I think this is an excellent opportunity for Karen Rindge to take more of a public role. She is bright, well balanced and would be an asset to the Wake County Commission.
Representative Rosa Gill is a wonderful person but District 33 needs another Bernard Allen, Sr. District 33 needs a representative that will put time in the district working in the field - connecting the voters with every resource possible to turn the tide, to elevate the overwhelming number of families on free and reduced lunches, to protect the middle class communities and to insure that the district’s voters are known for what it can produce as well as what they can consume.
Young Bernard Allen has a great legacy to build upon. His father, Bernard Allen, connected industry with the leadership in the district. He served as a facilitator and not a gatekeeper. When Suntrust Bank and CCB were merging he brought together the leadership in District 33. Helped form the Raleigh Business Roundtable and empowered the group’s leadership to make changes with the full faith and financial support of newly merged Suntrust Bank’s top corporate leadership. That group created a youth bank at J. W. Ligon Middle School to teach kids the 'ins' and 'outs' of banking among many other accomplishments. The students ran the bank. I will go out on a limb here and state that the MEAC Basketball Tournament would be setting attendance records at RBC if Bernard Allen, Sr. had not suffered the stroke that robbed him of a long life and the District of extraordinary leadership.
Even now with Wake Med’s CEO Bill Atkinson expressing a desire to take the economic leadership role in District 33 especially around the New Bern Ave Gateway Rep Gill will not facilitate a meeting of the leaders in District 33 with the largest employer in District 33. Her reasoning has to figure into how we evaluate her performance thus far.
Representative Gill is a wonderful person and deserves her well earned accolades for an accomplished career but District 33 needs aggressive, on the ground, in your face leadership. In the House - the Representative is only one of many but in the District the Representative has the distinction of being a member of the House and that gravitas offers them the unique ability to bring the biggest executives together with the lowliest business person in the district, bonding them around a shared vision forming partnerships because their interest are basically and structurally the same.
The next District 33 Representative has to understand the power the position holds outside of the House Chambers - in the streets and by-ways of the district as well as the hallways of power and privilege. Failure to understand that broad power dooms the voters of the district to be viewed as only consumers and not producers.
In conclusion, please exercise your right ~ your duty to vote. And in the contest for NC House District 33 please vote for change, vote for Bernard Allen.
this was a great article. there is another matter at hand that will be written about in the coming days. i think it is interesting to note that this past election was a vote by the county on who they felt about a raleigh centric wake county. more to come
You are absolutely right and unfortunately Obama, for all his change conversation, will not follow through.
I do appreciate your article.
City-sponsored terrorism in Southeast Raleigh
13 APR 2005 by Peter Eichenberger
V.C. RogersThe question in the wake of the city inspection department's latest ritual public relations self-disembowelment is this: Were a series of terroristic, now-scuttled inspections in Southeast Raleigh some sort of "trial balloon," a test shot to gauge reaction to the latest affront to the people? Or, more likely, are the inspectors and their bosses merely arrogant boobs? A little background: Almost as I predicted in my column "The Knock at the Door" (indyweek.com/durham/2003-01-08/eichenberger.html), Raleigh and its inspections department planned, with no citizen involvement, to subject "blighted" (read "poor and black") neighborhoods to mass, compulsory inspections, intimidating the most vulnerable with documents and policies they might not understand, leaning on those in the least possession of the resources to address deficiencies in their dwellings. After catching hell for it no one will now take responsibility for the idea, and there are no minutes of any closed meetings at which it was discussed.
So, at a raucous city council meeting this month, the council and staff got dragged to the woodshed and administered as thorough and systematic a good ole country ass-whuppin' as I've seen by the inhabitants of the area--who let them know that they were on to the city's cruel, arrogant abuse of power. The city council quailed, issued a moratorium on the inspections, and delivered a well-deserved apology.
You won't see these sorts of blanket inspections in Cameron Park or Oakwood or Hayes Barton (read: well-heeled white people), which also contain older homes subject to the same sorts of geriatric conditions as any old house (especially when it comes to electrical and heating systems--the top two causes of domestic casualties). Folks with good memories might remember a blaze some years ago in Cameron Park where a large house went up in flames, killing the inhabitant; the proximate cause--a newspaper collection stacked to the ceiling.
