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Happy Halloween, y'all.


Halloween is the last big holiday that's in my category of "firsts" in Raleigh.

We moved here in November of last year, so this is the first season of extravagant Halloween displays in Historic Oakwood for the first time, the first year of Halloween-themed treats from local sweets shops in the spirit.

In some cities I've lived, holidays like Halloween are relegated as (only) high holidays of drinking. But here, this week of Halloween has a ton of kid-friendly, community-focused activities. It's a fitting last "first."


--Sarah Day

📸: Devin Desjarlais Photography

PS: I'm still seeking your responses to this survey. I'd like to get at least 10% response rate. It will help me better serve you! 
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How do we define affordable housing? Who is left out?

Affordable housing is a complex issue, and one to watch as the more progressive incoming Raleigh City Council tackles it as one of the named priorities.

Also important is the conversation among community organizers and advocates around the issue.

One of those conversations happened Saturday at the Southeast Raleigh Community Engagement Strategy session. The group is organized by Aaliyah Blaylock and Carmen Cauthen.


The context: Southeast Raleigh is a historically Black area of Raleigh experiencing gentrification and displacement of longtime residents as property taxes increase. 

Here's some of the challenges outlined during the affordable housing discussion:

There is not an inclusive definition for affordable housing, and activists worry that those who are making the least are being left out. 

There's a math to it. 
  • Affordable housing is often defined by not spending more than 30% of your income on rent or mortgage.
  • Affordable housing units are available to people based on how much they make compared to the Area Median Income. 
Activists like Octavia Rainey are concerned that "affordable housing" is still out of reach for many Raleighites, specifically that those making less than 30% of median income are being left out of affordable housing projects and conversations. 

The News & Observer reported previously that the AMI is $59,100 for one person and $84,300 for a family of four. [read more about affordable housing projects approved by Wake County Commissioners in April]

Who are people who can't afford the average apartment in Raleigh?

The average apartment in the Raleigh and Durham market is $1,177/month, and teachers are more cost-burdened than the general population in Raleigh, the Charlotte Observer reported.

That means an average person should be making more than $42,000/year to afford an average apartment. Jobs making less than that:
  • 40 hours/week at North Carolina minimum wage job would make approximately $15,080 for 52 weeks. 
  • Firefighters in the city of Raleigh start at $38,058. 
  • A receptionist at a public high school in Wake County will make between around $21,500-$36,500.
Read more>>
 
More maps ordered to be redrawn, this time for federal representation.

📰 The news: First, an update on the older news: You've heard a three-judge panel in found that district maps for North Carolinians' representation were unconstitutional and gerrymandered.

Lawmakers weren't allowed to use any partisan or demographic data when they redrew the maps. The judges OK'ed those new legislative maps for the 2020 election.

The new news: Judges say the maps that determine who represents us in Congress are also gerrymandered and need to be redrawn as well. 


You're probably represented by Congressman David Price (Democrat) in 4th District. If you're in other parts of Wake Co., you might be in the 2nd District, represented by Rep. George Holding (Republican). [read more]

🖼️ The big picture: It could delay the 2020 primary election if the new maps aren't drawn in time. 

It could also change up who is elected in districts as they're redrawn. [read more]

Those new districts will be redrawn after the 2020 Census, as well, and could add an additional seat because of our state's growth in population.


PLUS... 

Mary-Ann Baldwin, Raleigh's mayor-elect, talked about affordable housing and more with Podcast Raleigh. [episode]

Día de los Muertos isn't the same thing as Halloween. An art exhibit explores death and loss. [read more]

Elizabeth Warren is making her first stop in N.C. at Broughton High School. [read more]

kō•än opens in Cary starting Friday

You can get Poole'side Pies to go now.


Tips or topics you're curious about? Tap reply or email raleighconvergence@gmail.com.
 
☑️ Share how you want to engage with City of Raleigh. Their new Community Engagement Preferences survey allows Raleighites to give feedback on how you'd like to give feedback in the future. [survey]

☑️ Western Boulevard BRT meeting (the rescheduled one): From Nov. 12 from 4-8 p.m., discuss the future of the bus rapid transit route connecting Downtown Raleigh, N.C. State and downtown Cary with planning and transit staff. [read more]

☑️ There's still time to give input on the New Bern BRT route. [take the survey]
 
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