WBTV Speak Out Editorial: A Look Back

l"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.

2017 was a challenging year.

Here in Charlotte, we saw an alarming number of homicides. County computer systems were hacked and held for ransom by cyber criminals. And I-77 toll road construction and traffic congestion, in general, have been a pain in the neck for local drivers.

Across the country, tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia and Las Vegas, NV were in the headlines along with protests against the National Anthem.

Plus, so many prominent people were accused of misconduct, including the owner of our very own Carolina Panthers, which will now be put up for sale.

But, 2017 has also been a year of opportunity.

We're encouraged by the high voter turnout that elected Charlotte's new mayor. We've seen progress toward getting more affordable housing – more than halfway toward the goal.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Schools are energized under the leadership of a new Superintendent, and major sporting events are returning to the city now that the controversy of HB2 has faded.

Charlotte is growing and aggressively pursuing employment opportunities like bidding for the new Amazon headquarters, which could reshape the entire region and provide desperately needed improvement of economic mobility.

As we look ahead to 2018, more challenges and opportunities await.  They'll impact some more than others, but in some ways they'll impact us all.

Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.