Engaging Raleigh Residents Across our City Center

Public Engagement

Downtown RAleigh



about DT CAC

The Raleigh Citizen Advisory Councils (CAC) have long offered the Raleigh community and city government a means to engagement. The Downtown Community Activation Committee (CAC) now refines the opportunity for  involvement through a virtual council targeting issues of particular interest to downtowners. The group will highlight various opportunities presented by the five CACs whose boundaries include and extend outside the downtown area. 

The Downtown CAC supports a community driven, fun and social engagement of downtown advocates exploring issues that excite and engage them through focused involvement with all the downtown councils. 

Our response to City Council’s decision to disband Raleigh’s CAC’s (Citizen Advisory Councils)​

February 10, 2020

For those that don’t know about us, please let us reintroduce ourselves. The group behind the Downtown CAC are advocates for public engagement volunteering our time to help get the word out about Raleigh and some of the big things we think you should know about in Downtown Raleigh. We feel that when more voices are heard, better projects and better policies are put in place. We launched our efforts in August 2019.

With Raleigh’s current citizen engagement system already in place, the Citizen Advisory Councils (CACs), we felt complementing that system was the obvious choice. More voices at the CAC meetings would therefore accomplish our mission.

As advocates and/or residents of the downtown area, we noticed that downtown Raleigh was split across several CAC boundaries. To engage Raleighites who felt a part of the whole downtown, our efforts were to route them to each respective CAC on specific issues as well as just bring general awareness to the current system.

In the past 6 months, our efforts have resulted in a few hundred followers between our social media pages and email newsletter, an audience that is growing. We host monthly socials so that advocates can chat face-to-face. The agenda is open and casual.

Recently, the Raleigh City Council voted to disband the CAC system and is working to create a new Office of Public Engagement. Our all-volunteer group’s mission has always been about “activating” new Raleighites, particularly those that live in the downtown area, that were otherwise not being heard or just not participating for a variety of reasons. 

Our mission still stands.

While we may not be routing Raleighites to CAC meetings for the time being, we’ll be keeping an eye on the ongoing efforts of the new Office of Public Engagement and will be actively participating and sharing our followers’ feedback with City Council.

If you are not already following us, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook and get our email newsletter. We also host monthly socials so that advocates can chat face-to-face, so check out our Meetup page.

Articles about the recent council decision to disband the CAC system:

  • Without Public Input or Notice, the Raleigh City Council Just Killed Citizen Advisory Councils – [INDY Week]
  • These groups are supposed to represent thousands. Raleigh is getting rid of them. [N&O]
  • Raleigh scraps community advisory groups [WRAL]

Find your CAC

If you live in Raleigh, you are a part of a citizen advisory council.

Subscribing to to our newsletter and attending our events is great. However, knowing which CAC you are a part of is the next step in engaging with leaders and other residents who are making a difference in your community.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Find out more about key issues affecting quality of downtown life.

Join meet ups over coffee and beer with neighbors already active in downtown engagement.

Be part of a proactive, informed downtown community, whose voice will be strengthened by your feedback and involvement.


Get in Touch

If you'd like to help out with the planning team or have any questions at all, please reach out.

Monthly Events to Follow

Downtown Raleigh is overlayed in blue on top of the CAC Map. Click for a larger view.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Downtown CAC a real CAC?

No. We are a virtual group that seeks to increase public engagement in the existing CAC system. Since we are focused on downtown Raleigh, we want to draw residents into the CACs whose overview includes their particular area.

Why do you exist then?

When you look at the CAC map that was drawn out over 40 years ago, you quickly recognize the challenge.  Downtown Raleigh sits between five or six different CACs. We have a lot more downtown residents today than when these boundaries were established, so our plan is to unite to create a downtown voice that will be heard in the appropriate CACs as they consider issues affecting where we live.

What topics do you focus on?

The planning team (join us!) wants to advise subscribers and downtown residents of big projects that would benefit from informed public feedback. Living downtown, you’re aware of how much is going on, and of course there are many ways to stay up to date. But our effort wants to pull together top issues so that you can join others in considering the underlying factors critical for sustaining a vibrant, livable downtown.  We want your feedback so that together, we can represent the range of viewpoints that make our area such a vital and diverse community.

Do you have to be a member?

No! All Raleigh residents are part of a CAC. Find yours here.

How often do you meet?

Regular CAC meetings are every month. The planning team here is working to get our social events lined up soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay plugged in.