it's not just for Cary any more.
My first blog entry here at bluenc is about a trend happening in the real estate development approval process in Johnston County. Below the fold is part of an email I recently sent Ms. Sherry Altman, Democratic candidate for NC Senate District 12, on the issue. I decided to post this partial letter here to get some of y'all's thoughts on the matter as a whole.
More below the fold ...
(I intended to insert a "Read the rest of this entry ..." break here. If it didn't work, could someone fix it? :) and tell me how to do it?)
The NC Senate seat for District 12 (Johnston and western Wayne) is currently occupied by a Republican free-market true believer lawyer turned developer who's made his fortune, and I do mean fortune, building new homes in Wake and Johnston counties by the thousands.
The Democratic candidate for NC Senate District 12 is a small-business owner in Clayton named Sherry Altman. She is a deep blue Democrat with a heavy helping of progressive populist policy beliefs. She says what she means and means what she says with no middle-splittin' or line-walking involved. I love that in a Legislative candidate.
But I digress. Here's that letter ...
I just read an article in yesterday's N&O about housing developments, approvals, and pricing in Johnston County. It seems some folks in Johnston county would very much like to see this area become a bastion of economic snobbery, much like the Cary area became years ago. This issue concerns me very much and it should concern anyone who values the common good across the entire Triangle area of NC. The N&O article is here.
Single parents like me who earn at or below the median NC income will never be able to afford a home in a comfortable neighborhood with price tags over $120K. (The loans we could get to buy a $150k home would not be financially sound decisions.)
Now, just think about what that means. How many NC wage earners make at or below the median NC household income? Statistical logic tells us that those at or below the NC median income make up greater than 50% of the NC population. If homes for us are not allowed in satellite and bedroom communities around Raleigh and RTP, from whence will the workers who make those RTP businesses successful come?
How is it that such a clear line of economic prejudice can be overtly practiced against more than 50% of the people of this state, and the only outward reaction of the powers that be looks like little more than a shoulder shrug? "Hey, toots, that's how the world works. Why don't you go get a better job? You can always go get a second job." Unfortunately, new labor statistics for NC show that an unprecedented number of NC workers are doing just that -- getting second jobs to make ends meet. Now, there's a "family-values" solution for a single parent -- go work 60-80 hours a week and leave your children to fend for themselves! Yes, sir. That's a great way to raise and care for the future workers and leaders of our state!
How is it that this sort of economic restriction in denying permits to build affordable housing is legal? Is my 40+ hours of work a week that earns me ~35K a year so dishonorable a thing that leaders in Johnston communities see me and my good intelligent children as not the right sort of people they want moving into their communities? My son attended the NC School of Science and Mathematics. He is currently a Dean's List student at UNC Chapel Hill. My daughter is a rising Junior and an excellent student in the top 3% of her class with all Honors courses at CHS. She is a scholar athlete on the CHS girls' soccer team.
Our household income does not define who we are. It neither limits our abilities nor restricts our contribution to our neighborhood and community. I find this practice of keeping the regular wage earner out of certain Towns and Cities to be more than just a little disturbing. It's immoral. It certainly says a lot about how drastically priorities have changed in Johnston over the last 10 years.
So, thoughts? ... comments? ... counter-points? ... other statistics?