Molly De Marco's blog

National Day Laborers Organizing Network working with local organizations to improve conditions

El Centro Hispano and the Fair Jobs and Wages team of Orange County Justice United continue work to improve the work conditions for those in the informal job market in Orange County through a collaboration with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON).The NDLON has facilitated the opening of at least 30 worker centers nationwide.

During this coming week (June 20-26th) the NDLON Legal Programs Director and the East Cast Field Coordinator will be in Orange County. They will be meeting with workers and officials and getting to know the community. They will be holding a large meeting with workers to provide information on how worker centers operate on Thursday.

A meeting of the Day Laborer Taskforce will be held on Saturday June 25th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at El Centro Hispano. During the meeting, a documentary on worker centers will be screened and those in attendance will have a chance to meet the NDLON staff and ask any questions.

Local Mayors Testify Against Bill Limiting Abortion Coverage for Town Employees

As part of a larger effort by North Carolina Republicans to restrict abortion coverage in the state (including HB 854: Abortion-Woman's Right to Know Act),  North Carolina House Bill 910 ("Gov't Health Plans/Limited Abortion Coverage"), sponsored by Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Lenoir County, would restrict abortion coverage under health plans offered by local governments to their employees. The bill would also limit abortion coverage under the state health plan for teachers and state employees.

Carrboro mayor Mark Chilton and Chapel Hill mayor Mark Kleinschmidt testified against the bill at the General Assembly on Wednesday, arguing that decisions about employment benefits for town employees should be left to the local governments.

Chapel Hill's Affordable Housing Strategy has been drafted - see what you think.

The Chapel Hill Affordable Housing Technical Assistance Group concluded its meetings on Tuesday May 17th by finalizing a draft of a 1-page Affordable Housing Strategy (below).  The one-pager has been emailed out to all those who attended a focus group and feedback sought. The final Strategy will be presented to the Town Council on Monday, June 13th with participation of all Group members.

I believe this is a comprehensive strategy that, once passed by the Chapel Hill Town Council, will allow Town staff to move forward with it’s work to support and provide a broad range of affordable housing without having the need to continually seek approval of the Council.  

Chapel Hill Town Council Approves IFC Community House

The Chapel Hill Town Council last night approved a special use permit (SUP) for the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service’s Community House at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard and Homestead Road in a 6-2 vote after another dramatic public hearing. (The first part of the public hearing was held on March 21). Council members Czajkowski and Easthom voted against the application; council member Pease was absent.

The hearing began with the presentation of a petition from the lawyer for a group of neighbors asking that Mayor Kleinschmidt and council members Rich, Harrison, and Czajkowski recuse themselves from voting on the SUP application because they had ostensibly already made up their minds when they answered a question about the issue on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce candidate questionnaire during the 2009 elections.

Update on work of the Chapel Hill Affordable Housing Technical Advisory Group

The Chapel Hill Affordable Housing Technical Advisory Group met again for the first time after the town staff worked over the past 2 months to hold 59 focus groups, talking to nearly 450 people about what an affordable housing plan for the town should look like. We were joined by two new members; a representative from UNC (Linda Convissor) and a representative from the Homebuilders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties (Nick Tennyson).

Focus groups were held with Habitat for Humanity families, UNC undergrad and graduate students, Chapel Hill fire fighters, residents of Northside, realtors, El Centro Hispano clients, members of the UNC Employees’ Forum, Community Home Trust owners, Chapel Hill Carrboro Schools employees, members of the Homebuilders Association and many others.



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