A Vacant Storefront On North Liberty Tells A Story

For the last couple of weeks, I have been taking photos of the Liberty Street Corridor, while practicing social distancing. Only a five-minute drive from downtown, it’s a world away. While downtown Winston has received over $1 billion in public and private investments over the last couple of decades, the Liberty Street Corridor has received empty promises and ill-conceived projects, such as the Liberty Street Market. If any neighborhood in our city needs a bailout, it’s the North Liberty Street/Fourteenth Street neighborhood. Actually, the Black residents of the Liberty Corridor deserve reparations.

Miss America, Nia Franklin’s Homecoming Parade

November isn’t an ideal time to throw a parade. I wonder if the City of Winston-Salem or Miss America Inc. is to blame for Saturday’s spur-of-the-moment parade? A grand parade in the spring planned out over many months that would have been nice. If Miss America, Nia Franklin came to town a few weeks ago, she could have been part of Pride Winston-Salem’s parade. That would have been amazing!

The Liberty Street Market Is An Unqualified Failure

Four years ago today, October 11, 2014, the Liberty Street Market opened with the typical fanfare. Mayor Joines, Mayor Pro Tempore Burke, Derwin Montgomery, and other officials spoke at the ribbon cutting. The plan was to build a vendor’s market in the middle of a food desert. First and foremost, the Liberty Street Market was supposed to bring fresh produce to an underserved community, to provide healthy options that the convenience stores across from the Liberty Street Market don’t offer. The Liberty Street Market, a new city-sponsored vendors market at 1591 N. Liberty St., will hold its grand opening Saturday, Oct.

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Much Debate Over UDO-283

Monday night’s City Council meeting starting with a surprise, the exact date of Derwin Montgomery’s resignation. As the Journal’s Wesley Young pointed out on social media, Montgomery will retire from the Winston-Salem City Council one day prior to elections. Officially giving Mr. Montgomery just a few hours off before he begins his work in the North Carolina General Assembly. After Derwin’s announcement and speech to the Council, the meeting progressed quickly, with several zoning petitions being approved with no opposition and little debate. Then UDO-283, the Unified Development Ordinance that has been bouncing around our city and county government for approximately a year, finally came before the full City Council.

From Martin Luther King, To Market-Based Solutions

Martin Luther King Day is a curious holiday in the United States. We give Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a day, yet ignore Dr. King the other 364 days of the year. What if we celebrated Christmas the same way that we celebrate Martin Luther King Day? Only a fool would unwrap their gifts, enjoy them for one short day, then box them up until next Christmas. But that is how we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. We need Dr. King each and every day of the year.

A Spirited Historical Marker Ceremony At The Former 14th Street School

Saturday, I went to the 14th Street School historical marker and an East Winston pep-rally broke out. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many folks turned out, approximately 50 people, possibly more. That’s a stronger turnout than these type of ceremonies typically get in Winston. The vast majority of the crowd were wearing red, white, and blue t-shirts signifying that they were former students at the 14th Street School. There were a lot of old friends in the audience.

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 manages our money?”

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.

City Relaunches Liberty Street Market, Dramatic Changes Are Needed

Just a few days ago the City of Winston-Salem posted a video on its YouTube channel. On the video Regina Hall announced that the Liberty Street Market is available to rent for just $45 a day. The Liberty Street Market has been an unqualified disaster since it opened in the Northeast Ward two years ago this month. Planning and construction costs for the project costs city taxpayers over $350,000. The Liberty Street Market was described as “not just a market-a destination” by the market’s manager, Mercedes L. Miller.

City Gives Preliminary Approval to Ujima CDC Development

Last Monday, the Winston-Salem City Council’s finance committee approved $2.5 million in loans to Ujima Community Development Corporation for its development project, Emmanuel Retirement Village. The matter will be brought before the full council tomorrow. Ujima is a CDC composed mostly of Emmanuel Baptist Church members. It formed in 2005. Ujima is one of the core principles of Kwanza. Ujima stresses collective work and responsibility and collective community betterment.