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Committee seeks change in Orange County

Posted December 7, 2008
Updated December 8, 2008

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— People of different backgrounds, races and religions gathered Sunday evening to fight for change. The newly formed Orange County Organizing Committee held its first public meeting at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

“We get to look at issues from all different angles and come together as one,” committee member Stephanie Perry said.

The committee, with 250 people and representing 23 institutions, studied and identified what it sees as some of the biggest concerns in Orange County: education, living wages, health care, immigrant families, environmental justice and affordable housing.

“It is very difficult for people who work in this area to afford a place to either rent or to live,” committee member Becky Ceartas said.

Committee members used Sunday night's meeting, with local leaders in the audience, as an official call to action.

“We just want to make it a better place to live,” Perry said.

The group also identified several issues specific to the growing Latino community.

“There are some big concerns, as well as some issues that have to do with public safety,” committee member Mauricio Castro said.

Members say Latino immigrants often face the biggest problems with housing.

“With many places, where you can afford the rent, they may be unsafe or unsanitary conditions and that's just unacceptable for anyone in our community,” Ceartas said.

“This work is about the future. It's about how do we think and work together collectively,” Castro said.

Area mayors and council members agreed to work with the committee on plans to improve many of the issues highlighted during the meeting.

22 Comments

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  • showed up late Dec 8, 2008

    The northern part of the county pays their fair share of taxes The southern part of the county sees most of it. I agree that we need to secede. The property tax rate should be less north of I-85 or better yet, if you are not in Hillsborough city limits.

  • vote4changeASAP Dec 8, 2008

    I'm being sarcastic here. You couldn't PAY me to live in that liberalist land.

  • vote4changeASAP Dec 8, 2008

    One way to keep the "riff raff" from moving next door is to price them out of the area.

  • vote4changeASAP Dec 8, 2008

    I don't think this article was focusing on immigrants.

    The elistest Chapel Hill, Carrboro area depends on average wage workers just like other towns. Aspen and Vail Colorado has the same problem offering affordable housing to people who work in resturants and shops. Not that Chapel Hill or Carrboro is remotely in comparison to Aspen or Vail. Hardly.

  • They call me CATMAN Dec 8, 2008

    braddyg DITTOS TO YOUR STATEMENT

  • ms b Dec 8, 2008

    I live in CH, unfortunately. Can't get hubby to agree to move. He LOVES saying he lives here. Anyhow, we may consider the living conditions deplorable, but I bet those coming here (legally or illegally) think they are far preferable to what they left. Who are we to impose our standard of living on everyone? So long as no damage is done to property belonging to others, let them live how they would like.

  • D1nationalchamps Dec 8, 2008

    Hey moderatorsnightmare...

    Looks like it's time for the North to secede from the South this time around. Right down 85. And we could trade 'em Hillsborough proper for Orange Grove and White Cross. I bet we could make a pretty good go of it.

    Wonder how many of those cars in Chapel Hill belonging to the students who vote in County Elections are registered in OC and contribute to property tax revenue. That could pay for a lot and maybe decrease the burden for the rest of us. 10,000 cars @ $100.00 (or whatever a BMW brings). Even OC gov't would have take a day or two to figure out what to do with it.

  • D1nationalchamps Dec 8, 2008

    Let's see, the minimum building lot size requirements keep getting bigger in O.C. (decreases overall available supply), impact fees for new construction has skyrocketed in the last 10 yrs (cost of construction up), and the county is buying up and preserving green space (decreases overall supply and artificially inflates prices). In addition O. C. Government continues to purchase private land for new County infrastructure which removes those properties from the tax roll (decreasing the overall assessed property), and expands exponentially it's budget and services each year (increasing the needed revenue from the decreased assessed property).

    No wonder all of my classmates from high school bought houses a mile across the Chatham, Alamance, or Person lines when they became adults.

    By the way, rumor is OC is revaluing all the assessed property in UP 15-25% this year. Makes sense to me. These are all policies to keep values high for tax revenue to support the image of social justice.

  • nghtstarz2 Dec 8, 2008

    Jeeze Louise! Alot of you must not be from Orange County! There are plenty of folks here who are just plain old county people and we take care of our own! Chapel Hill/Carrboro is just a tiny part of this community, but many of you are judging all of us who live here based on one little town. Irregardless, at least there are some people who want to identify the problems, try to take action to change what needs to be changed, and try to make it happen. Unlike those who would just rather complain about things...

  • Winston Dec 8, 2008

    So sad that this forum always shows such ignorance..Darius

    Darius, there are over 1,000,000,000 worse off than the illegal immigrants in this country..should we welcome those with open borders like the ones thas are here???????????

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