The Northside Neighborhood Initiative - Progress & Partnerships

The Northside Neighborhood Initiative was launched on March 9, 2015 as a partnership between the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving & Making History, Self-Help Credit Union, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Town of Chapel Hill. You can read more about that launch in a prior story on OrangePolitics written by Hudson Vaughn, Assistant Director of the Jackson Center.

Today a celebration was held that included an update on the progress of that Initiative to keep homes affordable, help long-time residents to stay in their homes, and foster good relationships between permanent residents and students. The highlights included:

  • Three homes have been purchased through the Initiative.
  • 31 homes have received repairs.
  • Noise complaints have dropped by 60%.

A summary of the event can be found below in the Storify of the tweets, including details of the work that Orange County Habitat for Humanity is doing to increase the supply of affordable homes in the community.

Can Visualizations Help Create Better Public Input Processes?

It seems like a cornerstone assumption of any democratic process that the more people who are involved, the better. I absolutely believe this. Whether it’s registering voters, encouraging people to volunteer for town boards, making avenues for giving public input easier, or asking whose voice is missing from the table any time a group of people are gathered, we all have a role to play in increasing the quantity and diversity of people who are involved in making decisions.

But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to increase the quality, not just the quantity, of public input in decision-making processes. And I don’t mean berating ordinary citizens for not being public policy experts. Far from it. The responsibility to help people make better decisions sits with those people asking for the input to begin with. And in the case of local governments, the responsibility sits with the governing bodies, and by extension, the staffs, who are managing public input processes.

The History of Carrboro's Jones Ferry Road

A presentation today at the Chapel Hill Public Library shed some light on the history of Carrboro's Jones Ferry Road, recently the site of road improvements and Michael Brown's latest mural. Learn more in the storify of tweets from the presentation.

Listening to the People

{Cross Posted from Chapelboro.com}

With our elected bodies coming back into session any day now, it's timely to think about how Orange County residents are being engaged in the decisions our elected officials make on our behalf. A post here on OrangePolitics got Chapel Hill resident, Matt Bailey, thinking about ways to engage residents that do not require them to come out in the evening and sit for hours waiting for their three minutes. So, he shared his ideas over on Chapelboro.com (below). What do you think of these ideas? What ideas do you have? Where should elected offical go to hear from constituents? Post your thoughts.

“Town leaders aren’t listening to the people.”

 

We heard that claim repeatedly from several candidates running for public office in Chapel Hill last fall.  With the promise they would listen to the people, several of those candidates have now been elected officials for almost a year.

 

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.

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