I recently went on a tour of both sides of the line (Edenton Street), and to tell you the truth, the only difference I saw from the road was that the houses in Oakwood are larger--but with the same problems.
In fact, some city-owned rental houses in the "blighted zone" showed the same sorts of problems--peeling paint and such--that they will throw you out of your own house over. But they have an advantage that you and I don't have: sovereign immunity, which roughly translates to tough tits.
Look, no one is arguing it isn't in the city's interest to ensure the safety of its citizens. And it is legal as long as they, if one insists, produce a warrant--sure to endear you to the inspector, but still your legal right under Camara v. Municipal Court City And County, 387 (1967). I asked City Attorney Thomas McCormick to comment on Camara, but for now he has chosen silence.
So say you're in the zone, black, and face a city employee, who despite "Oh, of course the City of Raleigh would never discriminate," may or may not be a bigoted moron. Maybe you just don't cotton to strangers tellin' you what to do with your property and you get all bowed up. Now you have a couple of strikes against you, and they drop the hammer.
Suddenly you have 30 days (70 with the two 20-day extensions) to fix problems that have been literally centuries in the making, given Raleigh's historically abysmal treatment of her poor.
So, Grampa Grumpy's presented with orders to spend 20 grand on repairs or get out, board the property up and demo it in a year--at Gramps' expense. But wait, there's more! Grampa gets to shell out 325 bucks (cost of inspection) for the privilege of getting the bad news. (I wonder if there was a "moratorium" on that fee?) And it's not like the city gives the impression they are rendering assistance to assure safety via compliance. The notice says assistance is available but, y'know, somehow someone forgot to put the contact info on the form.
"The City of Raleigh prides itself on having a quality of life, [sic] second to no other jurisdiction," the letter opens, delivered on Thanksgiving eve, so the affected had all Thanksgiving Day to fret about it. Yessiree, there's some real concern for quality of life--not three years or six months to conduct repairs, but 30 days if the city had gone through with this cockamamie idea. If I were an inspector, I'd have made sure my insurance was up to date because some grumpy old bastard might well have a rusty old double-barrel tucked behind a door somewhere.
I've seen this scam before. It's just another twist on urban renewal, the shadow name for what used to be more accurately known as "negro removal," aka "gentrification." The city should be publicly castigated, and I'm a doin' it. J'accuse.
I know how folks live and have lived forever in what used to be called Southside, before Federal Housing Administration policies dictated the destruction of whole thriving neighborhoods back in the '60s. And I have been in some of Jesse and Dot Helms' disgusting rental hovels in the "blighted area." It would give a Hollywood set-dresser fits to try to create the decades of rot and filth in those appalling shacks. Funny how crummy housing was never a "problem" before. At least not until the land said shithole sits upon is suddenly worth money because of proximity to the shiny new downtown. Then, by golly, we have to help these people because, you know, we care. To which Mr. Eichenberger says, "Bullshit." Look, don't try and juke us. This is so transparent, a third-grader could figure out what it is--a land grab.
I don't think city employees go to work saying, "Oh boy, another day of screwing niggers." But the truth is that you can be a bigot and not realize it if that is all you know, living as we do within a deeply racist culture of the United States in general and the South in particular. As Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center force us to confront regularly, the Civil Rights Movement wasn't some magic wand that suddenly made us all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Remember, it wasn't until a mere 40 years ago, the Voting Rights Act, that black folks were assured even the right to vote (Russia beat us by a hundred years, for reference). These sorts of behaviors are so ingrained in us, so saturated in the very soil, that you have to climb out of your skin to see the United States--and Raleigh--for what it is.
And I don't think developers sitting like vultures in a tree waiting for the last real neighborhoods to be smacked-down are necessarily bigots (although they probably are); they just don't give a damn except for what matters to this nation: profit.
Look, guys, don't try to fool us. Threatening or actually kicking some poor old person out of their house because they can't afford to have their chimney repointed is not showing concern for "quality of life" (goopy PR bullshit if ever there was any). It is terrorism, as pointed out by a friend who got zapped--she being white, descended from slaveholders and raised in Eastern North Carolina, a place where bigotry is learned while sitting on parents' knees. I flat out asked her if she thought this was racism. She said yes with neither hesitation nor qualification. Sorry to rip your knickers off, Raleigh. The truth hurts.
