SOCI 273

Get The Buzz On Chapel Hill 2020

Don't like what I'm writing on Chapel Hill 2020? Well there's good news. The town recently launched a new blog, 2020 Buzz, which will keep you abreast on all the changes in the process if you don't find my reporting sufficient :) Here's the good news on the blog: it provides another avenue to have your voice be heard. You can comment on virtually anything once you navigate away from the main page and you don't have to been a fancy Wordpress whiz to figure out how to do it. I think it can also be harnessed to be a wonderful tool for disseminating information. I would encourage the town to use a lot of multimedia if possible. People respond to images and videos in ways that they don’t respond to text, and I know a lot of people out there learn better through pictures and graphics than they do through words (myself included).

Homestead Park Citizens Organize

Homelessness in Chapel Hill is an issue that, unlike what happens in many communities, reaches headlines in our local media and often the agendas of our Town Council. However, as residents of Chapel Hill seek to safeguard business interests downtown, and as the worsening economic climate continues to find more and more in need, the topic has become increasingly contentious. In too many cases, our most needy citizens are seen as eyesores, barriers to business development and told to get out of town.

With local food pantries stretched to their limits and the current downtown shelter falling into decay, the Chapel Hill Town Council, after lengthy hearings and deliberations, approved the Inter-Faith Council (IFC) Men’s Community House Transitional Shelter Special Use Permit (SUP) in 2011 subject to the IFC satisfying several conditions, including the creation of a Good Neighbor Plan (GNP).

Kicking Off Chapel Hill 2020

In just a few short hours the Chapel Hill 2020 process will officially kick off with a community meeting at East Chapel Hill High School. After an open house that introduces what the process will actually be, attendees will split off into small groups to try to develop a vision for the plan and to identify key themes that the plan should focus on. Each of these small groups will be led a facilitator from the Leadership Team (see my previous post What Exactly Is The Leadership Committee Anyway?). The discussion that emerges in each group will be also be recorded by a staff person. You can check out an agenda here. And keep in mind that childcare for children over the age of five will be provided for free by the YMCA and food will available for purchase from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro PTA. 

Welcome to student bloggers Jeff and Burton

I just wanted to extend a quick official welcome to two UNC students that are working with OrangePolitics this semester for the service-learning component of a class they are taking: Sociology 273 - Social and Economic Justice with Professor Neal Caren. Jeff Miles will be covering public participation in the Comprehensive Plan revision process (a.k.a. Chapel Hill 2020), and Burton Peebles will be exploring how social justice issues are (or are not) talked about in local municipal and school board campaigns.

Each will be writing about 10 blog entries between September and December. All of their posts will be tagged SOCI 273. I hope you will all welcome them with some supportive comments and constructive feedback. 

OCDW's Municipal Candidate Forum Brings Affordable Housing to Forefront

Thursday, September 22, 2011, members of the Orange County Democratic Women (OCDW) gathered together, along with the UNC Young Democrats, concern citizens, members of the press and Democratic candidates for both the Carrboro Board of Aldermen and the Chapel Hill Town Council to have a conversation about their communities. The OCDW forum at the OWASA Meeting Room in Carrboro, co-sponsored by the UNC Young Democrats, gave both the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities the opportunity to press their respective candidates on the issues they feel matter most during this election cycle including affordable housing and the recnet budget cut-backs.

However, candidates differed in discussing their tangible platform points relating to the topics. Moreover, over the course of the evening, candidates highlighted their various personal strengths and unique perspectives on a wide range social justice issues, ranging from environmental degregation to living-wages for all UNC employees.



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