Time For The City Of Winston-Salem To Disclose Who It Banks With

During the Winston-Salem City Council’s May Finance Committee meeting a simple but important exchange occurred. It lasted just a couple of minutes and its significance went largely unnoticed by the local media. I should have written about it at the time.

Mayor Pro Tempore, Vivian Burke asked Lisa Saunders, the city’s finance director something that we all deserve to know the answer to. After Saunders finished describing the various details of the city’s General Obligation Bonds, Burke asked her “who … Read the rest

Resentment Over Downtown Incentives Led To Contentious Trans-AID Debate

Monday’s marathon city council meeting was eventful. In a little under 3 hours, the Winston-Salem City Council passed its $482.4 million 2017-2018 budget by the thinnest of margins, 4-3 (Council Member Adams was absent). The highlights of the budget include; a marginal tax increase and higher pay for police and firefighters as well as other city employees.

Winston pays its police and fire department and other government workers less than comparable cities in North Carolina. It had no choice but … Read the rest

West Salem Can Handle A Syringe Exchange

Last Monday’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting was pretty uneventful. I’m still focused on the city council’s syringe exchange zoning debate. Every day there seems to be another headline that reminds us that we’re witnessing an opioid epidemic. Yet, for some reason, the city council continues to hassle the city’s only syringe exchange.

Earlier this week, The Journal reported that Forsyth County saw the largest increase in opioid-related deaths in North Carolina’s urban counties between 2005 and 2015. Forsyth County saw … Read the rest

The Winston-Salem City Council Needs To RELAX!

The city council just won’t let the idea of zoning syringe exchanges die. The Journal’s Wesley Young reported that yesterday’s Public Safety Committee continued to debate the idea without reaching a conclusion.

The city council will continue to debate Council Member John Larson’s proposal to place zoning restrictions on syringe exchanges next month. I not sure what makes me more upset, the city’s inaction on Dan Besse’s Welcoming City resolution or their flirtation with zoning syringe exchanges.

Council Member Larson’s … Read the rest

Exchanging Ideas On Syringe Exchanges

Our nation has a serious heroin problem fueled by opioid addiction. Recently, The Journal ran two articles on heroin addiction in our community, Scott Sexton’s article actually featured a picture of a user burning heroin on a spoon.  Triad City Beat has done some excellent work on the Twin City Harm Reduction Collective, the city’s first and only syringe exchange. I have followed the city council’s debate on imposing zoning restrictions on syringe exchanges over the last couple of months.… Read the rest

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Notes-May, 1, 2017

 

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Liberty Street Market: An Investment That Hasn’t Paid Dividends

Liberty Street Market opened in October, 2014. It’s located just a couple of miles from Downtown Winston, yet its worlds away. On one side of Liberty Street Market there’s three convenience stores that specialize in cigarettes and booze. On the other side of the Liberty Street Market is the Cleveland Avenue Homes, Winston’s largest concentration of public housing. Directly beside of the market lies a row of businesses that have been vacant for years.

The Liberty Street Market was supposed … Read the rest

Failure Of Winston’s Welcoming Resolution Demonstrated The Reach Of The Right

It’s been a rainy few days, flooding has occurred throughout the Triad. It’s a good time to reflect on the state of the Left. Our nation is divided more or less equally between conservative and progressive opinions. Yet, Republicans control the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court-thanks largely to Gerrymandering and the unaddressed flaws in our electoral system. In North Carolina we have divided government. Unfortunately though, the bulk of the power in North Carolina remains in the GOP-controlled … Read the rest

Winston-Salem City Council Refuses To Support Undocumented Immigrants

It looked like last night’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting would finally see Council Member Dan Besse’s Welcoming City resolution come to a vote. But that wasn’t the case. In a surprise move, Besse removed his resolution from the city council’s agenda without any opposition or debate. Besse stated that he wasn’t giving up on his Welcoming City resolution. Rather, he was working on a compromise that the city council could endorse. I think it’s time for progressive activists to give … Read the rest

City Won’t Add Additional Needle Exchange Regulations-For Now

Monday afternoon, the Public Safety Committee of the Winston-Salem City Council failed to pass a resolution restricting the location of needle exchanges in Winston. The North Carolina General Assembly legalized needle exchanges last year. But the General Assembly prohibited needle exchanges operating in North Carolina from receiving any government funding.

Thus needle exchanges like Twin City Harm Reduction Collective don’t have the funding to operate in a commercial areas. Council Member John Larson has been pushing for the city to … Read the rest