Since the February 4, 2020 surprise vote by the Raleigh City Council to abolish City support of CACs, you may have heard that Raleigh’s Citizen Advisory Councils were not diverse or representative of Raleigh’s population. This is simply not true as the above photo indicates.

In a recent N&O article (Criticism of City Council continues as consultant urges moving forward), Mickey Fearn, the community engagement consultant hired by the City of Raleigh, said, “When we are hearing from some CACs you realize you are getting the perspective of white adult homeowners and not necessarily the perspective of others in the community.” This false narrative has been repeated before by Mr. Fearn and some of our elected officials, yet the actual facts tell a very different story. Here is data on CAC leadership that City Councilor David Cox gathered about 3 years ago (when we had 19 CACs): Chairs and Vice Chairs combined – 12 Black,19 White; just Chair persons – 9 Black, 10 White. Regarding home owners and renters, the former Hillsborough CAC had several officers who were renters while they served.

So please remember this: when we had 19 CACs, the number of CACs chaired by a Black person was 9 and by a White person was 10. That sounds like a pretty diverse organization!

Facts are important when trying to understand where you are, and where you want to go.