Molly De Marco's blog

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."​

Embracing Change in Chapel Hill-Carrboro

{Cross posted from the Chapel Hill News}

 

A picture of a stop sign graffitied to read “STOP PROGRESS” appeared on Twitter last week. The person who Tweeted it captioned it simply: “Chapel Hill politics in a nutshell.”

A few days later, a community leader expressed to one of us their disappointment in how our community is perceived. “People used to look to us as a leader in innovative policies, a place where cool things were happening. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

How we got to this point is no mystery. Past local elected officials enacted policies that made it difficult to open new businesses and build new kinds of housing. As a result, most development of the past few decades has been low-density, single-family homes on dead-end streets.

Dream Up Downtown Walks coming

A collaboration between the UNC Chapel Hill Department of City & Regional Planning (grad student Mia Candy, for her masters' degree project) and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership will bring us four new downtown walks in the spirit of the Jane's Walks honoring the late urbanist Jane Jacobs.

These four walks will traverse downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Here are the dates and walk leaders:

Thursday March 24th, 6.30pm - 8.00pm: Our Public Spaces (Molly De Marco & Travis Crayton)

Wednesday March 30th, 6.30pm - 8:00pm: Hidden in Plain Sight (Seth LaJeunesse & Travis Crayton)

Thursday March 31st, 6.30pm - 8:00pm: Our Public Spaces (Patrick McDonough & Molly De Marco)

Monday April 4th, 6.30pm - 8:00pm: Hidden in Plain Sight (Mia Candy, Meg McGurk)

People are encouraged to join in, sharing their ideas and knowledge, during these walking conversations.

Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government Workshop Summary

On March 4, 2016, the Center for Social Inclusion and its Government Alliance on Race & Equity held a workshop called Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government.

This workshop was held at the Chapel Hill Public Library and brought together elected officials from Hillsborough, Carrboro, Durham, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, as well as town staff from Hillsborough and Carrboro, the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Charlotte Police Department as well as community members who work with the Racial Equity Institute, the Organizing Against Racism Alliance, and Chapel Hill's Justice In Action board.

The purpose of this workshop was to start to build a common language and set of organization ideas around how elected officials and municipal staff can work toward addressing racial inequities in our community.

District 1 and At-Large Candidates Answer Democrats' Questions at Forum

It's the season for candidate forums. Yesterday, the Orange County Democratic Party and the Orange County Democratic Women held their forum for District 1 and at-large Candidates for the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The event was held at the Lake Hogan Farms club house. We live-tweeted the forum.

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