We’re close to 800 members on “The Story of My Street,” our Facebook group about gentrification and neighborhood change in Durham.
The group has been great. We’ve found sources for our stories, invited members to serve on a new community advisory panel on gentrification, and shared what we’re working on or reading, like Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” (Highly recommended.)
Even better, members have started their own conversations. They’re talking with and debating one another — on zoning, downtown Durham’s “blackness,” and the Kroger grocery closings. They’re sharing how other communities are handling rising housing costs and displacement.
So we’re starting a second Facebook group.
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We’re calling it Chapel Hill Carrboro Chat, and we hope those of you who live or work in southern Orange and northern Chatham counties will join.
We’ll use this page to talk about growth and development, but also about the people and broader policies shaping life in this part of the Triangle:
▪ What’s happening in the schools?
▪ What changes are being discussed in policing and criminal justice, like Monday night’s forum at the Chapel Hill Library on bail reform?
▪ And yes, what’s that new building going up on Estes Drive? (An independent living center for people 55 and up. Read about it here: bit.ly/2M50nGk
We hope you’ll find Chapel Hill Carrboro Chat to be fun, informative and useful.
That said, we have learned things from our first Facebook group. To keep things constructive, we’ll monitor the site closely. Name calling, comments that stray off topic or vent general political opinion will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be banned.
If this works, the group will become a place you’ll want to check daily, where you can post your own announcements and questions, and join conversations. (Note: The page is public, we’ll periodically ask for comments that may be published on www.heraldsun.com and www.newsobserver.com) and in the print editions.
Check it out, and tell us what you would like to see in the group.
And thanks for reading.
Come meet us
Our newsroom staff will be in the Northside neighborhood Thursday (Aug. 2) for a walking tour led by Hudson Vaughan of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center. Afterward, From 2 to 3 p.m., reporters Tammy Grubb, Joe Johnson and I will hang out at Bread & Butter Bakery, 503 W. Rosemary St. in Chapel Hill. Please stop by if you’d like to talk with us or say hello.
Mark Schultz is the western Triangle editor of The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. Reach him at 919-829-8950 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Facebook.