This past Friday, April 24th, marked the last day of classes at UNC-Chapel Hill for 2014-2015, and while many students fulfilled the campus tradition of relaxing on the quad, others chose to reclaim and “occupy” the space as a hub for an open dialogue about the university’s racial tensions over the past year.
The event was organized by The Real Silent Sam, which is a coalition of student, faculty, and community activists working to contextualize the university’s physical landscape and institutional history.
About four years ago Orange County Justice United came together with El Centro Hispano, the Human Rights Center, the Town of Carrboro, and a number of other partners to create a task force that would work to develop more dignified working conditions for people loooking for work at the corner of Jones Ferry Road and Davie Road in Carrboro. After much work together, on Sunday April 26th we will celebrate the grand opening of the Center for Employment and Leadership (CEL) at El Centro Hispano at 201 W. Weaver Street in Carrboro.
It’ll be another busy week for Orange County’s elected bodies this week. The Hillsborough Town Board and county commissioners will hold a joint meeting covering an array of subjects from transit to economic development, while the commissioners will talk solid waste and the potential 2016 bond referendum earlier in the week.
The Carrboro Alderfollks will review the progress of the town’s parking management plan, while the Chapel Hill Town Council will hear comments on proposed changes to the Ephesus-Fordham form-based code district.
Three of Orange County’s elected bodies will be meeting tonight alone. The Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss a zoning atlas amendment and special use permit and receive reporters, while its Hillsborough counterpart will interview candidates for appointments and discuss the town’s noise ordinance. The county school board will consider its budget for the upcoming year.
While the Hillsborough Town Board takes a break this week, its Carrboro counterpart will consider a request for a minor modification to a conditional use permit. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will consider approving a budget request for the county commissioners, while the commissioners will talk agricultural support enterprises at one meeting and capital projects at another.
Both the Chapel Hill Town Council and county school board have meetings scheduled for this week, but no agendas have been released.
Today I took a tour of the Durham-Orange light rail transit (LRT) corridor, courtesy of Triangle Transit staff. We started at Triangle Transit headquarters in RTP, picked up a helpful if bulky set of maps and other materials, and made our way to the proposed western terminus of the LRT project in Chapel Hill. I used the event as opportunity to live-tweet the tour for local politics blog OrangePolitics (where this entry is cross-posted).
On April 9, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools will present an unprecedented living wage policy for full and part-time employees to the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
According to School Board Member James Barrett, the idea for a living wage policy emerged from a cost-savings discussion during the summer of 2014 to move some school janitors from district to contract-based employment. In doing this, the city would save money at the expense of a drop in wage for workers.