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Embracing Change in Chapel Hill-Carrboro

{Cross posted from the Chapel Hill News}

 

A picture of a stop sign graffitied to read “STOP PROGRESS” appeared on Twitter last week. The person who Tweeted it captioned it simply: “Chapel Hill politics in a nutshell.”

A few days later, a community leader expressed to one of us their disappointment in how our community is perceived. “People used to look to us as a leader in innovative policies, a place where cool things were happening. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

How we got to this point is no mystery. Past local elected officials enacted policies that made it difficult to open new businesses and build new kinds of housing. As a result, most development of the past few decades has been low-density, single-family homes on dead-end streets.

Dream Up Downtown Walks coming

A collaboration between the UNC Chapel Hill Department of City & Regional Planning (grad student Mia Candy, for her masters' degree project) and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership will bring us four new downtown walks in the spirit of the Jane's Walks honoring the late urbanist Jane Jacobs.

These four walks will traverse downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Here are the dates and walk leaders:

Thursday March 24th, 6.30pm - 8.00pm: Our Public Spaces (Molly De Marco & Travis Crayton)

Wednesday March 30th, 6.30pm - 8:00pm: Hidden in Plain Sight (Seth LaJeunesse & Travis Crayton)

Thursday March 31st, 6.30pm - 8:00pm: Our Public Spaces (Patrick McDonough & Molly De Marco)

Monday April 4th, 6.30pm - 8:00pm: Hidden in Plain Sight (Mia Candy, Meg McGurk)

People are encouraged to join in, sharing their ideas and knowledge, during these walking conversations.

2016 Primary Election Day Open Thread

It's Primary Day. We vote today in primaries for Orange County Board of Commissioners for District 1, District 2, and At-Large. Orange County voters are also voting to fill seats on their Board of Education.

Did you vote early? 

What are you seeing out there when you vote today?

What are your predictions?

The Candidates Respond: Affordable Housing

Nine candidates are running for the Orange County Board of Commissioners in the upcoming Democratic primary election on March 15.

  • At Large (1 seat): Andy Cagle, Matt Hughes, Mark Marcoplos
  • District 1 (2 seats): Jamezetta Bedford, Mark Dorosin, Gary Kahn, Penny Rich
  • District 2 (1 seat): Bonnie Hauser, Renee Price

OrangePolitics asked the candidates to answer five questions, and all provided responses. We're posting the candidates' responses to one question every Monday. We previously posted the candidates’ answers about the county-schools relationship, the 2016 bond referendumpoverty, and economic development. Today, we post the responses to the fifth question:

With rising home prices, rents, and property taxes, how should the county promote the development of more affordable housing and prevent displacement of lower-income residents?

Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government Workshop Summary

On March 4, 2016, the Center for Social Inclusion and its Government Alliance on Race & Equity held a workshop called Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government.

This workshop was held at the Chapel Hill Public Library and brought together elected officials from Hillsborough, Carrboro, Durham, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, as well as town staff from Hillsborough and Carrboro, the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Charlotte Police Department as well as community members who work with the Racial Equity Institute, the Organizing Against Racism Alliance, and Chapel Hill's Justice In Action board.

The purpose of this workshop was to start to build a common language and set of organization ideas around how elected officials and municipal staff can work toward addressing racial inequities in our community.

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