During its regular monthly meeting, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the North Carolina NAACP hosted Chief Walter Horton of the Carrboro Police Department, Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill Police Department, and Sheriff Charles Blackwood for a discussion of law enforcement issues. A diverse group of more than 50 people attended, including many members of the NAACP and other local social justice advocates.
In a previous post, I detailed the initial steps that the Carrboro and Chapel Hill Police Departments are taking to move toward racial equity in policing. But what about other local government functions?
It is clear from recent police forums and from experiences shared by people of color in our communities that we have a serious problem with racial equity in policing in Orange County. The most recent example is a guest column by Stephanie Perry in Sunday’s Chapel Hill News (12/21/14). Perry serves with me on the board of Orange County Justice United. We heard other stories like this during the Carrboro community forum on policing in October.
Orange County elected officials and health department staff have recongized the immediate need to address poverty in our county. As a result, the Orange County Family Success Alliance has been launched, modeled on the Harlem Children's Zone. The Orange County Health Department used health and school system data to select six zones with the highest need. More information can be found here. Each zone held community meetings to glean information for their applications. They then made short presentations and fielded questions.
In our semi-regular Question & Answer series, we have featured Meg McGurk, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and Brian Litchfield, Director of Chapel Hill Transit. The latest installment is with Robert Dowling, Executive Director of the Community Home Trust.
Extensive mold and other serious maintenance issues, unannounced inspections, living with no water, play equipment removed, violence, disrepect by management, inability to use shared resources, children not allowed to play outside.....
Would you be surprised to know that these are just some of the complaints coming from our neighbors who live in affordable housing complexes throughout Orange County (Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough)?
There's been quite a bit of great Tweeting about the InterCity Visit to Athens, GA. Still, there may be some of you out there who'd like to provide a little more context about what you have been learning. Please use this thread to do so. Travis and I will be posting some thoughts here as well.
The Chapel Hill Town Council was to continue its discussion this evening about how to fund the extension of sewer service to the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood, in its first meeting of the 2014-2015 session. However, town staff is again recommending a continuation of the public hearing.
In November 2013, the Chapel Hill Town Council voted 7-1 to sell 8.5 acres of town-owned land on Legion Road to Durham-based affordable housing developer, DHIC, Inc, for $100 (the property was valued at $2 million) for the development of 170 units of affordable housing. One of the steps in that development was the need for DHIC to apply for tax credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to assist with funding for the development.