The Winston-Salem City Council Prioritizes Elite Development Instead Of Affordable Housing

Everyone knows that Winston has an affordable housing problem. But our city leaders aren’t doing much to address it. A recent study commissioned by the Winston-Salem City Council found that our city needs 16,244 additional units of affordable housing. It will take substantial efforts on the federal, state, and local levels to produce that many affordable housing units. Affordable housing has been largely abandoned at the federal and state levels.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Arbor Acres Expansion and DTWS Streetscape Plans Approved

The October 5, 2020 meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council concluded in just under one hour and ten minutes. The meeting was comprised of “two zoning petitions, two UDO text amendments, and an item related to the adopting of the downtown streetscape master plan.” Arbor Acres’s zoning petition was a little contentious. But it looks like most property owners around Arbor Acres can accept the Methodist retirement home’s expansion if the City implements some traffic calming measures and building height doesn’t get excessive. The measure passed 7-0, with Dan Besse recusing himself.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Union Station Restaurant Requirements, A Do-Nothing Gun Violence Resolution, The City Adopts Juneteenth Holiday, And Generously Funds Share Co-op!

Last night’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council was short but packed with important agenda items. The votes cast at last night’s meeting will impact our community positively or negatively for years to come. The decisions the Council makes with our limited resources matter. While the Journal’s Wesley Young covered the City  Council’s adoption of Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all City employees, there were other matters Winston’s newspaper of record didn’t cover. Chief among them was a $300,000 to help make Share Co-op a reality. Regarding the Juneteenth holiday, this is a welcome, but ultimately hollow achievement as long as poverty in Winston is tied to race, and little is done to improve East Winston.

Smith Reynolds Airport Is Estranged From Northeast Winston

Tuesday, September 8, Donald Trump made a campaign stop at Smith Reynolds Airport. At the same time that the Trump hot-air show /Covid-19 party was taking place at Smith Reynolds, the Winston-Salem City Council debated and approved the Smith Reynolds Airport/Whitaker Park Strategic Area Plan. If ever there was a coincidence, that was it. The two events have nothing to do with each other. But, interestingly, while the racism inherent in Trump’s campaign rally is explicit for everyone to see, the structural racism that produced the Smith Reynolds Airport/Whitaker Park Strategic Area Plan requires some unpacking.

The People’s Business: August 17, 2020

Today is the first day of class for students attending Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. The good news is, the kids don’t have to worry about what to wear. But the bad news is that they can’t go to school. For at least the first nine weeks of the school 2020-2021 school year, school has to come to them; they are going to have to learn to love online learning. That’s a huge challenge for students, parents, and teachers.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Front Street Capital And Industry Hill Move Forward, Purple Crow Gets $200,000

Monday’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council was a good example of how our City Council serves Winston’s wealthiest, well-connected few. All of the items on the City Council’s agenda were approved unanimously, without any dissenting votes. Think about that; not a single dissenting vote was cast in a meeting that lasted well over an hour. One could argue that the mayor and councilmembers were simply agreeing on zoning measures and a relatively modest incentive deal with a local manufacturer. But Allen Joines and his compliant councilmembers were rubber-stamping developer’s prerogatives, while largely ignoring the concerns of the working class.

Introducing, Winston-Salem’s One Tile Campaign

Vivian Perez-Chandler, co-founder of Soy Emprendedor and Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance President, Allen Joines hosted an online press conference, late Friday morning with members of the local press. The press conference was streamed live on YouTube. For 30 minutes, Joines and Perez-Chandler described their new, “Restart Winston-Salem, the One Tile Campaign.” Joines called it “an exciting new effort to help small businesses in our community.” According to the Mayor/W-S Alliance Prez, the One Tile Campaign was created by a “small group of minority women,” whose goal is to “restart Winston-Salem, one tile at a time.” Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough and local businessman Max Maxwell also spoke in support of the One Tile Campaign.

City Of Winston-Salem Doles Out COVID-19 Grants

Monday, the City of Winston-Salem issued a press release summarizing the COVID-19 Fund grants that our tax dollars were being spent on. The City also released a video of the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee meeting. The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee fell short of the six reasonable demands that my comrades at Housing Justice made last month. I was struck by the emphasis that was put on addressing food insecurity and the lack of attention on housing insecurity. As Wesley Young pointed out in the Journal, the largest single grant, of $100,000, went to the Forsyth Backpack Program.

Winston-Salem Braces For COVID19

The City of Winston-Salem recently announced that it was closing public facilities and suspending meetings in an effort to address the looming Coronavirus/COVID19 crisis. All recreation centers will be closed until further notice. All public assembly facilities including the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, the Benton Convention Center, BB&T Ballpark and Bowman Gray Stadium are closed. City Hall and the Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building will operate under normal business hours for critical city business only that cannot be done online or over the phone. Previously planned City of Winston-Salem meetings and events have been canceled.

Montgomery Is Determined To Keep Moving Up: From City Hall, To The General Assembly, To Congress

-Updated 2/25/2020, 1:30 pm

Derwin Montgomery is a man of many titles. He’s Reverend Montgomery to his congregation at First Calvary. He’s CEO to the board of the Bethesda Center, and he’s Representative Mongomery to his constituents in NC House District 72. Montgomery is also a co-owner of The Chronicle. If Montogomery finds a way to defeat four other contenders in the NC 6th District Democratic Primary, then he’ll be well on his way to becoming Congressman Montogomery.