The Bull's Eye: May 15, 2017

(1) Action-a-bull: (things to take action on)  

City Council

Take action to support more affordable housing in Durham.  Ask City Council to add another Penny for Housing.  Durham's residents are struggling to find and keep affordable homes. Now is the time for the City Council to double its investment in affordable housing to help both low income renters and homeowners afford and maintain safe homes.

About the Penny for Housing.  Supporting an additional Penny for Housing would add 1 cent to your property per $100 of your home’s property value.  This means a person who owns a $200,000 home in Durham would pay an extra $20 per year to help build housing for a low-income neighbor.  Durham has already dedicated one penny for housing, so this would double our community’s investment at a time when it is sorely needed.  Our current penny makes it possible for the City to invest $2.75 million per year, which has been used -- just to name a few things -- to end homelessness among Veterans, support rapid rehousing for others facing homelessness, expand the Durham Community Land Trust, and support the Housing Authority’s efforts to improve and renovate Durham’s current affordable housing stock that is decrepit.  

Here is how you can support more affordable housing!

  • Tuesday: Email City Council at Council@DurhamNC.gov urging them to support an additional penny for housing.  

    • If you are a renter, you might discuss the challenges you face finding affordable housing in Durham.  

    • If you are a homeowner, consider sharing with Council Members that you are willing to pay an extra penny for housing to support more affordable housing for others.  Go the extra step by telling them exactly how much extra this would mean you would pay (take the price of your home and divide by 100 twice).

    • Thank Council Members for the commitment the city has already made to increasing affordable housing, and that you fully support doubling this investment given the needs of our community.

  • Thursday: Attend PA’s Affordable Housing Action Team meeting on May 18, 6:30 - 7:30PMand get organized for the upcoming City Budget Hearing.  The meeting will be at Southside Community Center, 201 W. Enterprise St, 27707.

  • Friday: Contact PA’s staff member to join the PA Affordable Housing Action Team’s email list.


Members of Congress

  • WednesdayDon’t let up pressure on healthcare - Call Senators Burr & Tillis and tell them you don’t support the American Health Care Act and expect a full CBO score before they vote. Now is the time to make sure our Senators know that if they pass TrumpCare, they can expect the same constituent outrage the House saw this recess. Read this refresher: TrumpCare Passed the House: Now What? Burr’s DC office: (202) 224-3154 & Tillis’s DC office: (202) 224-6342


(2) Note-a-bull (things to be aware of)

New Account-a-bull resource: Your guide to the 2017 City Council races! Stay informed on who's running to lead our city, what they stand for and figure out how you can help ensure a progressive City Council for Durham.

Federal

Buried in last week’s news about Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director Comey were developments in other parts of our federal government that will directly harm people and our democracy:

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a policy memo directing the country’s 93 U.S. attorneys to send people to prison for as long as the law allows. The directive from Sessions reverses Obama-era policies on charging and sentencing nonviolent drug offenders and orders federal prosecutors to seek harsher penalties. From the ACLU: "[Sessions] is directing federal prosecutors to increase a failed War on Drugs that has devastated the lives of millions of Americans, ripping apart families and communities, particularly Black people and other people of color, in a vicious cycle of incarceration." 

  • The Director of the Census abruptly resigned, raising concerns about leadership for conducting the 2020 census. Learn about why he resigned, why the census matters and why we should be paying attention to this.

County Commission

  • Durham’s Pre-K Task Force calls for Durham to increase and expand quality preschool to all low-income four-year-olds by 2019Read other recommendations from Durham’s Young Children Task Force.  Interested in supporting the effort to expand Pre-K?  Get involved in PA’s Education Action Team - the next meeting is May 23rd.

State

  • Good news for NC! The U.S. Supreme Court will not take on an appeal to reinstate North Carolina’s “monster” voting law, which was struck down by a lower court because it was passed with intent to racially discriminate against African American voters. Read more about what this means.

 

We want to hear from you - help us update PA's Vision & Mission Statement. The PA vision statement has served the organization well for many years. This year, the PA board reviewed the vision statement and decided that some revisions would allow it to more fully encompass all areas we focus on in our work today - including adding a more explicit commitment to dismantling structural racism and other forms of oppression. 

Please review the draft vision & mission statement and click here to sign-up to attend a feedback session to provide your input.