We’re still waiting for things to get back to normal – the old normal, that is. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the governor will have graciously consented to move North Carolina into Phase II of reopening. WakeLP is planning a live speaker for July and maybe June. More details later.
But even if you stay at home, you can still work for liberty. Here are some ways.
Call Your Legislator for Fair Districts
The state General Assembly is back in session this week. While we expect them to focus on COVID-19, there are other important issues we should keep up the pressure on them to support. One is redistricting.
There are currently five bills, all with broad tripartisan support, languishing in the NCGA: H69 (Reives-McGrady), H140 (McGrady-Reives), and H648 (Warren-Hanig). Fair Districts NC, a coalition including the Libertarian Party, is urging people to contact their legislatures to keep up the pressure for their consideration.
The Virginia legislature recently passed the ballot initiative to create a redistricting commission. If voters approve it this fall, Virginia will become the first state in the South to establish an independent redistricting commission. So this is the right time to act.
While the most effective method for lobbying is visiting, a telephone call is a second-best way, and best under current limitations. You can look up your legislator here.
It’s also important to answer the one-constitutional question in the U.S. Census: How many people live at this address? The census is delayed, but the data collected will still be used to draw new Congressional, judicial, and legislative districts for 2022.
Fair Districts expects at least one and probably two special NCGA sessions, one around June and most likely another after the election, especially if control of the state House or Senate shifts. Then the new legislative session starts in January, and that’s the last chance to pass reform for this redrawing.
Run (or Walk) with Groo
As a way of transiting back to normal, join Travis Groo, Libertarian for NC Senate 17, at Bond Park May 30, starting at 11 a.m. While still maintaining a safe distance, we will be running (or walking) around Bond Lake. Meet at the Bond Lake boathouse at 10:45 a.m.
This will be an excellent time to get some exercise and fresh air, after being quarantined for so long, while on the campaign trail (get it)? We hope you can join us.
As always, you can donate here to help see a world set free in our lifetime.
By-Right ADUs for Housing Affordability
At a time when more people are struggling to make rent, remember that subsidies and vouchers alone won’t create the diverse housing opportunities our communities need. Accessory Dwelling Units, sometimes referred to as granny flats, can be a part of the housing affordability solution by providing a very modest housing option for some individuals.
The last Raleigh City Council created a significant regulatory burden by allowing ADUs only in specially approved overlay districts. But they did not create any overlay districts, so no ADUs were built, and there was no additional housing for people of modest incomes.
Later this month, the city planning commission will consider a proposed text change. The change will allow ADUs by-right, so long as they meet some very reasonable minimum lot size requirements. Rules and regulations don’t create new housing opportunities; people do. So we need to give them that opportunity.
The next planning commission electronic public meeting is Tuesday, May 26, at 9 a.m. Go here for more information.
During these challenging times, we need Raleigh’s current city council to stay the course by pushing by-right ADUs forward, by expanding opportunities to build cottage courts, and by supporting by-right duplexes. For too long, zoning has been used to enforce economic segregation and limit housing opportunities. It’s time to end the practice.
What we can’t accomplish at the local level needs to be resolved with de-regulation at the state level. This is why Libertarians are excited to see Steven DeFiore running for governor and thirteen Libertarians from Wake County running for General Assembly.