“The people and the safety of my community is my responsibility,” said Shartiera. This principle compelled her to protest each night of the major demonstrations following the officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, and to speak at the Sept. 26 Charlotte City Council meeting. Shartiera warned council of how powers unchecked and the absence of transparency deepen the existing wounds of distrust toward law enforcement in our community and across the nation.
“There aren’t enough people who are vocal in the right forums,” said Shartiera, explaining why it was important for her speak that night. “The only way we’re going to be able to get results is through reform. How can we expect true change to actually happen if we’re not entrenched and involved in these processes? If we don’t do something about it, we will run into these same issues.”
Since the meeting, Shartiera has signed on to complete the Civic Leadership Academy, an 11-week course designed to groom residents to become the next civic leaders of our community. She sees this as the next step for her to lead the change she wants to see within her community and local government.
“If you’re not sitting at the table, you won’t know what’s going on,” she said. “Everything happening around you will be dictated to you instead of you being a part of it.”