At Large Council Member
Council Member Stephenson is the son of Col. F. G. Stephenson, United States Army (retired) and Phyllis Stephenson, mother of four and award-winning teacher in public schools of children with special needs. He holds two degrees from North Carolina State University, where he studied architecture and urban design and pursued a strong interest in improving people’s lives through design. He has always been active in the community, including two and a half years of service on the City of Raleigh Planning Commission.
In local schools he has served as a board member and volunteer at Raleigh Preschool, a PTA board member and volunteer at Hunter Elementary School, and a guest lecturer at North Carolina State University and McKimmon Center.
In the community he has served as a precinct official for the Wake County Board of Elections, a member of the Pullen Park Master Plan Steering Committee, a design team member for the Hillsborough Street Vision Process, and a board member of the University Park Homeowners Association.
As a Raleigh architect and urban designer, he has donated time in schools for career days and assistant teaching. He has led walking tours of historic Downtown and Oakwood, managed the City of Raleigh Arts Commission project to produce the Guide Map to Modern Architecture in Raleigh, and led the effort to create the West Raleigh National Register Historic District.
Mr. Stephenson met his wife, Ellen Longino, 34 years ago at North Carolina State’s School of Design. After graduating from State, Ellen went on to study fine arts woodworking at Virginia Commonwealth University. Their son, Jasper, studies graphic design at N.C. State University.
Asked his vision for Raleigh he says, "My vision is that Raleigh will continue to grow sustainably in ways that combine economic competitiveness, environmental stewardship, social equity and regional cooperation. Striving for innovative and thoughtful improvements in all of these areas will keep Raleigh and its citizens healthy and prosperous for generations to come."
"By almost every measure, Raleigh has prospered under Mayor Meeker’s 10-year leadership, and since 2005 has risen to the top tier of most national economic and quality-of-life rankings," he says. "Along the way, the 100-year drought of 2007-08 focused our awareness on better stewardship of our water resources. The persistent national recession has taken a heavy toll on many families and businesses, but has confirmed our fiscal prudence through Raleigh’s ability to maintain quality City services and support community-based service providers."
"Steadily rising costs of fuel, land and infrastructure have shifted the economics of growth away from low-density and car-oriented development. Accordingly, Raleigh’s new Comprehensive Plan of 2009 describes patterns of cost-effective synergy between formerly opposing goals of economy, environment and community. New (and renewed) patterns of more compact, walkable, mixed-use development with better mobility choices will keep Raleigh healthy and competitive in the long run."
Russ Stephenson serves on these committees:
- Healthy Neighborhoods
- Growth & Natural Resources