The General Assembly: A Budget at Last*
Months of horse trading and behind-the-scenes negotiations may finally be coming to a close as House and Senate leadership announced Tuesday night that they’d come to a final* plan to get the state budget passed. *There might still be time for final changes as interest groups and legislators vie to squeeze in final projects and tweaks prior to final votes, but don’t expect anything major to change once voting gets underway. We’ll spare you the details for now, but we’ll be highlighting interesting aspects of the budget in future blog posts.
Don’t forget that the General Assembly will be back in October to vote on new district maps for the NC House and Senate and U.S. Congress. Wake County’s Representative Erin Paré, a Republican representing Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina, has already announced her intent to run against incumbent Democrat Wiley Nickel, so expect that district to be of special interest in the redrawing process.
Raleigh City Council: A Vibrant, Safe Downtown
Last week the Chamber’s Executive Committee decided that the security situation in downtown had risen to a level of concern that warranted a formal request urging the council to take immediate steps to improve the security situation downtown for our citizens and visitors alike. They sent a letter to all city council members urging immediate action to improve safety downtown, while also recognizing that any actions would need to be paired with efforts to promote equitable options for those who rely on our public transportation.
Below is a section of the letter explaining why this is a city-wide issue, and not just one for residents or businesses in the downtown core:
The state of downtown affects more than just those who spend time there; its perception affects our whole city. News stories about citizen concerns and poor behavior compound on themselves to paint a picture that Raleigh is not the vibrant place we all know it to be. As we seek to grow local businesses and recruit more to the area, it is critical that the stories people hear of Raleigh highlight our successes, not raise concerns. While the challenges facing our downtown are not unique to Raleigh, they are personal to the people who live here and must be addressed to ensure our region continues to thrive.
Honoring Our First Responders
While each first responder deserves recognition for their hard work, we specially recognized an officer or unit from each agency for their outstanding service over the past year and recognized Ms. Shelly Pearson of Expressions of Love Florist as the 2023 Friend of First Responders for donating floral wreaths for fallen officer memorials for the last 14 years.
The Raleigh Chamber also partnered with WRAL and Chick-fil-A to provide free chicken biscuits for all first responders the morning of the event. To get the word out to all first responders, the promotion was shared via news stories in advance, department liaisons received details to push out to their colleagues, and a live broadcast went out the morning of the event. While we can’t feed every first responder breakfast, the Chamber is excited to be able to demonstrate our appreciation and provide a small benefit to those who help continue our excellent quality of life. Find more coverage of the event on social media here.