Community organizations held a Chapel Hill mayoral and Chapel Hill Town Council candidate forum on Sept. 19. at Binkley Baptist Church.
The forum aimed to provide voters with insight into candidates’ positions on local issues such as affordable housing.
Community Empowerment Fund Executive Director Donna Carrington served as the moderator for the forum. She asked candidates questions about their perspectives on transit equity and affordable housing in Chapel Hill.
“You will notice a theme of equity throughout — because it is the most vulnerable and underserved populations among us [who] are the most susceptible to its impacts,” she said.
Many candidates agreed that something needed to be done about community affordability, issues associated with urban sprawl and problems with the Chapel Hill Transit system. However, they disagreed over the implementation of policy.
Jeffrey Hoagland, who is running for Town Council, suggested bringing in outside ideas, and believed that Chapel Hill would benefit from a plan similar to the strategy used in Salt Lake City to provide homes.
Town Council candidate David Adams said that Chapel Hill should consider Wake County’s hotel strategy, in which the town has converted motels into affordable housing.
Breckany Eckhardt, another Town Council candidate, said it is important to rely on local ideas and work with experts at UNC.
“Why can’t we use local talents such as UNC to help us build and design where needed?” Eckhardt said.