Economic exclusivity ...

it's not just for Cary any more.

My first blog entry here at bluenc is about a trend happening in the real estate development approval process in Johnston County. Below the fold is part of an email I recently sent Ms. Sherry Altman, Democratic candidate for NC Senate District 12, on the issue. I decided to post this partial letter here to get some of y'all's thoughts on the matter as a whole.

More below the fold ...

(I intended to insert a "Read the rest of this entry ..." break here. If it didn't work, could someone fix it? :) and tell me how to do it?)

The NC Senate seat for District 12 (Johnston and western Wayne) is currently occupied by a Republican free-market true believer lawyer turned developer who's made his fortune, and I do mean fortune, building new homes in Wake and Johnston counties by the thousands.

The Democratic candidate for NC Senate District 12 is a small-business owner in Clayton named Sherry Altman. She is a deep blue Democrat with a heavy helping of progressive populist policy beliefs. She says what she means and means what she says with no middle-splittin' or line-walking involved. I love that in a Legislative candidate.

But I digress. Here's that letter ...

I just read an article in yesterday's N&O about housing developments, approvals, and pricing in Johnston County. It seems some folks in Johnston county would very much like to see this area become a bastion of economic snobbery, much like the Cary area became years ago. This issue concerns me very much and it should concern anyone who values the common good across the entire Triangle area of NC. The N&O article is here.

Single parents like me who earn at or below the median NC income will never be able to afford a home in a comfortable neighborhood with price tags over $120K. (The loans we could get to buy a $150k home would not be financially sound decisions.)

Now, just think about what that means. How many NC wage earners make at or below the median NC household income? Statistical logic tells us that those at or below the NC median income make up greater than 50% of the NC population. If homes for us are not allowed in satellite and bedroom communities around Raleigh and RTP, from whence will the workers who make those RTP businesses successful come?

How is it that such a clear line of economic prejudice can be overtly practiced against more than 50% of the people of this state, and the only outward reaction of the powers that be looks like little more than a shoulder shrug? "Hey, toots, that's how the world works. Why don't you go get a better job? You can always go get a second job." Unfortunately, new labor statistics for NC show that an unprecedented number of NC workers are doing just that -- getting second jobs to make ends meet. Now, there's a "family-values" solution for a single parent -- go work 60-80 hours a week and leave your children to fend for themselves! Yes, sir. That's a great way to raise and care for the future workers and leaders of our state!

How is it that this sort of economic restriction in denying permits to build affordable housing is legal? Is my 40+ hours of work a week that earns me ~35K a year so dishonorable a thing that leaders in Johnston communities see me and my good intelligent children as not the right sort of people they want moving into their communities? My son attended the NC School of Science and Mathematics. He is currently a Dean's List student at UNC Chapel Hill. My daughter is a rising Junior and an excellent student in the top 3% of her class with all Honors courses at CHS. She is a scholar athlete on the CHS girls' soccer team.

Our household income does not define who we are. It neither limits our abilities nor restricts our contribution to our neighborhood and community. I find this practice of keeping the regular wage earner out of certain Towns and Cities to be more than just a little disturbing. It's immoral. It certainly says a lot about how drastically priorities have changed in Johnston over the last 10 years.


So, thoughts? ... comments? ... counter-points? ... other statistics?



Excellent letter. Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope you'll let us know what Sherry's response is. If you can get anymore information about her it would be great if you'd share that as well.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

NC Senate District 12

Thanks for the kind words, Southern Dem. I'll let you know what happens with this. It's a fairly new issue. We're currently dealing with a lot of partisan squabling on the "non-partisan" Board of Education in Johnston. In the meantime, Sherry has a fair amount of information about herself and her policy positions posted at her website.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Good Points!

Leslie, I love it when people put into words the beliefs I have and never knew it. Good letter!

LOL ... I know what you mean.

Thanks, momoaizo.

I read a recent article in the local paper that started my thought process. It was about the newest "affordable housing" development in Clayton. Starting home prices are in the $120k's.

I laughed and thought, "Affordable for who? Maybe the average wage earner willing to make him or herself "house-poor". Hope their cars are relatively new and in good shape."

The N&O article about the denial of permits to affordable housing developments pushed me over the line. You know the "line" I mean? The line that separates being mad enough to throw down the paper and cuss the bastards out, and being mad enough to sit down and write a letter to the folks down at the paper and to the so-and-so's Honorables up at the Lege? :)

Unfortunately, I've no doubt there's a special circular file in my current Rep's offices with "Letters from Democrats" written on it. I don't even bother with those guys any more. If I'm really mad enough, I just go straight to the paper. Our little hometown paper will publish "unsolicited" Op-Eds if they're reasonable and well written.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

You're onto something really important here.

