One of the least contentious campaigns in the Triangle – at least so far – got underway on Friday morning. Less than three weeks ahead of a citywide vote on $92 million in parks spending, the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Advocacy Committee hosted some familiar faces for a pro-bond rally at John Chavis Memorial Park in Raleigh.
Among the speakers were Torry and Terrence Holt, standout football alums of N.C. State University and co-leaders of the committee, who credit their success to the availability of public parks in their hometown of Gibsonville. Also on hand were four former mayors of Raleigh: Charles Meeker, Tom Bradshaw, Paul Coble and Smedes York.
The committee has raised about $25,000 to pay for videos and a website, according to organizer Jeff Tippett. The group works independently of the city, he said.
The campaign’s theme is “flip the ballot,” a reference to the fact that some voters might miss the parks bond because it is on the back side of their physical ballot. Its website is www.iflip4parks.org.
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If approved by voters, a 1.72-cent increase per $100 in Raleigh’s property tax would go into effect July 1. This increase would require the owner of a $300,000 home to pay about $51.60 more a year in property taxes.
The money would be used to expand and improve existing parks as well as add new ones throughout the city.
Durham organizations have two get-out-the-vote events scheduled during the early-voting period.
On Sunday, the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People is holding a 2 p.m. rally at the N.C. Mutual Building, 411 W. Chapel Hill St., followed by a march to the Durham County Board of Elections office. For information, see on.fb.me/1wjS7pw.
The committee is one of Durham’s three major political organizations, along with the business-oriented Friends of Durham and the self-described “progressive” Durham People’s Alliance.
The election board’s office, now located in the Judicial Annex at 201 N. Roxboro St. (former Northwestern Bank building, beside the Church Street parking lot), will be open for early voting from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
On Saturday, Oct. 25, the People’s Alliance, ActionNC, Durham Association of Educators, Durham PTA Council and Greenpeace are sponsoring a march from the Durham Bull statue in CCB Plaza to the elections office.
Meet at 11 a.m. for music, food and a few speeches. RSVP at www.actionnc.org/durham_votes.
Compiled by Andrew Kenney and Jim Wise.
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