Over 600 people representing at least 19 ONE Wake member institutions and neighborhoods across Raleigh and Wake County turned out for a hybrid assembly with elected officials on October 21. Together we called on them to work with us and our partners Wake County Habitat for Humanity to MAKE WAKE ONE through a substantial new investment to prevent the displacement of long time, low income homeowners due to skyrocketing property taxes.
The assembly was the culmination of months of patient grassroots organizing that included knocking on over 600 doors in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, and community meetings that have developed a team of 200 homeowners struggling with property tax increases. Last night we wielded our shared power to win recognition from key decision makers, and to kick off a campaign to ensure that new assistance for homeowners is in place before the start of the next fiscal year.
ONE Wake leaders won public commitments of support for our goals from:
Matt Calabria, Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners;
Corey Branch, Raleigh City Council Member;
Stormie Forte, Raleigh City Council Member.
We are glad for their support and we look forward to working with them to make this a reality.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin did not attend in person, and instead sent a public statement that encouraged ONE Wake to help promote existing tax relief programs designed to help to low-income seniors, disabled individuals and veterans. These existing programs assisted less than 6,000 people last year, and would not help the majority of the homeowners that gathered to meet with our elected officials last night.
We are glad to work with the Mayor on promoting these existing programs, but we are disappointed that she did not give us a firmer answer on our interest in creating a substantial new investment to prevent the displacement of long time, low income homewoners.
ONE Wake invites Mayor Baldwin to make a firmer commitment and to work with us to invest in those who have been left out for too long.
If you were moved by the assembly, please sign up to support a final round of neighborhood canvassing in November to build up our power behind this issue. Text CANVASS to (919) 635-4770 to sign up.