Racial & Economic Justice

To Duplex Or Not To Duplex, Is That The Question?

When they adopted the Land-Use Management Ordinance in 2002, the Chapel Hill Town Council created a new way to protect residential areas, it's called the Neighborhood Conservation District. The first community to develop an NCD is Northside, where I live. If you are unfamiliar with it, Northside is a historically black and working-class neighborhood downtown (north of Rosemary Street, south of Bolin Creek, east of Carrboro, and west of Columbia Street). Low prices and convenient location have made the neighborhood increasingly attractive to student renters and their investor-landlords who can afford to pay more than many families and contribute less to the community in my opinion.

I have lots more I'd like to say about this, but what I want you to know right now is that the Town is holding a public forum to discuss the recommendation of the citizen committee that is working with the Planning Board to develop this Neighborhood Conservation District for Northside. Here's the scoop:

NORTHSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY FORUM

Breakfast Club Endorsements

The Hank Anderson Breakfast Club's endorsements were published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Monday.

The Breakfast Club endorsed Joal Broun, Alex Zaffron, and Mark Chilton in Carrboro; Elizabeth Carter, Gloria Faley, and Ed Sechrest for School Board; Thatcher Freund, Sally Greene, Bill Strom, and Jim Ward in Chapel Hill. They also endorsed both incumbent Mayors.

The Breakfast Club pretty much contains the leadership of the local NAACP, so this tell us where they stand. Sadly, they don't pull many votes in local elections. But they do know how to get things done. I wonder why didn't do a "South Orange Black Caucus" endorsement as they have in the past?

The only surprise for me was that they endorsed Thatcher Freund instead of Cam Hill. Thatcher's pretty progressive, but I think Cam's got a much better understanding of Northside's issues since he lives near it, and has a working-class background. I guess they were more impressed by Thacher's politics than by Cam's residency.

Sad News: Ed Caldwell

Ed Caldwell passed away on Sunday. He will be missed, and fondly remembered. He served the community vigorously. He was actively serving on the Northside Neighborhood Conservation District (among other things) until he fell seriously ill.

Here's more info from the Chapel Hill Herald.

Friends of Who?

Yesterday's Chapel Hill Herald gave us a preview of the "Friends of Sunrise" forum. Excuse me, but who the hell holds their candidate forum on the same night as a Town Council meeting? Doesn't that sort of indicate that you are more interested in making your own points than hearing other people's?

They also gave the candidates questions in advance:

One of the submitted questions reads in part, "Do you think that the town should continue its current policy of ignoring I-40 noise?" Another question asks, "Do you think nonprofits should be allowed to build large-scale, low-income housing projects with public funds and with no public accountability?"

The question on the bonds reads, "Keeping in mind that property taxes have increased steadily over the past 15 years and many Chapel Hill residents have lost their jobs in the economic downturn, how would you justify that this is the time to initiate the largest bond package in Chapel Hill history? Are there other ways to accomplish the intended goals?"

NAACP Forum Recap

Last Thursday's NAACP Candidates Forum was well-organized and well-attended (except for sparse media presence), including about 10 high school students who asked tough questions of the School Board candidates. Listening to nine Town Council candidates all answer the same question got pretty monotonous – especially since only about half of them generally have anything substantial to say. (I have to thank Rudy Juliano, Mike McSwain, and the ever-absent Woodrow Barfield for not coming, and thereby making the forum about 36 minutes shorter.)

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