Develop a community-wide Climate Action Plan to maximize our town's contribution to world climate change goals.
Governing bodies world-wide are FAILING to confront the issue of global warming with the necessary urgency.
Chapel Hill has taken steps to address climate change, including Mayor Hemminger signing on to be one of over 400 Climate Action Mayors across the country who have committed to specific measures in accordance with the 2016 Paris Agreement, outlined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
However, our community needs to do more.
The greatest gains toward greenhouse gas mitigation can only be realized if town policy measures are combined with community-wide efforts.
Town leaders need to partner with residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations to develop the most comprehensive set of actions that touch on every facet of our community.
It's essential that Chapel Hill develop a Climate Action Plan to:
1) Reduce the town's "carbon footprint" through thoughtful policy for land use, construction, transportation, waste creation and disposal, and nature preservation.
2) Prepare for the impact of climate change as we experience more severe and more frequent adverse weather events by expanding emergency services and stormwater management accordingly.
3) Create the framework for a town-led, community-wide effort to be carried out by individuals, businesses, and other organizations.
Preparing for climate change is incumbent on each one of us.
Chapel Hill needs to maximize its efforts to fight climate change by coordinating a community-wide response, which represents a new challenge for our town and its resources.
I believe Chapel Hill can come together to meet this goal for the sake of our community - and the future of our planet.
Spend affordable housing bond funds wisely to help as many neighbors as possible
Chapel Hill has long been a leader in affordable housing through its ownership of over 300 affordable rental units and fruitful partnerships with housing advocacy groups such as Habitat for Humanity and the Community Home Trust.
In 2017, Chapel Hill voters approved $10 million in bonds to support affordable housing.
The bond funds will go toward rehabilitating existing units and constructing new units.
To get the most “bang for our buck”, we will collaborate with our affordable housing partners and explore other housing finance options.
In addition, the new housing needs to conform to the highest standards of energy efficiency so as to be environmentally responsible and reduce costs to those who live there.
Beyond the task of managing the bond funds, I will continue to seek ways to grow and diversify our supply of affordable housing so it’s available to a broad range of income groups.
Expand local transit, explore regional transit, and deepen our commitment to environmental responsibility
A survey of Chapel Hill residents showed that motor vehicle TRAFFIC is a top concern.
The biggest strain on Chapel Hill roadways is due to commuting, which accounts for the majority of our rush hour congestion.
- 38,000 people come into Chapel Hill to work
- 14,000 people leave Chapel Hill to work someplace else
We simply cannot road-build our way out of the commuter problem . . . a solution will only come with major investments in regional transit.
With the discontinuation of the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project in April 2019, we now need to embark on a participatory, public, and comprehensive planning process to decide what comes next and how the half-cent transit tax revenues can best be spent to help our residents.
Through my roles as chair of the Chapel Hill Public Transit Committee and a board member of GoTriangle, I will continue to advocate for public transit and ensure that our needs are addressed in a balanced and pragmatic fashion.
Chapel Hill's public transit system is:
- second largest transit system in the state by ridership
- largest fare-free system in the entire nation
We will continue to provide efficient service to our riders, providing the transit options they need to reach jobs, shopping, health care, and leisure activities.
Additional investment in transit is needed to:
- build the North South Bus Rapid Transit system (Eubanks Park & Ride to Southern Village Park & Ride)
- expand service, particularly on weekends and evenings
- serve new commercial and residential developments
Because of Chapel Hill's dedication to environmental preservation and climate change concerns, we will continue the process of converting more of our bus fleet from diesel to electric power in order to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emission.
Transform our downtown into a "destination" that will draw people of all ages from within our community and beyond
Chapel Hill has long been recognized as a premier college town due to its attractiveness and social vitality.
Franklin Street and the surrounding downtown community represent key business areas that help our town thrive. I will continue to support the town's effort to encourage entrepreneurial and creative endeavors in downtown spaces.
I believe downtown Chapel Hill will also benefit from 1) more public gathering places for socializing and hosting events, and 2) more family-friendly businesses.
I will continue to work with my Council colleagues, our business community, the Downtown Partnership, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to make sure our downtown is the best it can be.