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]