On February 2, 2024, the Raleigh Citizen Advisory Council (RCAC) issued the following Press Release stating their expectation Raleigh’s City Council will vote to reinstate official recognition and support for the organization:
The RCAC Board anticipates a Raleigh City Council vote on Tuesday, February 6 to reinstate official City recognition and support of Raleigh’s Citizen Advisory Councils.
Raleigh, NC – The Raleigh Citizen Advisory Council board is looking forward to a City Council vote on Tuesday, February 6 to correct a mistake that was done to Raleigh residents 4 years ago.
Four years ago on February 4, 2020 the Raleigh City Council voted to terminate City support of the RCAC and all the CACs in Raleigh. The hope at that time was to “revolutionize our civic engagement process to ensure an inclusionary, participatory, democracy.” Those hopes and aspirations have yet to materialize four years later, as there has been no revolutionary replacement for Raleigh’s CACs. There is a new Community Engagement Office created by the City. But to this day, the RCAC is the only resident-led organization dedicated solely to creating civic engagement opportunities for Raleigh residents and their local government.
The RCAC has continued its mission for the past four years without City support. No new organization or City initiative has replaced what the grass-roots CAC network does for Raleigh residents. Four years ago there were 18 functioning CACs, today about half of them are still functioning. Of those that have gone silent, many are in minority-majority neighborhoods that suffer the most from tremendous gentrification pressure. Raleigh is not slowing down, it’s time for Raleigh’s community engagement to catch up. To make that happen, over the past several months, the RCAC board has been in communication with all of Raleigh’s City Councilors.
We believe we have the votes for the Raleigh City Council to officially recognize and restore support for the Raleigh Citizen Advisory Council (RCAC) and all of Raleigh’s CACs.
This vote on Tuesday will take place 4 years and 2 days since the previous City Council voted to stop supporting Raleigh’s Citizen Advisory Councils. Fifty years ago in 1974 at the urging of Raleigh’s first African-American mayor, Clarence Lightner, the Raleigh City Council created the RCAC as a way to give a voice to ALL Raleigh residents. Hopefully very soon every Raleigh resident will once again have an equal opportunity for community engagement no matter where they live in Raleigh.
– Robert Rice / RCAC Chair and Glenwood CAC Chair
– Edie Jeffreys / Five Points CAC Chair
– Michael Lindsay / Hillsborough-Wade CAC Chair
– Larry Helfant / Midtown CAC Chair
– David Plotner / Mordecai CAC Chair
– Ulysses Lane / Southeast CAC Chair
– Bob Edgerton / Southwest Raleigh Community Engagement Chair