Q&A With Wilmington City Council Candidate: David Joyner

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Oct 23, 2023
This year’s city council election consists of seven members of the Wilmington community vying for the council’s three open seats.
Early one-stop voting started Oct. 19, absentee ballot requests are due Oct. 31 and Election Day is Nov. 7. More details on voting can be found on the Board of Elections website.
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal asked each candidate questions about their campaign to see how the candidates compare.

David Joyner - Wilmington City Council

Occupation: Assistant District Attorney
Political experience: Has not held a government position 
Political affiliation: Democrat

GWBJ: If elected, what changes would you like to see in Wilmington during your term?
"We need to strengthen public safety, protect our wetlands and tree canopy and find transportation solutions. As an Asst. District Attorney, I’m the only candidate who works full time in public safety. I’m also the youngest candidate, ready to bring a new generation of leaders to the table to fight for our environment. I believe Wilmington should be a walkable, bikeable city, and I want to see us reconnected to the passenger rail system."

GWBJ: What do you want people to take away from your campaign?
Joyner: "The next generation of leaders are ready to stand up to protect our wetlands, waterways and tree canopy. Young adults and young families are looking for a solution to the housing crisis, and we need visionary leadership for what Wilmington will look like in 10, 20, 30 years. Currently a lack of vision is leading to overdevelopment. Lastly, politics doesn’t need to be nasty; people can disagree agreeably while standing firm to their values."

GWBJ: Would you put an emphasis on affordable housing in the city? How would you approach the issue?
Joyner: "Affordable housing means making sure that our teachers, nurses and first responders can afford to live in the community they serve. Currently they’re being pushed out to the surrounding counties. The city should support density projects such as townhomes, rowhomes and duplexes while protecting the character of existing neighborhoods; apartment high rises built by out of state developers is not the answer. I also believe in a housing-first approach to homelessness."

GWBJ: What is your approach to growth and development in Wilmington?
Joyner: "We’re not alone in rapid growth; the N.C. coast, Triangle and Charlotte are seeing population booms. To keep the character of Wilmington and maintain a high quality of life we need good governance. This means high standards for protecting our natural resources, investing in transit solutions and completing projects on time and holding public-private partnerships accountable to the commitments they made years ago once their projects come online -- i.e., oversight for affordable housing rates."

GWBJ: If elected, which industry would you like to see grow in your next term?
Joyner: "Both of my grandfathers founded a small business: one an electrician, one a plumber. In addition to supporting local small businesses, I’ll be a champion for our film industry, our local artists and the tourism economy. Huge untapped potential lies within bringing the Greenrush and Blue Economy to Wilmington. Among N.C. cities we’re uniquely positioned to grow wind and solar as well as to harness thermal and kinetic energy from the Intracoastal."

GWBJ: What do you bring to the role that the other candidates do not?
Joyner: "As an Asst. District Attorney, I’m the only candidate who currently works in public safety. I fight for Wilmington daily, standing up for crime victims. I prosecute domestic violence, gun crime and impaired driving. I’m the prosecutor for our Veterans Treatment Court, supporting veterans with a substance-use disorder by getting them into addiction treatment, housing and employment as they focus on recovery. I’ll bring this experience to our strategy for safety and policing in Wilmington."

To read the Q&A from the other Wilmington City Council candidates, click here.
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