ONE Wake has held two public meetings with candidates for Cary Town Council: on November 11, 2021 (before the second election delay), as well as April 28, 2022. During both meetings, ONE Wake asked each candidate to publicly respond to our grassroots agenda, including the creation of a designated housing fund to support the development and preservation of affordable housing in Cary. 

Below we have listed the candidates who attended each event, and we have provided links to their responses to our agenda. We have listed candidates in alphabetical order. ONE Wake is a non-partisan organization that does not endorse candidates. 

November 11 Early Candidate Assembly

Question for candidates: "If elected, will you follow the recommendation of the Cary Housing Plan to dedicate Town funding to support the development and preservation of affordable housing in Cary? Why or why not? Please elaborate on how you think the Town could invest in a housing fund."

In attendance:      

Mary Insprucker, District C Watch response here
Carissa Johnson, At-Large Watch response here
Amanda Murphy, District C Watch response here
Jennifer Robinson, District A Watch response here
Jack Smith, District C Watch response here

April 28 Early Voting Rally

Question for candidates: "If elected, will you work with ONE Wake to preserve and increase affordable housing in Cary, including the continuation of the designated fund for housing in two years when the federal money expires?" 

In attendance: 

Mary Insprucker, District C Watch response here
Carissa Johnson, At-Large Watch response here
George McDowell, District C  Watch response here
Chase McGrath, District A Watch response here
Amanda Murphy, District C Watch response here

Not in attendance, but submitted written statement:

Ken George, At-Large

“I am sorry that I cannot attend this get out the vote rally tonight. My sister-in-law’s mom passed away and the wake is this evening in Charlotte. I’m driving down and back tonight.

I fully support maintaining the current funding of affordable housing in Cary and will vote to replace whatever Federal Funds are lost in 2 years. I also support seeking more Federal and State dollars, along with county funds as they become available. In addition, my desire is to expand our “home repair” grant program in Cary, to go beyond just fixing roofs, air conditioners, floors, etc. to include small renovation projects that would allow rental basement apartments, bonus room apartments and/or accessory dwelling units, or “Granny Flats” that can be built with 30 year guarantees of reduced rent. These grants would only be paid back at the sale of the home to a non-family member.

I want to work with ONE WAKE and other organizations to publicize and develop plans like this that make sense to help both the low or fixed income homeowners not only to stay in their homes, but to gain rent in order to help pay the increasing tax and inflation burdens they face. Future renters of these ADU’s would benefit as well. This also integrates affordable housing into the fabric of Cary, mixing all income levels in the same neighborhood.”

Jack Smith, District C
"For the record, my Zoom interview with you was recorded [the Nov 11 candidate assembly] and you asked 2 specific questions at the close which I responded positive. I have your back."
Ed Yerha, At-Large
"Yes. My commitment (and Cary's commitment) extends beyond this year. In the budget proposed for next year, there is a look-ahead for 5 years, with $4 million funding each year. The affordable housing issue is real -- and so is my commitment to address it.

Thank you, OneWake, for raising the awareness of the need for affordable housing in Cary and throughout the region.  And thank you also for your efforts to get out the vote today. I'm looking forward to working with you long after this election season is over."

In attendance, but not running for Cary City Council:

Lisa Mead, Wake County Commissioner District 3 I am Lisa Mead, and I am running for County Commissioner in District 3, but we are elected at-large so all Wake can vote for me!

On Thursday night, I attended the march to the polls.  I am a long-time member of Good Shepherd UCC, and heard about this event via my congregation.  I have a long career working in education and non-profits, which includes various housing insecure local programs such as the Chapel Hill women's homeless shelter (Project Homestart) and the Durham domestic violence shelter.  When I was a residential substance abuse case manager, I was charged with finding safe, affordable housing after a client exited the year-long program.  This was nearly twenty years ago, and we often had to search outside the Triangle area for programs without long waits.  Sadly, it has only gotten worse since then!

If elected, I would be the youngest woman on the new board of Commissioners, and the only parent of school-aged children.  You may have seen them standing upfront at the event. My spouse was covering an early voting site so they tagged along and wanted to join me as I stood with you in support of affordable housing.  What you did not hear was my youngest (7) asking "Just how cheap will you make it mommy?' as I stood there.  My heart pained while I replied, "Let's talk more later" because standing in front of a large crowd is not the best time to dive into this issue on first-grade terms.  
It is going to take forward-thinking and creative elected officials to make progress on this issue.  I believe my combined experience of direct human services work and knowledge of complex budgets obtained through my extensive grant writing accomplishments have me poised to earn your vote and serve the community as the next District 3 Commissioner.  I am the only candidate endorsed by VoteProChoice, EqualityNC, Vote Mama Foundation, and the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association (RWCA).
Please visit my website at, follow me on social media, and most importantly, research the candidates, note who shows up, and elect those who have our shared values when you go vote.