Rachel Schaevitz is a UNC alum running for a seat on Chapel Hill’s Town Council. Staff writer Simrann Wadhwa spoke with her about why she is running, her platform and what she hopes to accomplish.
The Daily Tar Heel: Why are you running for Town Council?
Rachel Schaevitz: The reasons I’m running are varied. One of the main reasons I’m running is because I’m a mom of young kids, and I work and live in Chapel Hill. A lot of what I do represents Chapel Hill — I have University connections, my kids go to public school. A lot of those things help me understand a big chunk of the people here in Chapel Hill. I’m interested in making sure lots of different voices are at the table, and so that’s been a role I’ve played in a lot of different ways in my life through volunteer work, teaching and through a lot of different jobs I’ve had in the film industry. Representative government is not making sure their voice is heard, but someone making sure everyone else's voices are heard. This candidacy has been a way to try to do something to contribute positively to our world in a real and practical way.
DTH: What makes you a unique or diverse candidate as compared to the other contenders running?
RS: The class that I’m co-teaching this semester at Carolina called “Community Engagement and Media Production in the Public Service.” What I did is I paired up my film students with Chapel Hill nonprofits, and each team is assigned to a different nonprofit like TABLE. Their assignment is to create a video for that charity or nonprofit group to help expand the really great work that (the group is) already doing. The reason that I think that’s really relevant to the Town Council is it really illustrates how I think about challenges, and how I approach life. The solution of pairing up nonprofits with film students is collaborative, it’s really practical and it’s mutually beneficial. The students need professional experience to be competitive on the job market, and the nonprofits need marketing material. This course solves problems practically and collaboratively. Let’s work with the students and faculty of Carolina and collaborate with the town and bring them together towards solving problems that we both share. That is something unique about me as a candidate, that I do have this University connection and I’m all about creativity and collaboration.