Q&A With Wilmington City Council Candidate: Marlowe Foster

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.

Marlowe Foster - Wilmington City Council

Occupation: Senior Vice President for Development & Business Strategy at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C., currently a caregiver to his elderly parents 
Political experience: Candidate for N.C. Labor Commissioner in 2012
Political affiliation: Democrat

GWBJ: If elected, what changes would you like to see in Wilmington during your term?
Foster: "The primary focus of my campaign is housing affordability. As a member of Wilmington City Council I would like to see us be bold and visionary in addressing the affordability challenge. My career in the public, nonprofit and private sector has been based on the ability to bring a variety of individuals to the table and deliver common sense solutions and concrete results. That is my commitment as a member of Wilmington City Council." 

GWBJ: What do you want people to take away from your campaign?
Foster: "That Wilmington has tremendous upside and the best is yet to come. We are a destination city for a reason. I am an optimist. Given the right leadership on Wilmington City Council, which focuses on the needs of all of Wilmington, we will achieve great things for this city."

GWBJ: Would you put an emphasis on affordable housing in the city? How would you approach the issue?
Foster: "As shared above, affordable housing is the primary focus of my campaign."

GWBJ: What is your approach to growth and development in Wilmington?
Foster: "As a destination city, Wilmington will continue to grow. For me it is critical that the growth doesn’t price out those who have built this city. Also, as we grow, it is vital that we protect our tree canopy."

GWBJ: If elected, which industry would you like to see grow in your next term?
Foster: "As I have campaigned, it has become clear that a focus on the trade disciplines has been lost in the discussion. My mom taught me, 'If you can lay a brick, you have a job for life.' HVAC techs, electricians, plumbers and welders are in high demand and those jobs pay good wages.  I will use the bully pulpit of Wilmington City Council to connect constituents to industries where jobs are available now, given the appropriate certifications."

GWBJ: What do you bring to the role that the other candidates do not?
Foster: "My diversity of experience. I have over thirty years in the public, nonprofit and private sector.  I have worked for a public university, a N.C. nonprofit, two Fortune 50 companies and a global manufacturing company. That experience has allowed me to develop the skill set necessary to find common ground on complex issues. Finding solutions to tough problems will be my focus on Wilmington City Council. The final thing I bring is fun to this challenge. These are tough problems.  We have to engage in a spirit of joy and having fun as we do the tough work."

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