Racial & Economic Justice

Rosa Parks Rememberance

From yesterday's N&O:

Fred Battle remembers having to sit in the back of the bus. So he and the local NAACP are hosting a bus-ride tribute to the late Rosa Parks on Thursday, the 50th anniversary of her refusal to give up her seat.

"Most people are not even familiar with the history of the Montgomery bus boycott," Battle said. "This is our attempt to not only pay tribute to what's happening in the present but also to educate people."

All are welcome to board Chapel Hill Transit buses at 11 a.m. at the Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St. [MAP] The buses will travel down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and then head to the Franklin Street post office, where a rally will begin at noon with Battle and civil rights lawyer Al McSurely.

New shelter re-location option

Here's a really good idea from the letters to the editor of the Chapel Hill News:

Former sorority house would be ideal shelter

As Chapel Hill struggles with the issue of homelessness, shouldn't citizens of the town seize upon an opportunity that has been laid at its feet? Hasn't anyone noticed that the Delta Zeta sorority house is up for sale? It would be the perfect answer to the question of where to put the next homeless shelter.

This structure is specifically for the housing of a large group of people. It has countless bedrooms and bathrooms for the needs of unrelated residents. It also has a commercial kitchen, dining hall, a large meeting area and office space. The building is in excellent condition, needing no substantial modifications to serve its new purpose, and it is ready for immediate occupancy. It is ideally located near jobs and transportation.

Zoning of the area is obviously not a problem since it had a similar use in the recent past, and the neighbors might actually consider the transformation from sorority house to homeless shelter a move in the right direction.

Better late than never

Linda Convissor of UNC passes on this info about the University's new memorial to the oppressed workers that built it.

Dedication of Unsung Founders Memorial
Saturday, November 5, 10:00 a.m.

If you have been on McCorkle Place recently, perhaps to vote, you may have noticed the new sculpture installed near Alumni Hall and the Morehead Planetarium. The sculpture “honors the university's unsung founders - the people of color bond and free who helped build the Carolina that we cherish today.”

The sculpture, which is a gift of the class of 2002, was installed in late spring and will be dedicated this Saturday, November 5. The community is invited and I hope you will come to campus for this dedication and let others know about it.

More diversity? Fewer meetings?

John Herrera made two interesting comments in his interview in today's Herald:

We need to ask ourselves, who value diversity, why is it that single moms are not on the board? Or people of color. It is so hard to recruit them. They don't have the time, the money, the what it takes sometimes to run a campaign.

Something I have been pushing for but it got shut down, is reducing the amount of meetings. Bigger municipalities... don't meet every Tuesday.

We all know there are obstacles along the lines John describes. Most of them would be difficult for local government to overcome. It would be great for the town to provide a childcare fund which might cost up to $2000/year for a single parent (that's on top of the alderman pay which I think is around $5000) and much less for parents with partners or joint custody - an idea worth exploring.

Local governments tackle affordable housing

During last week's Sierra Club forum in Carrboro, candidates were asked what they felt needed to be done to increase the stock of affordable housing in town. Each of the 4 candidates who addressed this question agreed that it is the most complex problem before the BOA.

Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill work from a version of inclusionary zoning that requires new developers to include affordable units along with their market priced units. In Carrboro developers who comply with the "small house ordinance" are given a density bonus to help them recover some of their lost opportunity. In Chapel Hill, developers can provide payment in lieu of compliance. New units developed through the Carrboro plan are deeded over to the Orange Community Housing and Land Trust as a means of ensuring they stay affordable. Buyers own the dwelling but not the land upon which the dwelling sits. Chapel Hill is currently clarifying the legal the language around their affordable housing options.



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