Research Action Team Updates

In June, over 200 members of ONE Wake institutions met in a large internal assembly to review the results of our spring listening campaign that engaged 2,000 people in our community, and to voted to prioritize three top concerns for research and action: affordable housing, public transportation, and mental health.

At the conclusion of the internal assembly, ONE Wake formed five research actions teams to shape these priorities into tangible, winnable issues (learn more about this process here).

Below are brief updates on the status of ONE Wake's Research Action Teams:

Cary Housing Team: on September 16, the Cary Housing Team led ONE Wake into a 600-person non-partisan Cary Town Council candidate assembly where 5 of 9 candidates attended and said YES to our community-led solutions for change, including fair compensation for the 700 adults and children at risk of displacement from the soon-to-be-sold Chatham Estates mobile home park community (read more here).

Now, Chatham Estates residents and supporters are preparing for a series of meetings with Town Council members to win support for a proposal for how the Town can support residents of Chatham Estates, even before the sale of the property is completed.

Public Transportation Team: on October 17, the Public Transportation Team led ONE Wake into a 100-person non-partisan Zebulon Town Commissioner assembly to preserve and expand the SmartRide program which delivered over 13,000 rides last year, connecting low income residents and seniors in Eastern Wake County to groceries, medical appointments, and crucial social services. 6 of 6 Town Commissioner candidates attended, and everyone said YES to our community-led proposal to preserve and expand the SmartRide program (read more here).

Now, the Public Transportation Team is meeting with Town Commissioners to follow up on their assembly commitments and to ensure that there is a plan in place to preserve and expand this popular program next year.

Mental Health Team: on November 16 the Mental Health Team met for the third time to review results from recent research actions and to shape the elements of an issue proposal to address the concerns surfaced our listening campaign, which include: 1) barriers to mental health resources; 2) a lack of mental health resources; 3) an overwhelming sense of "not knowing what to do" when encountering a family member, community member, or member of the public who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

This draft issue proposal will now head to the ONE Wake Strategy Team for review, and will be ratified at ONE Wake's Annual Meeting on March 7.

White Flag Team: the White Flag Team is meeting for the third time on November 27 to shape the elements of an issue proposal for how ONE Wake can support the creation of a permanent White Flag facility and drop in center. The Team is particularly interested in identifying how ONE Wake can add value to existing efforts.

Utility Cost Burden Team: The Utility Team is meeting on November 30 to also shape the elements of an issue proposal for how ONE Wake can ensure that underserved and historically marginalized communities are able to take full advantage of substantial federal Inflation Reduction Act subsidies that will soon be available in our area to support weatherization, rebates for new appliances, and solarization.

The Team is particularly interested in how these new resources can be "braided together" with existing local resources, and in the creation of a simplified, accessible pathway that can connect low-income Wake residents with these subsidies.