But the other thing is the loss of texture. Trundling historic properties about like Monopoly pieces and placing them in an artificial construct like Mordecai Park is not preservation, y'all--it's taxidermy. Raleigh has already done such a superb Bronx stomp-job on its history that the only place with actual historic context is the poorest part of the city. It survived because nobody wanted it except for those who live there. No one wants to live in squalor. (And if some of you bigots are under some delusion that "blight" is some sort of black thing, I'd be thrilled to give you a tour of Cincinnati, Ohio's Over the Rhine neighborhood, where the 40 oz. crack-pipe culture thrives among the former "hillbillies" suckered out of Appalachia by the same con-job their black brothers and sisters in Chicago or New York went through.) These neighborhoods deserve to be restored, not crushed. When federal and city housing policies end up erasing whole neighborhoods, something very profound is lost--context, history, stories.
The most telling moment of the meeting was when Councilwoman Jessie Taliaferro thanked the residents for having the "courage" to show up. Wow, so now it takes "courage" to express sentiments about oppressive policies to elected officials. Considering what the residents were put through, Taliaferro's slip may well have shown the city's true colors in a way that she hadn't planned.
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More by Peter Eichenberger
Why are we in Iraq?*
A ferry ride to an Orwellian future?
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ALSO IN YE OLDE ARCHIVES
Sgts. Omar Mora and Yance Gray (again); The City of Raleigh; Orange County Commissioners
Auditor Les Merritt; Triangle congressional delegation; N.C. Highway Patrol; University housekeepers
SURGE and Dan Coleman; N.C. WARN and UCS; 500 water scofflaws
You failed to post the most important point raised at the Central CAC meeting June 2nd and featured by the Indy in the article Peter Eichenberger wrote when Comp Code enforcement was attempted in the South Park Community.
No one in District C and specifically low wealth households favor putting the "Compe Code" police on a homeowner.
How the Indy has gone from not favoring this type of code enforcement on those households to now writing an article that seems to support this type of "Guestopo" and by definition surely classist, eltitist if not just plain racist.
I feel we are engaging a "Final Solution" for low wealth families in Raleigh. We all need to be careful, we could easliy fall into that catagory.
I look forward to a more balanced reporting on this issue and the whole topic of "generation with justifcation".
As some of you open your tax bills this September take stock of your city and county are working within your means.
Finally Mayer Meeker, we have the fine officers in the Raleigh Police Department, the Wake County Sheriffs Department and the Wake County District Attorney's Office to address the Criminal element. We do not need to turn our Environmental Housing Department into something akin to Hiltler's SS.
Again, we can ill afford any tactic that is aimed at those most vunerable in our society. The Indy once championed those individuals and families,, now, well I just don't know?
Popfish has it right on point. I hope everyone asks these questions popfish asked in this paragraph "...However, no one has yet told me how much our economy would be benefited if the jobs taken cheaply by illegals had been filled by citizens, instead, who would not have been sending some of their earnings back to their homelands, but keeping them right here. And no one has certainly ever told me how much our economy would be benefited if those jobs had been filled by citizens who were paid a living wage for doing them. What would the "trickle up" effect be, then? "
Would we need to increase impact fees if we were capturing all the remittances that are going to latin america? How are you going to feel when your property taxes go up in July yet your income has remained stagnet?
I applaud the work of of the Sheriff in Wake and Charlotte.
Must we abandon the American Dream for US Citizens so corporate ameria's elite continue to have double digit increases in their incomes?
Popfish gave you an insight into the real issue that every US Citizen will have on his or her mind, black and white when they vote 08'. It is all about the money and when you are in a recession you take of home before you take care of quests, especially uninvited quest. Notwithstanding the comments of Rev. Barber of the NAACP, a snowball has a better chance of making it in Hades than to think that blacks who are beneath hispanics in both income and now educational achievement in the 2nd school system, will form this brown and black coalition. The very industry that lifted so provided a solid middle class income to many many blacks and whites has been taken over completely by latinos ~ construction ~.
I am just so glad Lou Dobbs has moved to 7:00 pm so we can listen to the network maginations and then tune in to the real deal.
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