Guest Author's blog

Carolina North - Where we are now

[The following was sent out by e-mail to NRG supporters. Julie McClintock agreed to let us publish it as a post on OP as well.]

Hello Neighbors,

We all saw the headlines earlier this summer announcing approval of the Agreement for a new 250 acre UNC campus in Chapel Hill.

The new campus, Carolina North, will house classroom, research, mixed use development and business incubator space. Because of its size (3 million square feet over 20 years), and central location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at the current site of the Horace Williams Airport, this project will have far-reaching impacts on the community. 

Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG) worked with the citizens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro throughout the planning process to highlight your concerns and ideas about Carolina North. Attached is a brief report titled “Report to Residents: Key Points in the Carolina North Development Agreement” that summarizes how issues important to our community are addressed.  

We advocated with Town and the University to see these key issues and guiding principles incorporated into the Agreement as a result of your input:

Journey of Reconciliation

[On Monday night, local activist and historian Dr. Yonni Chapman, PhD petitioned the Chapel Hill Town Council to support the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACPs effort to have a historical marker placed at the location of the former bus station that was visited by Bayard Rustin and others during the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, which is now known as the first freedom ride. What follows is an excerpt of his presentation (PDF). I recommend reading the proposal which has more context and details. -Ruby, OP Editor]

Journey of Reconciliation in North Carolina

The Journey of Reconciliation, later called “The First Freedom Ride,” began on April 9, 1947. It was led by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)’s leaders, Bayard Rustin and George Houser [who worked for the Fellowship of Reconciliation, CORE's founder]. The First Freedom Riders committed themselves and their bodies to test a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1946 that ruled interstate Jim Crow laws on buses and trains were unconstitutional.

Income inequality in Orange County

Guest Post by Ian McDonald

Last week, USA Today published a report with this headline: "Income gap closes in rural suburbs, Census says." The data comes from the Census's American Community Survey for 2006, and ranks all 783 US counties with 65,000 people or more.

The article lists counties with the greatest and least income inequality, based on the Gini Index. Despite the headline and the trend it describes, Orange County NC ranks fifth-highest in the U.S. in this measure of income inequality. Only Manhattan NY, Orleans Parish LA, Fairfield County CT, and the District of Columbia surpass NC's Orange County.

Maybe the result is a statistical artifact of OC's college age population, but other counties dominated by big universities (e.g., Dane County, Wisconsin and Washtenaw County, Michigan) are far down the list. The data are available for public download from the Census web site.

Is OC's high national ranking for income inequality surprising? Is it troubling?

Health as a human right

Guest Post by Sarah Chasnovitz

I am a student at UNC School of Law participating in the Human Rights Policy Clinic. Along with my classmates and our faculty advisor, Deborah Weissman, I am working with the National Health Law Project on a project promoting health as a human right.

Although Orange County is a vocal supporter of human rights and has a history of supporting resolutions reminding our leaders of our obligations under the Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, we have not been as vocal about social and economic rights, particularly here at home. There is a national movement of policymakers, activists, and civic leaders promoting the idea that we need to bring human rights home to our communities. One area in which Orange County can take the lead is by affirming its commitment to the internationally recognized right to health.

New-and-improved Carr Mill signs

Cross posted from Light In Water.

New signs are up on the Weaver Street Lawn. (Read the back story.)



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