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.

“The City Is A Business, A Big Business.”

“With this vote, the four hard-working members of the Finance Committee just saved the City $11 million. That’s about three million each. That’s pretty good for a day’s work.” Those were Finance Committee chairman Robert Clark’s comments on refinancing water and sewer revenue bonds. Total debt load, water and sewer revenue bonds outstanding are about $400 million.

City Funds New Walkertown Road Project

Last night a two-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Cameron Ave and E. 14th St. One vehicle hit the side of Titanic Food Mart but didn’t appear to do much damage. On the other side of that building, there is an impressive mural honoring East Winston’s history. I don’t know what possessed anyone to change the 14th Street Discount Store to Titanic Food Mart. A building that reads Titanic on one side and displays a mural of East Winston’s history on the other side, sends the message that East Winston is a sinking ship.

Three Years After It’s Final Report Was Issued, The Poverty Thought Force’s Recommendations Have Not Been Implemented

Thursday, Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance President Allen Joines held a press conference announcing a new privately-funded initiative. Educators, business people, and a member of the clergy, all praised Joines’ new workforce development and internship program for high school juniors and seniors who qualify. This new internship program is in addition to the Winston-Salem College Guarantee program that was announced late last year. Thursday was an important day. It was the beginning of early voting in our state.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Redeemer And Ardmore Reach A Compromise, The Mayor Names Board Members

Monday’s night’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council was a fairly bland affair, like the Super Bowl halftime show if Franklin Graham had his way. It started out with the City Council honoring Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Mayor Pro Tempore Burke, who was uncharacteristically absent from recent City Council meetings, personally thanked Alpha Kappa Alpha for their contributions to the community. Rezoning the property at the corner of Waughtown and Sprague was up first on the Council’s agenda. The former Rite Aid building property has been vacant for several months.