Same old, same old
Notice all the anti-21st century letters to the editor supporting “exciting new candidates” who represent the same old anti-business views backed by the same residents who have held back Chapel Hill as a high-priced bedroom community?
Today’s demand: rental housing. Surveys repeatedly show millenials, at young adulthood, prefer in-town living without house ownership, but with convenient nearby businesses.
Our Town Council understands we need to join regional planning. Some residents regret university start-ups that move to Durham when established, while Chapel Hill HALT supporters say we must maintain a not-the-Triangle brand. That is the source of our past failure to attract and retain businesses.
By streamlining our approval process to the long-accepted norm of 12 to 18 months instead of five years and more, Chapel Hill is gaining lower-cost senior housing, affordable homes, and more business tax revenue to support town services.
Sally Greene listed the varied ways Chapel Hill gains from Obey Creek, Lee Storrow raises practical points and votes accordingly, Donna Bell considers minority needs and votes for Chapel Hill’s overall benefit. Maria Palmer, a fluent speaker of English and Spanish, is familiar with more people in Chapel Hill than maybe most of us. George Cianciolo as a co-leader of Chapel Hill 2020 has unquestionable insights. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt applies knowledge of proper process intelligently. Jim Ward continues environment interests. Ed Harrison knows DOT regulations well. We could not have a more representative Town Council – except to elect Michael Parker to add experience with university hospitals.
Anderson has heart
As president of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Mothers Club, I’ve relished the opportunity to help keep our community family-friendly. However, without civic leaders who share the same values and passion, working to preserve all that makes Chapel Hill such a special place for people of all ages to study, work, live and play can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.
That’s why I couldn’t be more excited that Jessica Anderson is running for Town Council.
Jessica is highly intelligent, informed, and educated, and she works incredibly hard and puts heart into all that she does.
There is no truer example of Jess’ character, perhaps, than the unique circumstance during which we first met. I got to know her after a mother in our town – a complete stranger to all of us – had posted on Facebook that she was worried that no one would show up for her son’s birthday party because he has disabilities and not many friends. Jessica was among the group of parents in the Mothers Club who decided to help throw the child a party, complete with kids, balloons, gifts and cake. She was one of the first to arrive with her husband and young child, and was the last to leave along with my children and me.
As the Town Council continues to make decisions about development that will impact its traffic, environment, schools and overall character, values have never been more important. Jessica not only has fresh ideas, an inquisitive mind and advanced policy training, but a strong conscience. She is exactly what we need to reinvigorate Chapel Hill and move toward greater fiscal and social responsibility – while retaining what’s special about our community.
Chapel Hill would be incredibly lucky to have Jessica serve on town council. I hope you will join me in supporting her candidacy.
President, Chapel Hill/Carrboro Mothers Club
Note: These are my opinions and may not represent the opinions of all club members.
Pattern gives pause
Regardless of Elliot Cramer’s interpretation (“Op-ed: Racial disparity in traffic stops does not equal police bias,” Aug. 19), the racial disparities found in police traffic stops and searches in Orange County should raise concerns for community members and officials alike.
According to numbers cited by Mr. Cramer himself, African Americans compose 10 percent of Chapel Hill’s population but are subject to 23 percent of traffic stops and two-thirds of vehicle searches conducted in the town each year. Such disparities are not unique to Chapel Hill. But they are also not “insignificant,” as Mr. Cramer too casually claimed. Even if disproportionate enforcement is not intentionally discriminatory, the pattern should give authorities pause.
Racial bias is not always conscious or intentional. But by reviewing such numbers accurately and honestly, officials and community members in Orange County and elsewhere can better address enforcement patterns that disproportionately target people of color.
ACLU of North Carolina
Please send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. All letters and online comments may be edited for space and clarity. Thank you.