Home builder and developer Paul Beyer announced Wednesday that he would seek the Democratic nomination for one of three available seats on the Charlottesville City Council .
“This is my home town, this is where I grew up,” Beyer said. “Our family has had a business here for nearly 40 years. Civic engagement and investment in the community has always been a priority for us, and it’s why I’m running,” Beyer said.
Beyer, 29, is Vice President of Development for R.L. Beyer Construction where he handles land sales and acquisitions, advertising and promotional outreach, rental property management, and interaction with city and county government. The company is owned by his family and has been in operation since 1972.
Beyer was surrounded by around 35 supporters at his event. He outlined three main goals for his candidacy, including job creation, an emphasis on the arts, and a sustainable vision for the city.
“We have a unique vibe and a culture and an image of Charlottesville, and it’s progressive, it’s green, it’s innovative,” Beyer said. “I want to see that continue, I want to see it fostered.”
Christine Mahoney, who attended the announcement, noted her appreciation for his support of the arts, and that not many politicians express those concerns.
“I think he has a holistic vision for the city,” said Mahoney.
Beyer said a top priority if elected would be to increase affordable housing. He cited his past business experience and relationships with the local government in carrying out those goals.
“There is a no more sustainable concept than affordable workforce housing. Ideally, [affordable housing] is living in a community, it’s walkable green spaces and public spaces, its staying close to work, it’s a focus on community,” Beyer said.
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Paul Beyer announces candidacy for Charlottesville City Council
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Beyer has served on the Albemarle Housing Committee for six years, which provides guidance
and advice to the Board of Supervisors on housing issues relating to all incomes in the county. Beyer graduated from New York University with a degree in history, writing, and film. He has made promoting the artistic and creative aspects of the community a key aspect of his campaign.
When asked about his thoughts on the water plan and Meadow Creek Parkway decisions, Beyer responded that those decisions were not made lightly and that the city should stick to them. “It’s a distraction really from the real issue. Which is…do we have upwardly mobile jobs, do we have a vibrant middle class, and do we have a progressive for the future of the community. So that’s what I would like to focus on.”
Beyer said another priority while in office would be “to bring a greater sensitivity” to small business, employers, and job creators. He gave credit to the current city council for retaining its AAA bond rating and emphasizing fiscal responsibility.
Four other candidates have announced their bid for the Democratic nomination. When asked about his past involvement with the Democratic Party, Beyer responded that his involvement has centered on pragmatism, and the “nuts-and-bolts” of community engagement. He did not reference any specific local party involvement. Four individuals have announced that they will be running as independents. No Republican candidates have announced campaigns.
The Charlottesville Democratic Party will hold its firehouse primary on August 20th, where they will nominate three candidates to run in the general election in November.