The issue is a gigantic elephant in the room whenever we talk partisan politics. Regressives basically say to you and your family: 'Tough shit. You shouldn't be a single parent. You made your bed now sleep in it. Can't afford to live in wherever? Too bad. Move somewhere else."

Progressives say: 'Let's find a way for as many people as possible to live happy, healthy lives. Let's redistribute some of the income wealthier people enjoy in order to serve the greater good.

The answer is in finding the right balance, and we are currently tilting too far toward the extravagant few.

Very wonderful to see your first BlueNC post. Thank you!

Yep, different as night and day.

Thank you, Anglico. I love this place and you folks who keep it up and running and intelligent and funny and engaging are wonderful. bluenc has officially replaced dKOS as my most visited blog. :) Ok, enough love-fest. :)

With this housing prices thing ... it is so ugly that Town governments do this economic profiling to such a degree these days. I mean, we've always had the "not in my backyard" squabbles in small towns and middle-suburbia, but now a pure economic bias is being codified in Town Hall resolutions. That just ain't right.

Has the prosperous Triangle area really slipped so far away from it's moral center that regular folks here think this practice is just fine and dandy? What kind of legacy does this leave for our children if this attitude is what we teach as normal?

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Good Bumper Sticker

Republicans Build Walls

Democrats Build Bridges

I'm stealing that...

...I dont' know where I'll use it...but I'm stealing it! :)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

full attribution, of course!


Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm late to this party

But I just wanted to pitch in that I really enjoyed this post. These questions aren't being addressed in our planning, and that really isn't excusable.

Thank You

I would like to thank you for the kind words on your blog. As a first time candidate, single mom, small business owner and one of millions taking care of a parent, I understand what hardworking people are going through. I have learned so much in the short time since running for office. I will tell you that a House Bill stating that developers can build schools and lease them back to school boards for fourty years just does not sit right with me. My opponent stated in a public forum that school issues are 100% local issues. His next line was about the House Bill being passed. Seems strange to me. I notice he now has education as a priority for his campaign. Our campaign is focused on issues that are hitting people the hardest. Healthcare is a huge expense on all families. Most families spend more on healthcare than they do for rent or a mortgage. We need to change this and in doing so hardworking families will have more opportunities to buy a house or upgrade to a larger house, plus having good healthcare. I believe that we should look at the infrastructures of towns/cities, which would include, roads, utilities, schools, environmental issues, etc., before allowing developers to build huge subdivisions. If we cannot handle the influx of new citizens then developers should pay a fee to help defray costs for the infrastructures. I could go on and on but I need to get on the campaign trail so that people know who I am. Once again, thanks so much! If I do not respond to anyone's email right away please remember that our campaign is run totally by volunteers and that means we are on the run always. Without the big money that these others have has both hurt and helped our campaign. In helping our campaign, it has me out meeting citizens one on one and getting input. It is a great feeling talking to hardworking people and I will always do that!

Sherry, Thank you for stopping by

Please keep us updated on any issues you feel we need to know about. Good luck!

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Give 'em heck, Sherry

I ran for local office (walked once, too) and I know what a gigantic amount of work it is. Good luck to you and stay strong. Let us know what we can do to help.

Keep up the fight Sherry

If you are every looking for universal healthcare information, feel free to look at the NC Defend Healthcare page and to contact our Ex. Director for information (charlie-AT-kafoure-DOT-com)

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Great to see you here, Sherry! Wonderful to see your name in the Recent comments section!! :)

I'd stick around, but I've called in late for work as it is. My AC was dead last night when I got home. It's back on now and I'm just sitting here making sure the house cools down for the cats before I leave and leave them all trapped inside. It's feeling better, so I think my little pooties will be fine today. Gotta get myself out the door!

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Good to get to know you better Sherry!

As everyone can tell, the blogosphere is becoming a powerful tool and candidates that understand this will be ahead of the game!

Been reading about photovoltaic shingles, they look like regular roofing shingles, but have solar cells built in. If a whole roof is fitted with them, the house can be totally off the grid, even sell power back. The fed government offers a 30% tax credit, I understand NC offers a 35% tax credit.

Seems to me that this could be another way that big developers could build and not put such a draw on existing power infrastructure.

Thank you for stopping by bluenc, and for running for this seat! More progressives need to be running our government!