Our world has changed rapidly in less than a week. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our daily lives and routines. The Raleigh City Council is working closely with the Governor’s Office, the NC Department of Health & Human Services, and Wake County Human Services to ensure the continued health and safety of our community during this time. I wanted to take a moment to provide you an update on the actions the city has taken to address COVID-19 and how we move forward.
 
Here are actions I’ve taken along with the City Council in recent days:
 
• We authorized reinstatement of water and sewer services that were disconnected due to nonpayment to ensure that all residents have access to clean water. Further, we will ensure that no water services are cut off for non-payment during this crisis.
• We have suspended ordinances that prevent deliveries to grocery stores, nonprofit enterprises, and other businesses at certain times so that these stores have access to stock as soon as possible.
• We are working with the county to provide staging areas for food distribution.
• We amended our street parking ordinance to allow street parking to be reserved to serve the public good, including dedicated parking in front of restaurants that provide takeout services.
• We convened a meeting with our small business community to listen and act on concerns.
• We continue to work with and advise our nonprofit and corporate partners of immediate and longterm needs of our city.
• For our community’s health, all district council meetings, boards and commissions, and committee meetings are cancelled until April 15th. All public hearings have been moved to our next scheduled council meeting on April 7th. In the meantime, we are working with staff to provide options for virtual meetings. One of our top priorities continues to be a November bond referendum to address housing affordability, which will be even more critical when this crisis passes. We remain committed to this goal.
 
This is an exceedingly difficult time for our local business community. I hope you will join me in supporting them while keeping ourselves and our neighbors safe. You can find a list of takeout and delivery restaurants in Raleigh here. I also hope you’ll join me in supporting organizations like Oak City Cares and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina that serve our community’s most vulnerable members. You can find a list of several organizations that need your help here.
 
I’ll be working to keep you updated as the situation continues to unfold. Follow my Facebook and Instagram pages to stay in the loop. Also, if you have ideas or would like to share ways the city government can help during this crisis, please contact me at maryann.baldwin@raleighnc.gov.
 
I’m so grateful for how our community has pulled together in uncertain times. Let’s continue to work together to be flexible, kind, compassionate, nonjudgmental, and generous.