Q&A With Wilmington City Council Candidate: Salette Andrews

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.

Salette Andrews - Wilmington City Council

Occupation: Small business owner (estate jewelry)
Political experience: Served on a town council in Arizona 
Political affiliation: Democrat

GWBJ: If elected, what changes would you like to see in Wilmington during your term?
Andrews: "Infrastructure investment is essential for Wilmington to thrive, attract economic prosperity and promote sustainable growth. Wilmington needs to prioritize projects that enhance public safety, such as road improvements, traffic signal upgrades and pedestrian-friendly design. We need to pursue all funding sources, including state and federal grants, public-private partnerships and bonds. We also need to collaborate with the county, neighboring municipalities, regional agencies and the state government to address larger-scale infrastructure challenges that extend beyond Wilmington."

GWBJ: What do you want people to take away from your campaign?
Andrews: "As an Air Force veteran, small business owner, grandmother and cancer survivor, I have the life experience to know that it takes teamwork between people who don’t always agree on everything to get big things done. I know that if we want to build Wilmington into a great city for everyone, our city council will need to focus on smart goals, work in a pragmatic and collaborative spirit, and avoid distractions from moving Wilmington forward."

GWBJ: Would you put an emphasis on affordable housing in the city? How would you approach the issue?
Andrews: "We need to ensure a variety of housing options, because that attracts employers to our community and promotes economic prosperity. The joint city-county Workforce Housing Advisory Committee has provided us with a good plan to address affordable housing. The city is also supporting rehabilitation of existing housing through low-interest loans and grants for housing repairs. We can also continue to work with our nonprofit partners, such as Habitat for Humanity, to build more affordable housing."

GWBJ: What is your approach to growth and development in Wilmington?
Andrews: "Wilmington has several partner organizations that support economic development and encourage job and wage growth. Some of these organizations focus on 'economic hunting' to bring large corporations into our area. It’s also important to focus on 'economic gardening,' which emphasizes nurturing and growing local businesses that are already established in the community. Both approaches can encourage job and wage growth and increase our local tax base to help fund critical needs without raising taxes."

GWBJ: If elected, which industry would you like to see grow in your next term?
Andrews: "Child care -- including early childhood education, before and after school care, summer, holiday and infirmary care -- is an essential industry. Without enough child care, businesses lose profit and productivity. They lose workers and growth potential. Child care supports children’s health and economic outcomes, providing substantial long-term returns. It acts as an economic driver, both indirectly, by enabling parents to work or go to school, and directly, by promoting new small businesses and employing providers and early childhood educators."

GWBJ: What do you bring to the role that the other candidates do not?
Andrews: "Because of my background as a military member and military family member, I’ve lived in ten different states -- some of them, like North Carolina, multiple times. I’ve lived in five different municipalities in North Carolina. I’ve been an elected council member in another jurisdiction. I have a deep understanding of what makes a city a great place to live, work and play. I also have broad knowledge of the tools that can move Wilmington forward."

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