Friday, August 24, 2007

I got mentioned in the N&O

I may have only gotten 4 votes in the straw poll at the Triangle Community Coalition's "pig picking", but I got quoted in the N&O's story on the event. Read the entire story here:
http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/680977.html

Maybe honesty is the best policy.

I did tell them a little about my background and my reason for running: to improve citizen involvement. Then I used the rest of my time to pitch one of my ideas that it would be much easier for the developers to do than for government. I think that in mixed-use projects (commercial and residential combined), the businesses should get a condo -- or a least a good deal on one -- for one of their employees to live in. That way it makes the commercial space more attractive because the business can give their employees a very valuable benefit. It also assures at that least some of the employees at the businesses are not adding to the automobile traffic problem that density can cause.

The big problem with mixed use in general is that there is no guarantee that the people living in the condos are going to be working in the development. This idea would help address that problem.

Originally I was going to tell the folks there that improved citizen participation could work in their favor too. After all they are citizens too. Then I thought about how difficult it would be for me as a regular person to get two minutes with many of the people in that room. It seemed a better use of my and their time to get one of my ideas in front of a group of people that had the power to do something with it.


Here I am on stage, looking at the back of the room so I wouldn't get too scared by the reaction to my ideas.

I really shouldn't worry. My experiences with the TCC, Chamber of Commerce, Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, Homebuilders, and with business folks in general is that they are very nice people. They behave professionally and politely even when they disagree with you.

My biggest adventure was after the event, trying to find my way out of Brier Creek and back to Hwy 70. I never did find 70, but managed to get home on I-40 instead.

1 comment:

dylanfan said...

Hi Helen -- Can you make the link to the N&O clickable? I had to cut and paste and accidentally picked up the close parenthesis so thought the story was not available. Good luck with the campaign! Sister Linda