Christina Jones, Chair of the RCAC (Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council), spoke at a Raleigh City Council meeting on June 7, 2022:

I have lost count as to how many times I have spoken before you.  I will say that over the last 18 months, I have learned how quiet you actually are.  The excuses that have come out of you on a multitude of subjects is baffling.  From community engagement, to affordable housing, to first responder pay!  Your priorities are skewed and it’s led to placing anything and everything ABOVE the people you represent.

Last week, in my second grade class, we discussed Kindness.  The main point we hit on was that it is about being considerate of others.  In my head, as I attempted to explain this concept to 8 year olds, I thought, “how does the demand ‘Be Kind’ show consideration for other people?”  Please don’t ask me to “Be Kind” as you continually choose to ignore rather than engage.  You have firefighters outside asking to be paid what they are worth and somehow we find money for parks, but not people.  Until this year, your starting pay in the Parks system was $8.25/hr which caused people to not apply and now you’re short staffed and can’t run all of the programming at full capacity.  What will happen if firefighters leave and you can’t replace them?  How can we afford NOT to put public safety at the top of your priority list?  Show us your kindness through your actions because your words have lost all meaning.

Since this is mentioned before every public comment section, I decided to write a poem for you entitled.

Be Kind

Be Kind, you say
As you ignore me to my face

Is this your kindness on display?
Do you believe my voice has a place?

I’ve been before you MANY times
To ask you questions you disregard

How many hills do I have to climb?
Are my questions really all that hard?

Be Kind, you say
As if I’m the one attacking you

When I watch everyday
As you cast aside different points of view

You eliminate conversation,
Entirely change the system

Hide behind a new creation
And somehow that, that is wisdom

Be Kind, you say
As you rarely follow suit

If Kindness is what you try to convey
It is not your strongest attribute

Christina Jones