Over the past month, the WRPC ONE Wake Core Team has held 5 listening sessions. We had 44 West Raleigh folks participate and asked each to identify top pressures facing their lives and the lives of people they know. The discussions were fruitful—there were many thoughts and concerns about several different barriers. Topics mentioned included housing, healthcare/mental health, education, public transportation, food security, systemic racism, environment, gun violence, voting access, and low wages. These responses were then sent to the county-wide ONE Wake Organization where they joined 1,649 grassroots responses from other member organizations. ONE Wake leaders collated this raw data and came up with preliminary results.
One Wake’s Internal Assembly convened on June 8 with seven WRPC members attending. Over 300 people, representing 46 faith-based and nonprofit institutions, heard the results from 137 listening sessions held over the past 3 months. In addition, we heard testimonies from 5 people who are being deeply affected by the lack of affordable housing. Then the entire Assembly, with 3 votes per institutional agency, selected the top issues. It was decided to set Housing, Mental Health, and Public Transportation as ONE Wake’s top priorities for 2024.
Next steps will be to research these three priorities. This will include listening to experts as well as to people who are living with these specific challenges. The goal is to narrow these concerns to concrete, doable requests for change by the end of this year. These will then be brought to important county leaders during 2024. Stay tuned to see what this coalition of faith-based and nonprofit agencies does next!