What We're Reading: July 10

Happy Friday! Here are a few articles from the OP Editors that we found interesting this week:

  • N.C. growth brings challenges for land preservation: A board member of the Land Trust of Central North Carolina points out our preservation successes of the past - and a call for more public funding to continue preservation of rural areas in our state.
  • Portland, the Mission, and the housing affordability debate: This article from City Observatory's Daniel Kay Hertz does a great job building on an article we posted here on OP a few weeks ago discussing why the construction of new apartments is a symptom - rather than a cause - of higher rents.
  • The town shrink: New research by a professor at the New York State Pyschiatric Institute is helping New York City tackle public heath crises through better place making 
  • What's driving the N.C. Senate's animus toward the state's metros?: IndyWeek's Raleigh editor gives a great overview of recent legislation that has impacted North Carolina's major metropolitan areas
  • A state of many colors: Bit + Grain (a new and totally awesome online publication) interviews members of North Carolina's LGBTQ community about the impact of marriage equality on their lives. Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Council member Lee Storrow are featured.
  • Municipal elections–odd year and odd man out: Ever wondered why NC municipal elections happen in odd-numbered election years? Robert Joyce, a professor at the UNC School of Government, details the history of municipal elections in our state.
  • Draft affordable housing recommendations: far beyond "abolish single-family zoning": This is a great recap of draft recommendations out of an affordable housing committee in Seattle. These are some of the most progressive and impactful recommendations in any city that we've seen so far.

And in local news, we're reading Chapel Hill News editor Mark Schultz's Facebook post about Pam Hemminger's entry into the race for Chapel Hill mayor. Schultz suggest Hemminger's candidacy may complicate plans of CHALT, a political action committee, to recruit a candidate, but we at OP think Schultz is missing the point. It seems pretty clear that Hemminger *is* the CHALT candidate in this race.

Also in local news, we're reading Indy Week's recap of how affordable housing was left out of Orange County's upcoming 2016 bond referendum -- and how this happened with very little prior notice and virtually no public input. Share your thoughts on this article here.



Pam Hemminger *is* not the CHALT candidate. She is running because she thinks she will offer a different leadership dynamic than the current mayor. I hope we can go through this election season focused on the issues rather than applying labels.


It's hard to believe you, Terri, when Pam's website is registered by the same person (Julie McClintock) who also registered the websites of three CHALT members who are now council candidates.

If CHALT did not want this election to be about labels and affiliations, then perhaps they should not have formed a PAC and announced that they would be recruiting candidates in the way that they did.

In other words, Travis, you believe because a group supports a candidate, the candidate is then beholden to the group? That's a two-edged sword. It has implications for any candidate who takes money or support from anyone. I don't believe that's the case for any of our local candidates.

Terri, if you review the original post, you will see that all we said was that it was clear Pam was recruited by CHALT to be their candidate. My additional comment simply provides support for that conclusion. That is all. 

Travis--Whether you want to hark back to Vance Packard or George Lakoff, you used a rhetorical tactic that, intentionally or unintentionally, questioned Pam's independence as a candidate before the campaigning has even begun. She may have some commonly held beliefs with CHALT or other civic groups, but that doesn't make her the CHALT candidate which implies total alignment. Perhaps you meant to say that "It seems pretty clear that Hemminger is the candidate who will receive CHALT support/endorsement."? If that was what you intended to say, I agree. But they are very different statements. Nuance matters.

I just learned that you are Lee Storrow's campaign manager. If that's true, perhaps you should recuse yourself from OP editorial functions for the campaign season to avoid this kind of discussion.




Terri, at this point, I think this discussion has run its course.  I have provided clear evidence that Pam was recruited by CHALT to run for mayor. That seems like a fact people might want to know. That's the only point that the original post and my subsequent comment was trying to make, nothing more.

As for your assertion that I am Lee's campaign manager, that is false. I am no one's campaign manager. I would also appreciate it, if, in the future, you would factcheck these kinds of pieces of misinformation before you make public assertions based upon them.

I would also add that no one is telling Nancy Oates to take her blog down now that she's a Council candidate, so I don't see why you want to make an assertion that if I were involved formally with someone's campaign that I would need to stop providing my opinions and commentaries here. OP is about providing progressive perspectives on Orange County. We are a blog, not a newspaper. We have views and opinions, and we share them here, on our Twitter account, and elsewhere. That's kind of the point of what we do, much like that's the point of Nancy's blog.

Travis--I asked a question. Thanks for answering it.

Hey Travis, Here a tip for you: it undercuts your message when you condemn a thing that you are clearly spending time doing yourself.


Terri - you're wasting your time.  just refer to  the mayor is the "East-West candidate",  it fits given the pattern if donations from East,West affiliates to candidates,.

Pam has a long and strong track record of public service which is why so many engaged citizens like her and are supporting her campaign.  I suspect the attempt at labeling will backfire.


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