Racial & Economic Justice

Let's Do the Right Thing

Newspaper reports of last week's intensive two-day meeting of the town-appointed committee discussing the renaming of Airport Road to Martin Luther King Boulevard offered few suprises. A majority of the committee supported the renaming in the first place, and three members with businesses on future MLK Blvd are opposed, but all agreed to enter into the process with an open mind.

Can We End Homelessness?

Kudos to Sally Greene for bringing to Chapel Hill's attention to national efforts to end homelessness. And also to Kevin Foy and the rest of the Council for responding with a community roundtable scheduled for Thursday, November 18. Details can be found in today's Chapel Hill Herald or on the town web site.

The Carrboro Aldermen have declined to participate because of the choice of a weekday for the meeting. It is indeed bad planning to hold such an event when the working homeless themselves can not attend. (This is particularly egregious coming right on top of Chapel Hill's holding the Airport Road Renaming committee meeting all day on a Friday.)

Here's what I wrote on ending homelessness in the August 28 Herald:

Can you say 'boondoggle?'

I was baffled last week when the Town Council debated putting 59 people on a committee to decide whether to rename Airport Road. As if the whole committee thing hadn't slowed down Martin Luther King Blvd enough, appointing five dozen people would be sure to put the kibosh on it. Well it seems they are going to stick with the original plan to have just 20 members, but the mayor is still trying to turn this into the Chapel Hill Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"The charge of the committee is challenging," he said. "The immediate issues and underlying issues that inevitably must be discussed are difficult to discuss in an open, honest, civil and constructive manner."- Chapel Hill Herald, 9/12/04

Good luck!

MLK Blvd Committee: Foy Shocks Sinreich

I assume that everyone knows that, back in June, the Town Council created a discussion committee rather than act on the proposed renaming of Airport Road to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (by a 5-4 vote orchestrated by Mayor Foy along with Council-members Verkerk and Wiggins).

From today's Chapel Hill News:

"I found the whole thing really embarrassing," Sinreich said. "I was shocked the council was not able to take what I see as a really big step to affirm the civil rights movement. There are real, significant changes that need to be made. This isn't one. This is a token gesture that says, 'Thanks for all you've done and sorry you've been treated like crap.'"

The News' lengthy article only touched on the ongoing racial problems in Chapel Hill. Lots of good quotes but Ruby really nailed it.

Cost of Childcare Challenges Working Families

This fall, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen will appoint a committee to make recommendations on ways to make daycares and preschools more numerous and more affordable in Carrboro. If you would like to join the Childcare Study Committee, please email Carrboro Town Clerk Sarah Williamson at SWilliamson@ci.carrboro.nc.us - she can send you an application.

The Board is looking at this issue because of the squeeze that inadequate (and inadequately affordable) childcare puts on working families in our community. Single parents in particular have a had time being able to afford childcare. In our lower income neighborhood this means that some single parents must stay home and be dependent on governmental programs. While these are the people for whom such programs exist, the entire family might be better off if their toddlers were able to be in preschool while their mother/father is at work.

The committee will look at how zoning rules limit childcare and whether there are ways for the town to make childcare more accessible for its employees and for Carrboro residents in general.



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