It’s another blow for local democracy

Raleigh’s Citizen Advisory Councils were a longtime Democratic institution created by Raleigh’s first Black Mayor, Clarence Lightner. For nearly 50 years citizens gathered in 19 neighborhood CACs and discussed city issues and collectively through votes on those issues provided feedback to City Council and city government.

And for nearly 50 years citizens elected the leadership of the CACs. Those leaders then worked together as the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council to ensure and continually improve citizen involvement in local government.

When this Council took office the Mayor and majority voted to abolish CACs.

On Tuesday this Council will receive a recommendation for forming a new board of political appointees to manage citizen involvement with local government.

I anticipate that will be no elections for these board positions by citizens as was done with CACs and in line with a philosophy that citizens are to be governed rather than working together in partnership.

I do not support and will not support this clearly anti-democratic approach to the citizens of Raleigh.