Racial & Economic Justice
On June 20th a hearing was held at a Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education meeting about the need to address racial inequities in how students are disciplined. As we gear up for another school year, I hope that efforts continue to be made to eliminate these inequities. Some activities have already begun. More and more of our neighbors are attending Undoing/Anti-Racism/Dismantling Racism workshops, and the CHCCS this summer held one of these workshops specifically for students and another that many staff attended. (Workshops will be held in the fall and are open to the public. For more information: Undoing Racism/Racial Equity Workshops in Chapel Hill; Dismantling Racism Workshops in Durham.)
A number of folks spoke at that June 20th hearing, including public defender James Williams, who shared these remarks:
The Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood Task Force continues its work but has a
new barrier to contend with that may preclude the Orange County Board of
Commissioners from taking action. As reported in this story
by Chapelboro, an EPA complaint filed by the Rogers-Eubanks
Neighborhood Association in 2007 alleges the Orange County Planning and
Inspections Department (OCPID) "intentionally discriminated on the basis
of race by denying water and sewer service to the African American
residents of the Rogers Road Community." The full letter from the EPA to
the OCPID can be read here.
the recent task force meeting held on July 17, 2013, Board of Commissioners representatives Renee Price and Penny Rich abstained from several votes on recommendations of what
to include in the task force's final report, citing the EPA complaint.
Just one more thing, I know, but this hits close to home for me from my past Justice United work and the great cooperation we received from governments in OC.
PROHIBIT CERTAIN CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
SECTION 5.(a) G.S. 153A‑449 reads as rewritten:
"§ 153A‑449. Contracts with private entities.
A county may contract with and appropriate money to any person, association, or corporation, in order to carry out any public purpose that the county is authorized by law to engage in. A county may not require a private contractor under this section to abide by any restriction that the county could not impose on all employers in the county, such as paying minimum wage or providing paid sick leave to its employees, as a condition of bidding on a contract."
SECTION 5.(b) G.S. 160A‑20.1 reads as rewritten:
"§ 160A‑20.1. Contracts with private entities.
Multiple strains on Section 8 housing are creating major worry for those who depend on affordable housing in Orange County.
The recent floods are perhaps receiving the most news coverage.
However, General Service Corporation, which according to the Chapel Hill News, owns nine apartment complexes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, recently announced that it will no longer accept rent vouchers. This means that as leases run out in the coming months, low income citizens will be thrown into housing crisis. With so little affordable housing available already, GSC's announcment means that the properties available to low-income renters will be even more sparse and hard to come by.
Additionally, a letter from Tara Fikes, Orange County Housing Director, that went out to HUD recipients this past week cited the federal sequestration as a strain on local budgets. "Here in Orange County, this will mean a reduction of more than $250,000 in how much our Section 8 program will have available to pay in rental assistance," the letter stated.
At their meetings last night, both the Carrboro Board of Aldermen and Orange County Board of Commissioners considered resolutions concerning the Rogers Road Task Force. The Carrboro Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution expressing their support for full sewer service for all of the Rogers Road neighborhood. By contrast, the Board of County Commissioners rejected a separate resolution put forward by Commissioner Mark Dorosin that would have expressed the BOCC's intent to participate in the provision of sewer improvements. Only Dorosin and Commissioner Barry Jacobs voted in favor of the resolution.
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