public participation

"Public" Participation: A Look at Central West

Researchers at the UNC School of Government recently released the results of a survey (PDF) they conducted about Chapel Hill’s Central West Small Area Plan process. You might have seen some press and spin about this survey and the comments participants provided in the survey. But before we start extrapolating from these data, it’s important to make sure we understand who provided feedback on the Central West process and how those individuals compare to our community at large.

Solarize Carrboro kickoff

Back in October I'd posted about a petition to grow more solar in Carrboro. Thanks to your help, we've worked with the Town of Carrboro and the NC Solar Center to create Solarize Carrboro, a non-profit project making it simple and affordable to go solar now. In our pre-launch period, more than 100 people have signed up for free solar assessments.  Our kickoff event is on Wednesday, April 2, at 7pm in Carrboro Town Hall.

UNC releases report analyzing public participation in Chapel Hill 2020

Chapel Hill Town Council Adopts Comprehensive Plan

Unsurprisingly, the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously (I think) adopted the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan earlier tonight. Despite the objections of many citizens on a number of fronts and the reluctance of some of the council members themselves, the process will now exit the extensive community input phase and enter a period of “continued engagement.” 

Voices of Action Event at Chapel Hill Public Library

A free and public event exploring civic engagement and social justice issues is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at the Chapel Hill Public Library's Program Space in University Mall across from Alfredo's Pizza. Please share the EVENT FLIER.

"Voices of Action: Translating Words into a Movement" is organized by the Chapel Hill Public Library and the Town of Chapel Hill Justice in Action Committee. The public is invited to attend and participate in an interactive workshop and discussion to consider questions such as "What makes you want to act?" "How do you engage?" and "How can your voice be powerful?" The purpose of this event is to encourage creative expression of opinion and support participants as they recognize the power of words and find their individual voices.

The event will be facilitated by the Sacrificial Poets (, North Carolina's premier youth poetry organization. You don't have to be a poet or even write poetry to attend. If you appreciate spoken word, want to learn more, or you just have something to say about social justice, LGBT rights, Occupy, racism, fracking, environmentalism, immigration reform, or a host of other issues, this program is for you.

"We are excited to be involved because librarians are advocates of intellectual freedom," said Maggie Hite, head of circulation services. "And our library is a trusted, safe space for civic engagement."

Many residents are more comfortable expressing divergent ideas at libraries because they are neutral places that advance knowledge through freedom of expression and critical inquiry, Hite said. The Chapel Hill Public Library supports the idea that civic reflection builds community connections.

Formed by the Town Council, the role of the Justice in Action Committee is to give voice to issues and concerns regarding race and power in Chapel Hill and the surrounding community; and to educate the Chapel Hill community through workshops and seminars on issues of racism, diversity and inclusiveness. The committee meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of most months at Chapel Hill Town Hall. For more information, contact For more information about Sunday's program, see or contact


Sunday, May 20, 2012 -
3:00pm to 5:00pm


Chapel Hill Public Library's Program Space, University Mall

Final Presentation of CH2020: Joint Meeting of the Planning Board & Sustainability Committee

On Tuesday, June 5th at 6:00 pm there will be a joint meeting of the Planning Board and Sustainability Committee at which the final version of the Chapel Hill 2020 plan will be presented. Although only the charges of the Planning Board and Sustainability Commission require that they make a recommendation to Council regarding this plan, other boards may submit recommendations to Council if they wish. Therefore, members of all the Town’s advisory boards are encouraged to attend the presentation as it is an opportunity for them to hear the same information and have their Chapel Hill 2020 questions answered during the public hearing.

The final plan will return to Council on June 25th. 
Additional Boards which may be in attendance include: 

  • Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board
  • Cemeteries Advisory Board 

  • Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission
  • Community Design Commission
  • Community Policing Advisory Committee
  • Greenways Commission
  • Historic District Commission
  • Human Services Advisory Board
  • Library Board of Trustees
  • Parks & Recreation Commission
  • Personnel Appeals Committee
  • Public Housing Program Advisory Board
  • Stormwater Management Utility Advisory Board
  • Transportation Board 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Council Chambers



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This Week in Orange Politics

It'll be a busy week across Orange County this week. The Carrboro Alderfolks will discuss bicycle-friendliness and the Lloyd Farm propery mediation process, while the Chapel Hill Town Council will get an update on UNC-related development. Both school boards will review the student performance data recently released by the state, while the Hillsborough Town Board will get an update on the Colonial Inn. The county commmissioners will meet with the Mebane City Council on public transportation and the Buckhorn EDD, and will get an update on Southern Branch Library in a serperate meeting.

CHALT and the Sierra Club/Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce/WCHL will hold candidate forums for Chapel Hill candidates.

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