On Tuesday, June 2nd, as a follow up to our October 30, 2019 Public Assembly at First Chronicles Community Church, Durham CAN leaders met with Mayor Steve Schewel about his failure to fulfill the public commitments that he made in front over 150 Durham CAN leaders to support and initiate a planning process for the redevelopment of the Fayetteville Street projects (referred also as "Fayette Place") within the following 6 months and meet with leaders from the Hayti community and Durham CAN as part of that process.
Although the City is considering $5 million of funding requests for the Durham Housing Authority (DHA) to support expenses related to its redevelopment plans, not one cent is designated towards the pre-development planning of Fayetteville Street projects or completing outstanding DHA repairs. Our meeting came shortly after Mayor Schewel signed onto a statement with several North Carolina mayors pledging to make every effort within his power to fight systemic racism within his city. But as Rev. Tanya Johnson pointed out, "You don't even know George Floyd, but you know these people! What about them?!" and proceeded to read the names of our neighbors in Durham Housing Authority communities:
Mayor Schewel pledged to respond next week with his plan to initiate a planning process for the redevelopment of Fayetteville Street projects after consulting with Mr. Scott and we look forward to his response. He committed to future meetings with Durham CAN and Hayti community leaders and encouraged CAN to submit names of CAN leaders to serve on the accountability and advisory committee for the $95 million affordable housing bond. We've enthusiastically but forth Rev. Johnson's name for consideration (and if you or other leaders would like to be considered, please let us know).
And as we approach almost a year since our DHA accountability action at Hoover Road concerning repairs and evictions, we look forward to our follow-up conversations with Mr. Scott and the Durham Housing Authority Board in the coming weeks as well.