Jennifer Roberts - mayor of Charlotte
Marsha Hirsch - executive director, Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency in Charlotte
Thakur Mishra - Case manager with Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency. He came to America as a refugee from Bhutan in 2009. He is now a U.S. citizen and lives in Charlotte.
Highlights from the show:
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts says the city is still open to courting a Major League Soccer team, but major questions remain unanswered. Roberts says city council needs more information on possible sites for a new stadium, and more details on a soccer team’s economic viability:
Roberts: We haven’t seen an economic impact study. You know, what has soccer done in other parts of the country? How many successful teams are there? You know, certainly it’s very successful in Europe. You know, what stage is it in the United States? We haven’t - we haven’t seen that information.
Last month, city council declined to take a vote on a proposal to build a multi-million dollar stadium on the current site of Memorial Stadium. In a statement, council members called the proposal rushed.
Roberts also assured residents the city does not have any policies in place that would make them a target of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on sanctuary cities. Roberts says while police cannot be prohibited from asking for someone’s immigration status, the law doesn’t say they have to. Roberts says she wants police to work within the confines of the law, and build trust with immigrant communities.
Roberts: Our local police are trained in local law. That’s what they’re going to continue to do. They want citizens to trust them, to be able to call them when there’s a crime, and to be witnesses for a crime.