SOCI 273

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Chapel Hill 2020: Ambiguity Moving Forward

          On October 6, 2011, approximately 200 members of the community gathered at East Chapel Hill High School to participate in a “stakeholder meeting,” the second scheduled event in a series of events associated with the drafting of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan. Equipped with high-tech voting devices and packets outlining the various proposed mission statements and themes for the plan, citizens expressed both support and concerns alike through the press of a button.

Some, myself included, left feeling a sense of disappointment that citizens in attendance had been given little opportunity to verbally articulate their frustrations in any sort of forum-like fashion. Even more, I asked myself what each of the plan’s proposed provisions really encompassed. As a student of sociology and activist for marginalized people, the ambiguity and overtly positive spin on the plan is worrisome.

2020 Stakeholder Meeting, Part Deux

Tonight residents from across Chapel Hill gathered for the second stakeholder meeting as part of Chapel Hill 2020 planning process. I’m going to structure this post, the same as I did for last one, first I’ll report what happened chronologically and then give my feedback/thoughts. 

2020 Themes Already?

Tonight makes the second stakeholder meeting in the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive urban planning process. If you’ve been following the 2020 Buzz blog that I posted about a few days ago (Get the Buzz on Chapel Hill 2020), you’ve probably already seen that some themes and vision statements have been posted. I like what the facilitator and planning staff have come up with and think it’s a great jumping off point, but from the perspective of my group’s discussions at the first meeting I think a lot has been left off.

The main thing I think is missing is coverage of the social aspects of Chapel Hill. My thinking on this was sparked mostly from what my small group talked about the first meeting. We spent a lot of time talking about making Chapel Hill a community that supports youth (ages 0-25) and that has a servant mindset. We also spent a good deal of time talking about Chapel Hill as it fits into the larger regional context. I can see how these topics might fit into the themes listed, but I think they deserve more specific treatment.



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