Report from Raleigh City Council Election
This fall ONE Wake waded into the most competitive Raleigh City Council election in recent memory. The stakes couldn't have been higher: the new council will have a major role to play in harnessing the explosive population growth and outside capital that is rapidly reshaping the city.
ONE Wake organized hundreds of our members, and engaged thousands of infrequent voters to make our vision of the city a reality: a place where all residents can benefit from the city's growth and increasing wealth, especially long time, low income residents who have invested in their communities for generations.
On October 6, ONE Wake leaders organized the largest single candidate assembly of the election at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, delivering over 250 members in person, and 197 concurrent viewers on our livestream. 19 candidates attended, including all the mayoral candidates.
During the action, long time residents and clergy publicly asked the candidates to commit to work with ONE Wake to stop displacement of low income homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods, and whether they would meet with us within 90 days of taking office to address other key concerns.
They all said YES! (you can watch the full video here)
In another demonstration of our power this fall, ONE Wake leaders organized a major, non-partisan GOTV campaign, with 81 canvassers who volunteered 574 hours to have relational conversations with over 3,000 infrequent voters in precincts hardest hit by rising housing costs.
Our strategy was to help voters understand how the local election affects housing policy, and to help them connect the act of voting with the everday acts of compassion that they perform for their neighbors.
We won't know exactly how many of these infrequent voters actually voted until later this month - but one data point from the election is interesting. Voter turnout in Wake County was 55 percent, but was just 44 percent in Mecklenburg. It could be that the competitive Raleigh City Council race and related GOTV efforts was the driving, down ballot force that helped increase turnout in Wake well beyond Mecklenburg's numbers.
Post election, the composition of Raleigh City Council has changed. We anticipate a divided council, one where compromise and deal making will be important if anything is going to get accomplished. We believe this will be an environment that will favor ONE Wake as we continue to organize for more city investment in long time residents.
Stayed tuned - and THANK YOU for all of your support this fall!
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