August 21, 2020

The City Council held our regular meeting and work session this week to receive updates on Raleigh’s economic recovery, our COVID-19 response, as well as new policing practices from Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown. It was also our first meeting with our newest council member Stormie Forte, who was appointed to fill the vacant District D seat last month. We are grateful for her willingness to serve and all look forward to working together.

During the meeting, the Carolina Panthers announced a $150,000 donation to create a challenge course at Barwell Road Park in southeast Raleigh. This will be the first NFL Play 60 course in the Triangle. The course is expected to be completed next spring. You can learn more here. Thank you to the Carolina Panthers for your support and partnership!

Chief Deck-Brown provided an update on how the Raleigh Police Department is changing the way it responds to emergency calls dealing with mental health, homelessness or substance abuse issues. As a part of reimagining policing in Raleigh, spots originally designated for police officers will be filled with social workers, who will work in partnership with police to assist those in crisis and get individuals the support they need. This is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to seeing the program developed and implemented. You can watch Chief Deck-Brown’s full presentation at the City Council meeting here.

The City Council also voted to move forward on options for bringing micromobility (such as scooters) back to Raleigh. The Transit and Transportation committee will approve new language for agreements with these companies next week. 

The City Council is also seeking to fill five vacancies on the Human Relations Commission. The Human Relations Commission works to promote equal opportunity and diversity in Raleigh. You can learn more and apply here if you’re interested in serving. Specifically, we need a representative between the ages of 16 and 21 years old. Please share if you know someone in this age group who may be interested. 

In the interest of public health, we made the decision to cancel all city-permitted major events through the end of the year. We are working with Artsplosure to come up with a First Night event, either virtual or drive through, to celebrate ringing in 2021.  

As NC State and other universities in the Triangle are again moving to remote instruction due to COVID-19 breakouts, I want to remind everyone to please continue to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask in public. We are starting to see some encouraging trends, which means it’s more important than ever that we act responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask is no different than wearing a seat belt or a helmet. It is meant to protect all of us.