Racial & Economic Justice

Nonprofit Leadership in Orange County: So White

At a meeting last week with many local nonprofit leaders, I learned something not too surprising – the nonprofits in Orange County are largely run by white folks with accompanying huge disparities in assets and revenue when compared to those run by people of color. Across the Triangle, such nonprofits primarily serve communities of color. And according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this is the case across the US. I’m not going to tell you why you should care that, like other sectors, the wealth of our nonprofits is concentrated in the hands of white people.  It has been written about here (racial wealth gap) and here (nonprofit diversity).  But I do want to share our local stats so we have an accurate picture of what we’re facing.

Another Aspect of Equity: Our Town and County Advisory Boards

This article was posted on-line in the Herald-Sun on Saturday July 29, 2017.

More than 630 residents serve on our towns’ and county’s 71 advisory boards. Advisory board volunteers give their time and knowledge and provide an important service by helping our elected officials and staff make decisions that influence the vibrancy of our community.

According to the Town of Carrboro website, “These volunteers perform a vital role in our community by contributing their time, expertise and talent.... They serve willingly and without compensation. They interpret town codes, they counsel and advise elected officials and they listen to citizen appeals.”

Orange County’s advisory boards “assist the staff of Orange County in achieving a greater understanding of the nature and causes of community issues” and “promote public awareness of contemporary issues Orange County must address to achieve the Orange County Board of Commissioners’ goals and priorities.”

Feed the hungry, but why are they hungry?

{Cross posted from Chapel Hill News}

Food For the Summer
Food for the Summer

This summer, thanks to Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, the InterFaith Council for Social Service, No Kid Hungry NC, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and with funding from UNC’s Food for All, our community launched an effort to provide lunches to as many of the 30 percent of children who qualify for free and reduced meals during the school year as possible.

Urgent: Please help us move Carrboro's Google hub from cemetery to OWASA

Our group savecarrborogreenspaces.org has collected 332 signatures near the Farmer's Market on 2 Saturdays and 3 Wednesdays. Our last chance with the Carrboro Aldermen is June 21. We need your help now to address this new "profits over people" environmental social injustice.

Land use decisions are to made deliberately, after public input. But Silicon Valley's wealth is pushing their ASAP culture onto communities and disrupting local procedures (e.g. Uber). To attain market dominance, Google Fiber imposes rules that speed the sitings of its internet relay facilities: Since towns control permits, Google will not partner with utility districts. Google allows towns to nominate only sites that towns own directly. Towns don't own much land, so parks and urban green spaces get nominated.

In Orange County Living Wage News

Orange County, via both public and private employers, has been making significant strides in extending living wages to people who work in our communities. Here's the latest:

  • Orange County Board of Commissioners approves policy encouraging contractors to pay a living wage.
    • While the North Carolina General Assembly's House Bill 74 made it illegal for municipalities to require vendors/contractors to pay a living wage, and the recently passed House Bill 2 reinforced that ban, the county commissioners approved a policy to encourage vendors and contractors with the county to pay a living wage. While a living wage cannot be required, vendors and contractors will be required to "submit a statement indicating whether the employees who will perform work on the Orange County contract are paid at least the living wage amount. If such employees do not make at least $12.76 per hour, the contractor or vendor will be asked to indicate in the statement the actual amount paid to such employees.  For bid projects, this statement would be submitted as part of the bid packet."​

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