Charlotte, N.C. (Nov. 22, 2022) – In this special edition of Fast Five, we feature Assistant City Manager Liz Babson who oversees the areas of mobility, planning, transit, and transportation for the City of Charlotte. She is also Lumbee Indian and shares a little extra about National Native American Heritage month.
Which part of the organization do you lead?
I was recently promoted to assistant city manager in June. Prior to that, I served as the Charlotte Department of Transportation director for five years, which is also the department where I started my career with city in 1997.
Why did you decide to work for the City of Charlotte?
I'm a Charlotte native and love this city. I started my government career in Raleigh with the North Carolina Department of Transportation where I spent several years. I knew early in my career I wanted to get back to Charlotte and work in local government because the city offers greater opportunities to work more closely with residents in the community we serve.
What is the biggest organizational priority you're working on right now?
Charlotte City Council just adopted the first comprehensive plan in more than 45 years. The
Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, along with several other recently adopted plans and polices like the
Unified Development Ordinance,
Strategic Mobility Plan and
Envision My Ride. These plans all work together to create a framework for how the city will grow and how we will connect people and places. As we move into implementation, it's important to continue conversations with council and the community and demonstrate how these various initiatives work together to connect people and respond to growth in our community.
What is your favorite part about working for the City of Charlotte?
In my opinion, our employees are always our greatest asset and my favorite part of the work. I am honored to serve in a leadership role in the city and work with such amazing people that have a passion for serving their community.
What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
Lang Van. I encourage you to try it if you never have. The owner Dan will remember you and what you typically order after your second visit.
About Native American Heritage Month
Surprisingly, there are about 10,000 American Indians in Charlotte and surrounding communities. Native American Heritage Month celebrates American Indians and Alaska Natives as the nation's first people. The month honors the rich, diverse cultures and traditions of Native Americans and acknowledges their important contributions this country. It's also a time to raise awareness of the unique challenges Native people have faced historically and still face today.
If you want to see and experience the local Native American culture, there are several powwows hosted in and around Charlotte every year. There is a local non-profit organization called the
Metrolina Native American Association that is an Urban Indian Center that promotes cultural awareness and education advocacy.