Documentary Film Screening

Last night I had the opportunity to see a thought provoking documentary by Zach Galifianakis called, “Democracy for Sale.”

Yeah, I know, you don’t think of Zach of The Hangover Movie fame as being the that kind of guy, but I have to say I was impressed.

“Democracy for Sale” is a documentary that is part of a series called AMERICA DIVIDED. 

From their website :

“AMERICA DIVIDED is an EPIX Original limited docu-series executive produced by Common, Norman Lear, and Shonda Rhimes, features narratives around inequality in education, housing, healthcare, labor, criminal justice and the political system – all woven into an eight-story, five-part series. The show follows high-profile correspondents as they explore aspects of inequality related to their own biographies. Correspondents include: Common, Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera, Zach Galifianakis, Norman Lear, Amy Poehler, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jesse Williams.”

As a NC native son, Zach Galifianakis hosts and interviews a number of individuals in this documentary which looks at the gerrymandering of districts and the impact of money in our state.  Read More…

Alexa for Government

Ok, time to get back to my technology roots.

Y’all know that I’ve got this insatiable curiosity for technology solutions.  It’s in my Twitter profile, so it has to be true!

Since I was elected I’ve worked hard to help to bring the Town of Cary back to our “Technology Town of NC” origins.  We were one of the first to have a town website in NC, certainly one of the first to go totally paperless for our meetings and agenda, and our Open Data Portal – with its stories and accompanying data sets, push us above most towns and cities our size.  Years ago we tapped into some of the intellectual capital in the Town, and these amazing folks on the Technology Task Force provided us with a roadmap for the future.

And recently, our Chief Information Office, Nicole Raimundo was recognized as the Public Sector CIO of North Carolina. So, we’ve got the technology and vision chops that we need here at the Town.  Read More…

A Home for Everyone

Folks that know me, know that I’m pretty passionate about “Affordable Housing.”  Is it because I’m some screaming, leaning liberal?  Naaa.  Ok, maybe.   But really, it’s because I know the impact that having a safe place to live can have on an individual, a family and a community.  In fact, for those of you that remember, you might think back to when you learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Remember that chart?

Maslow’s Hierarchy from Brilliant Nurse

The most important needs are those “physiological needs” that is air, water and food.  Also included in those are clothing and shelter.  After that is safety, feeling safe from war, disaster, family violence and abuse, and being secure personally, financially, and healthy.

We need these core, most important needs met in order to succeed, to participate fully in society, and to grow.  When these needs aren’t met people cannot function properly, families struggle, and there is a high likelihood of failure – at home, work, and at life.

But there is a personal reason for my interest.  You see, when I was young, my father left and my mother was left to be a single mom caring for 2 young children.  With little money to her name she moved us halfway across the country in order to be closer to some of our family.  She struggled to find affordable housing (that was partially subsidized), took on several jobs, and did what she could to often put food on the table for us, and not her. I still remember those days in our little apartment in St. Louis, while mom worked so hard, and struggled so much. I was old enough to see her feed us, but “not eat because she wasn’t hungry.” I understood that times were pretty tough, but never did this strong and resilient woman let us know how really difficult a time it was.  She is an amazing individual, to not only have survived during a time when we had so very little resources, but she found a way to hide the complexity and difficulty of that life from us. Moms are often martyrs; strong impenetrable forces of will – and that’s what she was to us, never letting us know that we counted as any less, than anyone else. And single moms, you rule.  I have no idea how you do it. She’s the reason I fight so hard for those who struggle, because I wish there were more folks fighting back then, for her.  Read More…

2017 Council Retreat

Since I’ve been on Council and for a number of years before that, the Cary Town Council and Town Staff have taken a few days every year to pause and plan for the upcoming year.  It’s especially helpful for us to truly step back and away from our day-to-day activities (literally and figuratively) for this extended period of concentrated discussion, dialogue, and strategic thinking about our plan for  the future and to deep dive on a number of specific issues.

Retreat 2017

Often, we take advantage of the location as well, meeting with elected officials wherever we are, sometimes seeing the surrounding area and getting a taste of how they have handled challenges, locally.

I’m sure that  Councilman Don Frantz and Mayor Weinbrecht will also blog about their views/experience, but I thought I’d take a different path, and share my experience.  Read More…

#Justagirlinasnowplow

That’s what I was tagging my adventure with the Snow Patrol last weekend.

I admit it, as a councilmember I sometimes get to do cool stuff. 

I’ve been on stage to give my children their diplomas when they graduated from high school.

My Daughter’s HS Graduation

I’ve ridden in a parade and thrown candy from a car & a float. (Wish I was better at that!)

Cary Town Council Christmas Parade Float

Got to put my handprints into the concrete at the Cary Theater.

Marking the occasion at The Cary Theater

Climbed to the top of the tallest Firetruck ladder and slid down the pole in the Fire Station

 – Did a ride-along with the Police Department – with a K9 officer

 – Spent an evening with Cary EMS, on calls with them as they save lives. (I need to blog about that!)

All fun stuff.

But that’s not just why I do it.  What I love, is seeing what our Town Staff does in the field! Just being with them for a few hours to get a small taste of what they do in their jobs – and how important those jobs are to our high quality of life in Cary.  I learn so much by just being by their side.  Hearing their stories. Understanding why they do what they do. They are absolutely the best around.  So, it seemed natural to join them on a snow day. Read More…

Doing the Right Thing for Families

Originally, I called this post  – “Why Paid Parental Leave in Cary?”  I know, I know, that made more sense.  But as I thought more about it, I really think, for me, it boils down to this…

“It’s the right thing to do.”

But, let me explain.  First, there’s this.

Last week our Cary Town Council unanimously approved a Paid Parental Leave program for Town of Cary employees.

I’m beyond thrilled that we are able to provide such an important benefit for our valued Town employees.  So I thought I would share a little bit about the program, and why I am so passionate about this effort.  Read More…

Our Cary Budget

ourcarybudget

It’s Budget Time

Wake County Commissioners just passed their budget, and the NC General Assembly just dropped a big budget document on all the members’ desks on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

For a vote on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. That’s right. The very next day.

The good news is that, here in the Town of Cary, we have a participatory budget process. It allows lots of time for involvement from you, our citizens. Read More…

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