Racial & Economic Justice

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.

IFC, Homeless No More?

Is anyone at all surprised to see that the IFC soup kitchen/shelter will not be moving back into the space that they had to leave "temporarily" so the Town could remodel it? You shouldn't be if you read OrangePolitics. I can understand them needing more and better space for their residential programs, but I can't see the free meals they provide being nearly as helpful if they are served a mile away from the center of town. Poor people don't just hang out downtown because there are students to ask for money, it's also near where they work for poverty-level wages (ie: the University).

It also comes as no surprise that downtown merchants will be glad to have the shelter permanently out of their hair. I wonder if the move will have much impact on the panhandling that some people seem to think is the biggest problem we have downtown. (Besides maybe parking, of course!) Only time will tell.

Many criminals have fed the negative stereotypes of homeless people by hanging around the shelter and by giving its address when they're arrested. However:

Black Culture Stands in Spite of UNC Leaders

If you don't know me that well, you might be surprised to learn that I am one of the happiest people in town to witness the long-awaited opening of the free-standing Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at UNC. It's future existence was the primary purpose of my day-to-day existence during my last two years of college. As a member of the Student Coalition for a Free-Standing Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center, I organized marches, spoke at rallies, met with administrators, slept in South Building, and wrote flyers, press releases, and site analysis reports. I dedicated myself to helping the University community understand the compelling need for this institution.

Fireworks Show at Town Hall

There are a variety of hot topics on the the Chapel Hill Town Council agenda tonight. I won't be there in person, but I'll be watching on TV and will report semi-live on this thread as the meeting is in progress.

A few highlights:

Are We Diverse?

Guest Post by Graig Meyer

In the recent WCHL forum on education, an unidentified caller ($50 says it was Gloria Faley) chimed in at the last minute to challenge the notion that we live in a "diverse" community.

Initially I thought "right on" when she pointed out that our town's population is overwhelmingly white and affluent. But then I thought, "Hey, one of the reasons we moved here was for the diversity."

Are we diverse or not?

If you go by population numbers, we're not as diverse as Durham but we're more diverse than many other NC towns. What really bothers me is that people from different cultural groups don't really seem to know one another. Do many members of our white, affluent population maintain friendships with many Latino immigrants or African-Americans who live in Northside.

If we were truly diverse, wouldn't we know each other better and talk a little more?

Graig Meyer coordinates the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate Program in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System.



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