Local News

Poll: Durham Residents Most Concerned With Gangs, Violence

Posted July 22, 2001

— New developments are popping up all over the Bull City. The massive construction site where the future Streets of Southpoint Mall will be is just one example. But according to a new poll, development is just one issue on people's minds.

Earlier this month, the interest group Durham First conducted a poll to get a feel for people's top priorities. Number one on the list was youth crime and gang violence. Holding elected officials accountable ranked second. Nearly 80 percent of voters said that developers have too much influence in Durham.

But Sheilah Capel said it will take more than a poll to make things happen in Durham.

"You can do a poll, but if nothing comes of it or if nobody does anything about what's going on, it's not going to make a difference," said Capel.

Capel, a Durham native who now lives in Person County, said her old neighborhood is not what it used to be.

"It's a sad thing, but you can't let your child run the streets like they used to when I was young," said Capel.

Public safety is one core issue of Durham First. Spokesperson Bill Masso says there are important challenges facing the city of Durham, and it is time elected officials heard them.

"We think the citizens of Durham don't have enough of a voice. We wanted to put a megaphone in front of the voters in an election year, so they can be heard," said Masso.

Durham First will present the poll findings at the Old Durham Courthouse Thursday at 7 p.m.


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